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Monday, September 12, 2005

FEINSTEIN ON THE FRINGE: Over the years, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has managed to convey to skeptical Americans that California isn’t a total political nut house. She’s done this chiefly by not being Barbara Boxer, the state’s junior senator and senior loon. To her credit, Feinstein has carved out a role as a respected centrist, especially with her DLC-like foreign policy voting record. Still, her comments at the opening John Roberts’ confirmation hearings suggest Feinstein may be trying to shore up her ratings with Americans who prefer their politics incoherent. Putting Roberts on notice that she intends to ask his views about the separation of church and state, DiFi launched into a lecture about the importance of learning from history. "Millions of innocent people have been killed and tortured because of their religious beliefs," she declared. So far, so good. Then came this strange tangent:
"I recently traveled to Europe where I saw monuments enshrining the tragedies that have occurred in the name of religion. In Budapest along the River Danube there are 60 pairs of shoes covered in copper: women’s, men’s, small children’s. "During World War II, Hungarian fascist and Nazi soldiers forced thousands of Jews including men, women and small children to remove their shoes, as a final humiliation, before shooting them and letting their bodies fall and drift down the river. These shoes represent a powerful symbol of man’s inhumanity."
Call me dense or insensitive or both — but I’m thinking the murders count as horrific regardless of the shoes. Seems we’ve got ourselves a solid "hate crime" even without using footwear to elevate the mass murder charge. The left views Roberts as already too sympathetic to religion, yet here's a United States senator lecturing him on the religious indignity of shoeless mass murder — and sermonizing on the need to keep religion and government separate. Am I missing something here? Like: Why is she telling this to John Roberts?