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They call it a hearing, but they don't listen

Terence P. Jeffrey on

Of Hirono's seven remaining Democratic committee colleagues, only four were in the room when she started speaking. They were Ranking Member Diane Feinstein of California, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chris Coons of Delaware and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Feinstein, Durbin and Coons formed what might be called the Polite and Dutiful Caucus among the committee's Democrats. They tended to stay in their seats for most of the hearing while their colleagues -- both Republican and Democrat -- questioned Barrett and she gave her answers.

Sen. Cory Booker -- like Klobuchar -- was absent when Hirono had her turn with the microphone. But, unlike Klobuchar, Booker avoided the hearing in its entirety until the early evening when it was finally his time to speak.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island was also absent when Klobuchar started speaking.

Like Blumenthal, Whitehouse was not a member of the Polite and Dutiful Caucus who sat through most of the hearing, but he did at least sometimes sit in the room as the hearing proceeded.

Yet, Whitehouse was not there when Hirono began to speak.

 

Blumenthal not only was there when Hirono began speaking but also occupied the seat immediately next to hers -- observing, of course, the correct social distancing.

But, at 4:47 p.m., while Hirono was in the midst of her 30-minute questioning of Barrett, Blumenthal gathered up his notes, grabbed his cardboard coffee cup and made his way out of the room -- walking behind Hirono as she spoke.

In the meantime, Coons had also escaped from the room.

That left Feinstein and Durbin the only Democrats left there to personally hear what Hirono had to say.

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