1/11/2006

who has put this pubic hair on my wife?

Disgusting day in the Alito hearings. The media's loving it, of course. They did not, by and large, report on the substance of today's questioning, but on the "emotional fireworks" courtesy Republicans, and more poignantly by Madam Alito, seated in clear view of the cameras, at her husband's right shoulder.

The definitive moment in these procedings, the "someone has put a pubic hair on my coke"/"high-tech lynching" moment: Mrs. Alito running from the hearing room in tears because the big bad Democrats wanted to know more about Mr. Alito's membership in a club called Concerned Alumni of Princeton, a student group critical of the admission of women and minorities, of which he had bragged to Ed Meese when applying for a job in the Reagan White House. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) used the probe into Alito's CAP membership, which all the sudden Alito doesn't recall at all, as an opportunity to demonize Democrats. He put an effective end to questions on the matter by asking Alito, "are you really a closet bigot?" That's when Madam Alito fled the chamber in tears. Did she know it was a rhetorical question? Did she understand Sen. Graham was mocking Democrats with it? Did she miss her cue?

Cynical seems too mild a word for the whole scene. I mean, here's a man who's undeniably on the ropes when it comes to his record on women's issues. So to deflect criticism here's his wife (she's a woman, isn't she?) breaking down in front of the cameras. That'll show 'em who's the real misogynists, won't it? It's the Democrats, of course!

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