Earlier today on Fox News, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a member of the Judiciary Committee, followed Matt Drudge’s lead and implied that opponents of Samuel Alito’s nomination may be motivated by Alito’s ethnicity. He warned senators “to be very careful here,” because a vote against Alito would be “held against them” by Italian-Americans:
[They] think they own the Italian-American vote all up and down the East Coast. They don’t, but they think they do. If they become offensive against somebody with the qualifications of Sam Alito, Judge Alito, then I think it’s going to be held against them. They’re going to have to be very careful how they handle this, and frankly what bothers me if 22 — in other words, half of the Democrats in the Senate — could vote against John Roberts, can you imagine what this nomination is going to be like? There’s no reason they should have voted against Roberts. And I think Alito’s going to be just fine but we’re all going to have to work really hard to make sure that’s so.
Conservatives could have picked any number of topics to distract Americans from the real issues of Alito’s nomination. This is among the most cynical and crass.