October 13, 2020

Robin Givhan of the Washington Post sums up yesterday's hearing:

The opening day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court was kid-friendly. It was child-obsessed. It was a little over five hours of children as talking points and visual aids and proof of unwavering conservative values. It’s hard to recall a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee that was so focused on the well-being, the deportment and the birth story of our youngest citizens.

Rare was the Republican on the committee who was able to deliver an opening statement without referring to the seven children in the Barrett family. This feat of parenting seemed to leave them gobsmacked with admiration and utterly mystified as to how a two-parent household with significant financial resources was capable of wrangling such a large brood without the missus showing up with oatmeal on her clothes. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) couldn’t contain himself from acknowledging that not only did Barrett have a big family of her own, but she also was the product of one, just like him. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) was impressed by her kids’ good behavior and said he was hoping for parenting tips.

The many references to Barrett’s children were a not-so-subtle pronouncement that her prolific motherhood was especially good and admirable and a sign that she was not shirking her womanly duty while she was unleashing her ambition. Barrett had it all — on terms that were acceptable to social conservatives.

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