While Google Alert produces scores of items on yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the S.909, the Hate Crime Bill, only a few go beyond summarizing Attorney General Eric Holder's submission to give even a cursory account of what was said in opposition.
Today Sen. Patrick Leahy delivered on his promise to hold a federal hate bill hearing. Yet it was meant to only further his agenda, strongly slanted against opponents of the hate bill.
Attorney Gen. Eric Holder and three other hate bill witnesses chosen by Leahy had a four-to-two advantage over opponents of S. 909...Leahy's time restrictions (little more than two hours) forced these outnumbered patriots, led by the excellent arguments of Sen. Jeff Sessions, to severely narrow their objections. An issue of such danger and complication demands at least three days of hearings, with more than just two witnesses permitted to object!
Holder's testimony and questions lasted 75 minutes. In any normal environment his rigid and flat-footed performance would have to be deemed a disaster. As Pike notes:
Under questioning, Attorney Gen. Holder was surprisingly forthright in admitting that the hate bill is not intended to protect everyone, or even the majority. He said only historically oppressed minorities were to benefit. This means Jews, blacks, homosexuals, women, etc. Holder made it clear that if a white Christian male, including a serviceman or police officer, was the victim of a violent hate crime by any minority he would have to find redress from traditional law. He could not avail himself of the triple penalties and rapid government/justice system response given a protected minority.
These catastrophic admissions were extracted by Senators Sessions (R-AL) and Coburn (R-OK). The webcast of the Hearings is here (on right) and the relevant passages are 58.30-61 minutes (Sessions) and 71.30-5 minutes (Coburn).
Holder made it plain that he is seeking legal privileges for certain groups based on what he told Senator Sessions was
"the unfortunate history of our nation".
Film can indeed tell more than the printed word. Anyone who reviews the comments and deliveries by Democratic Senators Feinstein(CA), Cardin (MD)and Schumer (NY)(c. 53 minutes, 79 minutes and 89 minutes) cannot doubt that, for them, this legislation is a stepping stone to criminalizing political opinion. Feinstein actually cited the immigration debate as necessitating passing the Bill!
One bright note: yesterday about 2-54PM EDT (after the Hearings were over) the Daily Kos posted URGENT!! Save Hate Crimes bill NOW! By bilerico
I just got a phone call from a well placed source on Capital Hill that confirmed that the hate crimes bill currently before the Senate will be added to the Defense Authorization Bill...You need to call your Senator NOW and ask them to save the hate crimes bill from certain death! If it's added to the defense authorization bill it will be the death of hate crimes this year. You can look up your Senator's direct phone number here or call (202) 224-3121 and tell them to SAVE THE HATE CRIMES BILL.
Could it be others were underwhelmed by Holder's performance as well?