Thursday, January 12, 2006
Judge Alito's wife: The perfect allegory for modern politics...
First of all, yesterday was a contentious day in the hearings. But the main flare up occurred between senator Kennedy and the chair regarding the release of documents pertaining to the nominees possible (self admitted but now disavowed) membership in an extreme wingnut organization while attending Princeton university. Was it the exchange between the two senators that led to the water works? Nope.
Democratic senators did ratchet up the pressure on the nominee with their questioning. They tried (largely unsuccessfully) to get Judge Alito to answer questions on everything from abortion to possible conflicts of interest in cases he judged that involved corporations he held stock in. Was it during this questioning by any democratic senator that the Judges wife finally broke down? Nope.
The event that led to the breakdown was the statement of Republican senator Lindsay Graham. He opened the question that led to the breakdown thusly:
"Are you really a closet bigot?"Did you get that? It was a Republican who asked Judge Alito if he was a bigot and lead to the breakdown of the judges wife! What we have in effect is a Republican defining the questions posed by the opposition in such a horrible way that we are treated to an emotional breakdown by the judges wife. Then the media hypes up the event, and the Republican spin machine goes into full cycle about the horrible Democrats and the poor beset Republicans who are literally driven to tears by the antics of the big meanie head Dems.
This seriously is the perfect microcosim of the American electorate during the past 6 years, with the Democrats and Republicans, judge Alito being the issue and his wife the American public. The Democrats raise an issue, and can not for the life of them get a straight answer. The Republicans use their mass media spin machine to portray any line of thinking that does not conform to the Borg mindset as horribly extreme and dangerous... A large section of the American people collectively burst into tears at the thought of Osama (who is still cavorting about his cave somewhere in the wilderness) and the Democrats plotting to kill their mothers, and the Republicans come out looking like the fatherly protector.
Some things are very clear. His views were likely to be sanitized for the viewing pleasures of the Senate and the American viewers. Who knows how he would really rule on these decisions. What is also clear is that it is poor behavior to make a specatacle of a loving wife who is not a politican herself.
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