Thursday, January 12, 2006

GLENN GREENWALD HAS A POST UP AT CROOKS AND LIARS about the pious hypocrisy of the Republican cries of shock and outrage at the lack of "dignity and civility" after Sam Alito's wife started crying at her husband's Senate confirmation hearings:

It is inevitable that there will be some flaws in our political discourse. Some people are going to get away with a little hypocrisy and a little dishonesty. Now and then one side will be able to protest behavior which it itself engaged in previously. One expects and can tolerate imperfections of that kind.

But having to listen to Republicans piously lecture everyone on the need for dignity and civility in our political process in the wake of that sorry contrived spectacle yesterday is so patently corrupt that even our national media ought to be able to see that. But they can't, and so they are actually operating from the premise that Democrats engaged in character assaults on Sam Alito yesterday which truly offend Republican standards of decency and are simply beyond the pale.
These Paragons of Civility who are oozing sermons today about how such attacks prevent "good people" from entering public service are the same political lowlifes who spent the 1990s screaming that Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered in order to cover up their affair (even though she's a lesbian) and that Bill Clinton is a serial rapist who oversaw a drug-running operation from an Arkansas airstrip. They spent many years and tens of millions of dollars investigating Bill Clinton's penis, semen stains on dresses, and Henry Cisneros' mistress.

They routinely depict political opponents (such as Al Gore and Howard Dean) as being mentally unstable lunatics, and insinuate that war heroes like John Kerry and Jack Murtha are cowards who shot themselves on purpose in order to get their medals. Those who criticize the war policies of the Commander-in-Chief are traitors and subversives, and are deemed to be "on the other side." Rush Limbaugh has spent the last 20 years pumping into the heads of 20 million followers overtly eliminationist rhetoric directed at anyone who deviates from their ideology. He has been joined by a cadre of hate-mongers who do the same.

What caused Mrs. Alito to leave the room crying? Supposedly, it was because Sen. Lindsay Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, asked Judge Alito if he was a bigot, in an apparent attempt to mock questions about Alito's racial views from Democrats.

Mimicking questions from Democrats, Graham asked Alito: "Are you really a closet bigot?"

The nominee said no.

Graham said, "No sir, you're not."

With that, Alito's wife began to cry. Then she left.

No one but Mrs. Alito knows why she cried, even though Orrin Hatch is certain it's because "she's sick and tired of the mistreatment of her husband" -- although he also noted that she "had a migraine headache." Maybe she started crying because she's disgusted with her husband for endangering his nomination by lying about a past membership in an organization that called for discrimination against women and blacks.

Whatever the reason, Senate Democrats have every right to question Alito about belonging to an organization whose racist and sexist credentials were beyond question. Especially when he included the membership as a selling point in his 1985 application for a job in the Reagan administration.

It's sickening that no one in the mainstream media has called for Republicans to explain why, if it is so outrageously offensive to ask Judge Alito for his views on civil rights given that he boasted about belonging to an organization dedicated to keeping Princeton white and male, it was okay for leading Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to accuse Sen. Dick Durbin of being anti-American, of encouraging suicide bombers, and of endangering the lives of U.S. troops in Iraq merely for reading a statement written by an FBI agent about severe mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo.

Not to mention, says Glenn Greenwald, again in his post at Crooks and Liars, that "for the past several years, these same distinguished Senators have been expressly accusing Democrats on the Judiciary Committee of being racist, anti-Hispanic, anti-Catholic and anti-women whenever they don't get their way on every judicial nomination?"

Oh, but the Democrats questioned someone who wants to sit on the swing seat of the U.S. Supreme Court for the rest of his life about a group he belonged to which advocates discrimination and, as a result, his wife cried. Are there no limits to the crassness and viciousness of Democrats? How low will they go? As this morning's headline on the Today Show inquired with deep concern: Have "Democrats Gone Too Far"?

Being subjected to pious Republican preening on the impropriety of this questioning really is like listening to Saddam Hussein rail against the uncomfortable conditions to which he has been subjected since his arrest. In light of the crimes he has committed, hearing him complain of such trivialities of discomfort is just absurd. Republican complaints about the supposedly insensitive and discourteous questioning of Sam Alito are really no less absurd.

Republicans have demonstrated, for two decades now, that there literally are no limits on the accusations they will make and the character attacks they will launch against anyone who opposes their political objectives. How is it even possible to listen to them protest the extremely mild interrogation of Sam Alito and keep a straight face?


Tahoma Activist said...

Isn't this utterly disgusting! I am so mad I could scream! Augh!

Republican Senators and their lackeys in the media are absolutely infuriating. If we had a truly responsive, liberal media the television would be filled with talking heads extolling the virtues of Feinstein and Kennedy and blasting Graham for being a closeted gay phony with a strange desire to be the President's lapdog.

I just wish that Air America had more listeners. I feel that if enough people understood what's really going on they would rebel, bigtime. This guy is absolutely terrible, terrible. What he is going to do to this country is awful beyond belief, and I don't think people would put up with it if they had any idea what was happening.

P.S. I think Alito might be gay, too. He has the funny voice and when he left the hearing he didn't even stop to talk to his wife. (Wasn't she just crying earlier? No loving husband would risk pissing off his wife on a day like this)

Kathy said...

I don't think whether Alito talked to his wife when he left the hearing has anything to do with being gay or not gay. We don't even know that's what happened. I saw him reentering the hearing with his wife after she had the crying episode, and she was smiling. No one knows what that means, either. But I don't think being cold or indifferent to your spouse, if that's what it was, means you're gay. If it did, my ex-husband would be gay, and he's definitely not.

I agree completely with your comments on the so-called liberal media. There is NOTHING liberal about the media. They NEVER took the Republicans to task for the shameful way Dick Durbin was treated the way they have criticized the Democrats for Mrs. Alito crying.

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh, I was afraid one of our guys had a similar skeleton in his closet. Didn't take long for the right-wing press to track it down.

Turns out our Kennedy guy was an active member of an even worse group at Harvard. Sheesh.

"The club has long been reviled on campus as "sexist" and "elitist" and, in 1984, was booted from the university for violating federal anti-discrimination laws, authored by Mr. Kennedy.

Kathy said...

Uh-oh, I was afraid one of our guys had a similar skeleton in his closet. Didn't take long for the right-wing press to track it down.

You're not fooling me, "Anonymous." Try again, without the "one of our guys" and "our Kennedy guy" bullshit.

Anonymous said...

The trigger for her tears could have been closet not bigot. Even if you believe that it was theatre, a cue not a trigger, handlers can make jokes.

All kinds of things, of course , can be in a closet often things that would not upset ousiders.

She seemed glaringly uncomfortable thoughout the hearing ; trying to get attention in a situation where she also felt very threatened. There was a strong feeling of cruelity to the whole thing.

But it wasn't the senators who were cruel. They were there for their own very legitimate reasons ,a captive audience not torturers