Instead, as The Washington Post positions and packages those four days, beginning Monday, they will reveal much about:
- One, how polarized D.C. has become or has the bitterness receded.
- And, two, what are the current dynamics of SCOTUS and how one justice with Gorsuch's track record and seeming ideology could change or not change those. (Factored in will be that, once on the high court, justices can be full of surprises. Conservative John Roberts, for example, approved Obamacare.)
Both parties know this. So, the odds are that they have already carefully written the script of what they will state and what questions they will ask and how.
Among those doing the analysis will be their constituencies back home.
For example, if they are Democrats and a majority of the voters in their home state went to Donald Trump, then they have to walk a fine line. Being re-elected is their top priority.
But unless they also show loyalty to their party, they won't be able to accomplish much inside the beltway.
There could be some arm-twisting. For example, the whole process could end up requiring 60 senators of appropriate titles to confirm Gorsuch. There are only 52 GOPers who fit the bill. That means they will have to recruit 6 Democrats. What could be gained and lost for Democrats who "cross over?"
The rhetoric as well as the body language and facial expressions during the hearings will also reveal which potential SCOTUS legal issues are most important to both parties.
Observers of the hearings might be in for some shocks.
In order to get Gorsuch confirmed GOPers might not push hard on some alt-right matters. At the top of the list is how the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted. Gorsuch is known to be like, Antonin Scalia, an originalist. That is, he assumes he can understand how the founding fathers intended all the contents to mean and then apply that to judicial rulings.
Since D.C. will be bulging with media, members of the media will also assess other members of the media. Expect, for instance, Fox News to deconstruct whatever The New York Times posts. Because there are so many angles on the stories, new media stars could emerge.
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