On the heels of reports that leading Democrats had accused Italian-American Judge Alito, Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court of Mafia connections, Democrats denied that their accusations were motivated by bigoted stereotypes but a concerted effort to uncover the truth.
"I personally respect the Italian-American community," Senator Schumer said, "and I would no more think of insulting them than I would of kissing them on the mouth. What we're trying to do is take a carefull look at Judge Alito's background and slander him in whatever way is available to us. If that means accusing him of being in leauge with Sacco and Vanzetti or of plotting to put the Pope in the Oval Office so be it."
Democratic leaders continue to insist there is obviously nothing racist in their statements whatsoever and that their views have been taken out of context.
"I respect Judge Alito's judicial background but I also hear he hangs around the fish market," Senator Ted Kennedy added. "I strongly respect Italian-Americans however and I'm sure he has a large family with many colorfull and wrangling relatives, some of whom also work in the construction industry. When I wanted to drown that annoying Mary Jo woman, I considered getting an Italian to do it but I worried one of them would sell me out to reduce jail time for their many imprisoned relatives."
While Italian-American groups have objected to these characterizations of the Italian-American judge, Democratic party leaders are making no apologies and are determined to intenstify their campaign against Bush's Supreme Court nominee.
"We're hearing different things here and we're not happy with what we hear," Congressman Nadler said at the National Press Club. "We hear this Judge Alito is addicted to Canolis and he'd sell his own mother for them, we hear he's been meeting some suspicious characters out by the docks late at night and we hear he made the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, lean."