Friday, January 13, 2006

 

Coincidence? Not in my mind.

A thought just came to me about the Alito hearings. On the first day, when all of the senators made their statements and no questions were asked of the nominee, here's a little tidbit from the senator from South Carolina:

"If we don't watch the way we treat Judge Alito, we're going to drive good people away from the judiciary,"

This is before a single question had been asked. Is Senator telegraphing something here? Because two days later, just before the end of the day, Mrs. Alito chokes up at the suggestion her husband could be a bigot. And who made that accusation? Senator Kennedy? Or maybe Senator Schumer? Surely, Senator Durbin is just crazy enough to make that accusation. But no. It was actually Senator Graham of South Carolina! Imagine that!

So the senator who started the hearings off expressing his concern about the "treatment" of Alito is the one who utters the words that sends Mrs. Alito from the room. But it somehow gets pinned on the Democrats, because the Senator planted the seed two days earlier that the hearings would be rough.

I'm calling bullshit on that. This smells real bad. Especially since it was reported that Senator Graham, in a terrible ethical lapse, sat in on some of Judge Alito's preparation hearings. I'm no lawyer, and I'm certainly no senator, but if I had a lawsuit and I saw the other guy's attorney having lunch with the judge who would hear the case, I would think this is improper. And, even if it isn't, the appearance of it all is enough to undermine faith in the legal system in general.

Can I ever prove that senator Graham and Judge Alito's wife were in cahoots? Of course not. They wouldn't be that sloppy. But think about it like this: If my neighbor says there's a chance my house will burn down, and then my house does burn down two days later, am I wrong to wonder what my neighbor's earlier comment was all about? I don't think so.

Peace.

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