Thursday, January 12, 2006

succinct and intelligent

I'm in another one of my-head's-up-my-ass-because-I-have-so-much-work-to-do stages, so I am up early trying to catch up on a few things. (Did you see that great Onion article last week about the guy who took a week off from work to straighten out his entire life? Excellent.)

One glaring omission has been my monitoring of the Alito hearings. Not for your benefit, of course, but for my own. Yes, folks, I once gave a toss about things like the selection of the people who had the power to restrict our rights and make things really suck. Ah, the good old days of my youth.

Going back to Tuesday's Post, it appears I am not the only one.
Dan Balz points out, "There has been a clear disconnect between the zeal of activists and the detachment of the general public."

Alas, despite my best intentions, I am the "general public".

Charles Lane's analysis on Wednesday was helpful, but inevitably I am going to tell you to read (also from Wednesday) Dana Milbank's take on the proceedings, if only because I adore the man and his tendency to portray Congress as a nursing home and his own obvious love for the English language.

A contagious wave of yawns spread across the dais, from Specter to Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) to Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), and crested in a brief catnap for Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.).

During his 30-minute round of questioning, Biden spoke about his own Irish-American roots, his "Grandfather Finnegan," his son's application to Princeton (he attended the University of Pennsylvania instead, Biden said), a speech the senator gave on the Princeton campus, the fact that Biden is "not a Princeton fan," and his views on the eyeglasses of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Nobody could match Sen. Orrin G. Hatch in slow pitching. The Utah Republican called ROTC programs, "an excellent opportunity" and then asked: "You were a member of the ROTC - is that true?

Alito was caught, "I was Senator."

"You were a proud member of the ROTC," Hatch charged.

"I was," the nominee admitted.

Hatch persisted: "Did you enjoy your time in the ROTC and in the Army afterward?"

Alito confessed, "I was proud to be a member."

A recess was called and Hatch rushed to the microphones outside. "As you can see, this is one whale of a judge," he said. "I think these are some of the most succinct and intelligent statements ever made about the philosophy of judging in any Supreme Court nomination hearing."

Today's Post says that yesterday was apparently the day to have tuned in, if only to hear the surprising news that Ted Kennedy hasn't been to the gym in a while. But, on a more serious note, Alito apparently moved closer to saying that he would be willing to consider reversing Roe v.Wade, turning back the clocks for women's rights more than thirty years.

I'm paying attention now.

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