The Judge handled himself well, said Brooks. He was not the angry ideologue pictured by the Democrats.
Shields agreed expressing admiration for his "judicial temperament."
And so, in media outlet after media outlet, another Administration-supporting consensus was reached, in part, because of they way media framed the story.
THE DEMOCRATS WERE PREDICTABLE
The Democrats were predictable, baiting Alito, and trying to use comments he made in the 1980's as well as his dense judicial record against him. Like many Generals, they were fighting the last war-the one against Court nominee Robert Bork who took on his attackers but whose arrogance and argumentative approach did him in.
Didn't the Democrats realize that the Republicans would anticipate their knee-jerk approach, and then neutralize its dated and poorly executed confrontation strategy? Why weren't they on alert for dirty tricks like the phony crying spell by Alito's wife publicized by the very firm that promoted the Swift Boat veterans who smeared John Kerry?
What world were they in? Weren't they aware that Alito would be well coached (including by Senator Graham, a member of their own Committee), trained not to play to type and then to conceal more than reveal? He followed the lead of Judge Roberts by saying as little as possible and acting as thoughtful and reasonable as he could.
What the Republicans and their legions of spinners and echo chamber message disseminators understood-and the Democrats and many activists do not---is the hearings themselves are not really about issues, but impressions, not about politics but personalities, not about reality but perception.
A MEDIA EXERCISE
They are a show and tell exercise put on for the media and through the media. They have become exercises in calculated denial and avoidance.
Writing in the Baltimore Sun, Stephen Kiehl and Abigail Tucker dissect the GOP strategy. They call it "Practicing the art of saying little".
"Alito has been practicing, with varying degrees of success, the art of the non-answer answer," they explained. "Employed by politicians, business executives and others facing public scrutiny, the non-answer has become particularly routine to those seeking judicial confirmation since 1987."