The Confirmation Hearing I’d Like to See
Let me start by saying that I usually do not watch that many Senate Confirmation Hearings. I find old movies that I’ve probably seen all or part of many times far more preferable and easy on my blood pressure than watching the preening and posturing we see.
But there is a confirmation hearing I would most definitely watch, were I given some advance notice that the following exchange would be included. (I’m going to attempt to present it as a form of movie scene so please forgive me if I don’t get all the terms quite correct)
SCENE: Senate Hearing room. At the table facing the senators is Eminently Qualified Individual, nominated to be Secretary/Under-Secretary/Assistant Secretary of Defense/State/DHS/Justice. Opening statements have been given and questioning has been going on for some time. The next questioner is Senator Box Turtle, noted mainly for his love of his own voice.
Senator Box Turtle: "Eminently Qualified Individual, thank you for being here to listen to my ramblings today. I would like to begin my questions with some praise for your predecessor then I will ask you to address the ludicrous hypothetical of the "Jack Bauer" scenario which I will frame as a reasonable situation.".
Eminently Qualified Individual: "Thank You Senator Box Turtle for your damning with faint praise of my accomplishments. With all due to respect to my predecessor and yourself (stated with the contempt noticeably dripping from the voice), I am going to avail myself of the precedent shown by my predecessor.
I am sure you will support me in this, just as you supported my predecessor when he refused to answer a question concerning plausible hypothetical situations that not only came to pass but happened within weeks of his actual confirmation. I will also grant that had my esteemed predecessor answered the question he was asked with his honest intentions, he would never have been confirmed as even you would not have been politically able to save his ass.
But I do wonder Senator Box Turtle, if your constituents are truly aware of the fantasy world in which you operate when you present to me a scenario from a television production as if it were a truly viable and realistic presentation and not the fantasy most often presented by those who do not have to deal with reality.
[Camera pans out from Eminently Qualified Individual and pans across the table of Senators. One side of the table is presented as (relatively) normal people, in business suits, looking at the Eminently Qualified Individual, some scribbling notes, other just watching. Camera then starts on other side of table where, although ‘dressed’ in business suits, the look is of piled heaps of putrescence (think Chet after his confrontation with Lisa in Weird Science)]
Later that evening, during the Nightly Broadcast of Inanities and Trivia Presented by Your Favorite Talking Gasbags:
"In other news, in the Senate today, the Committee for Defense/State/DHS/Justice Approved Eminently Qualified Individual by a vote of 15-1 as the Secretary/Under-Secretary/Assistant Secretary. The lone No vote was Senator Diaperhead Badrug who admitted that Eminently Qualified Individual was indeed eminently qualified for the position but that he felt it was his bounden duty to play WATB for his constituents in hopes they would overlook his legal troubles and pretend that he cares what they think about anything.
As I said in the beginning, this is the fantasy hearing I would like to see. However, I also know I will never see it. So kudos to those of you with the stomachs to watch the posturing and preening. I’ll stick with the old movies I’ve already seen parts or all of so many times before.