[Note: I suspect that every person - Republican or Democrat - who has ever had to appear at a Senate confirmation hearing wishes he or she could have responded like this]
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Galen, the Committee would like to welcome you and the chair would caution you that this will be a fairly brief hearing inasmuch as, until your nomination came to us, we were not aware there was a position of Junior Deputy Assistant Subordinate Secondary Secretary of State for Kumbaya Affairs.
MR. GALEN: Thank you Senator. Until my wife found the letter nominating me underneath the stack of Christmas cards from my car dealer and my bank, I didn't know it either.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Ranking Democrat has asked for time.
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: Mr. Galen, in your column "Mullings" did you, at any time, compare my colleague, Senator Schumer of New York, as "garbage?"
MR. GALEN: That is an absolute lie, Senator. I would never compare a United States Senator to garbage. I compared him to dog poop. I wrote,
"Any time Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer is the lead dog for the Democrats, you want to watch where you step"
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: And, Mr. Galen, did you once portray another colleague, Senator Kennedy of Massachusetts, as having misbehaved while in college?
MR. GALEN: Another lie, Senator. What I wrote was, while Senator Kennedy was a student at Harvard he was an admitted cheater, having
"arranged for a friend to take a Spanish exam for him, an incident he later had to own up to before taking public office."
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: Do you think that spreading right wing-generated rumors like that is helpful to your confirmation process?
MR. GALEN: The rumor about Senator Kennedy cheating was a direct quote from that well-known mouthpiece for, and wholly-owned subsidiary of, the vast right-wing conspiracy: the PBS website.
THE RANKING DEMOCRAT: Let's move along to another issue. As you know, there has been a great deal of discussion regarding the qualifications of political appointees. What, in your background, qualifies you for this position?
MR. GALEN: I am no less qualified to do this job, then you were to do your job when you were first elected to public office. Or maybe even now.