The Big Republican Joke

One thing that is growing increasingly clear to me during the hearings is just how fiunny Republicans in the Senate judiciary committee think they are for getting away with their basic strategy in the hearings, which is for Alito to answer as few questions as possible.

Earlier today, when Specter noted that Alito had actually taken an opinion on something, all of the Republicans on the judiciary committee laughed. Then they went right on urging him to not take an opinion on anything. Getting away with the stonewall strategy is funny to Republicans.

Yesterday, Lindsay Graham, who helped prepare Alito for the hearings, made a joke about how funny it was that Alito couldn't remember anything about Vanguard or Concerned Alumni for Princeton. Everyone laughed, and then they went right on telling Alito that it was perfectly acceptable to say that he didn't remember anything. Getting away with lying is funny to Republicans.

And, of course, when Graham made a comment about Abramoff in the same quip, everyone laughed. Because, of course, getting away with being corrupt is funny to Republicans.

Republicans are finding it hysterical that their strategy of stonewalling, lying and denying obvious corruption is working. They wouldn't be laughing if they didn't think that their own strategy on this matter was absurd. They wouldn't be laughing if they weren't so impressed with themselves for getting away with it in front of the entire nation. They wouldn't be laughing if they didn't think it was perfectly acceptable for them to keep doing it.

Maybe the hearings are a joke. Hey, I spent much of yesterday writing pretty snarky posts about the events down here. What particularly amazes me, however, is that we are seeing these jokes told in front of the entire media corps, and in front of the democratic leadership, and no one is really calling Republicans on it. If everyone believes the whole thing is absurd, why do they keep going through with it?

Man, this really must be the most cynical place on earth.

Tags: Judges (all tags)



What if...?
I couldn't agree more with this post, which leads me to the following question:

What if a Democratic Senator on the committee, when their 30 minutes came up, decided to sit silently?  They could say something at the beginning about how Alito has refused to offer an opinion on anything so there is simply no reason to continue the farce by asking more questions which Alito will not answer.  But, that Senator should also insist that he/she gets his/her full 30 minutes in silence as a protest.

Would this wake up the press?  I doubt it, but I think the strategy would be more useful than continuing with the playacting now on display.

by Stahlsworth 2006-01-11 07:45AM | 0 recs
The Republicans and the lap-dog press would call it a "political stunt" and then talk about how the Democrats have no ideas.
by LiberalFromPA 2006-01-11 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Stunt
I'm not so sure.  It would refocus the attention on Alito's lack of answers while at the same time giving the Dems a primary basis for opposing the nomination.
by Stahlsworth 2006-01-11 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Stunt
Either way, it's a good idea, if for nothing else than to try and stop this thing.

This is the line in the sand, as far as I'm concerned.

by LiberalFromPA 2006-01-11 01:37PM | 0 recs
Well, of course they would
... but that's what they say no matter what we do! (More to the point, the GOP would probably rule such a protest out of order. I doubt there's any rule they could point to, but that never stopped them before!)

I mean, I'm open to any creative suggestions. It's pretty clear that hearings are a farce; the GOP is going to vote for Alito and the Dems are going to vote against him no matter what. The only real question is whether the Dems will filibuster, and that has more to do with how much pressure they get from the base, folks like us, than with anything Alito says in these hearings.

So what do you think we should do, just grin and bear it until 2009?

by Mathwiz 2006-01-11 11:33AM | 0 recs
Tell them just how funny you think this proceeding

Go right to the top, and tell 'em "No" to Alito's confirmation:
Phone, fax, and email addresses for the Judiciary Committee.

Here's another "Veto Alito" tool:
    Write a letter to the editor of your local paper and contact your congress critters -- all with one click.

People for the American Way have collected over 60,000 signatures to send to the Senate:

Save the Court Petition

by judybrowni 2006-01-11 07:48AM | 0 recs
Democrats have to get angry
This is a perfect example of why Democrats have to show some genuine outrage and at least pretend that they have beliefs they care deeply about. The Republicans will mock Kennedy, who is the only Democrat on the committee who is ferverent about anything, and they will get away with it because all of the other Dems are so antiseptic about everything.

Democrats do not understand stagecraft or the theatre of politics.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-01-11 08:02AM | 0 recs
Jon Stewart
Don't forget Jon Stewart, who spent some time last night mocking Kennedy because he actually seems to care.
by LiberalFromPA 2006-01-11 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Jon Stewart
I saw that too. That's how big a joke Democrats are. They are so completely lacking in passion that it strikes people as odd when a Democrat shows any emotion. That's exactly how they caricatured Dean. What's up with a Democrat acting like a real human being anyway?

That is at the core of my problem with Harry Reid. He never exhibits any emotion. He acts more like Spock than Spock did.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-01-11 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Jon Stewart is part of the media
Blaming Democrats for Stewart's need to get laughs proves nothing.

Stewart would be proving your point, I suppose, if he was going after the lackluster Dems, but no, of course he goes after Kennedy.

With so many in the media, this is just another game with out of shape laughable players. They act like what is going on here is pointless and doesn't affect them. And perhaps they are wealthy enough for that to be true.

But Kennedy is no joke.

Grassley verbally blowing Alito after Kennedy, that was a joke.

by thief 2006-01-11 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Jon Stewart is part of the media
You're right. I generally like Stewart, TDS, and the Colbert Report - and of course the nature of TDS requires it to take cheap shots - but why make fun of Kennedy for reacting to Sessions' bloviations like a real human being?

The main thing that keeps TDS in line is its audience. After all, it's a bunch of liberal New Yorkers, and they're not going to laugh as much when Stewart pokes fun at the Democrats for doing something right for a change. I've seen him drift rightward before, and the audience always pulls him back after a show or two.

by Mathwiz 2006-01-11 11:42AM | 0 recs
How to talk to a Republican if you must
Paul Hacket has it exactly right:

"What's that, punk?" the big man growls.

    A TV crew is setting up nearby, but Hackett doesn't seem to care. "What's your fuckin' problem?" the candidate snaps. "You got something to say to me? Bring it on!" Hackett, all 6 feet 2 inches of him, is nose to nose with the heckler. "Problem?" he taunts. The man turns around and storms away.

by Gary Boatwright 2006-01-11 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: How to talk to a Republican if you must
This makes me picture Kennedy up in Alito's grill, poking him in the chest as he asks his questions.

I think he could take him.

by thief 2006-01-11 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats have to get angry
Good ol' Tricky Dick.
by Gary Boatwright 2006-01-11 07:57PM | 0 recs
Live blogging the hearings
Leah's live blogging the Scalito hearings. Show her some love...
by lambert 2006-01-11 08:07AM | 0 recs
It worked for Roberts


Why change strategy now?

P.S. You can see the rest of the cartoons at Hypnocrites, my cartoon blog.

by dhonig 2006-01-11 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: It worked for Roberts
True, though I suspect the Dems had already decided to give Roberts a pass, for the most part. After all, he was only replacing Rehnquist. This time, the stakes are higher.

Nevertheless, your point is well taken. Minds are already made up. The hearing is a formality anyway. Why risk saying anything that might offend Specter?

It'd be a different story if most Senators were already leaning against him and he had some convincing to do. Which would be a Senator's default position in a perfect world.

But with the GOP marching in goosestep together, better to play it safe and STFU.

by Mathwiz 2006-01-11 11:52AM | 0 recs
People laugh when they're nervous
These yahoos have a lot to be nervous about.
by thief 2006-01-11 08:55AM | 0 recs
It's all fun and games
Until someone loses re-election.  But since that almost never happens, it's almost always fun and games.
by Drew 2006-01-11 09:09AM | 0 recs
I am curious though, if Alito is lying, why hasn't there been more of an uproar on either side?  If the extreme right is so concerned about him being a true r winger, why not say something? Why aren't they hacking him for not bringing attention to this organization in a prideful way?

One other aspect of this question is the C.A.P. issue.  This organization did not have members as such.  They had a mailing list that they sent out fliers for to collect donations and they had a board but no listed members....not one.  So why bring it up at all?  He can simply say he doesn't remember and when the doc's are released proving that there weren't members, then the Democrats will be vilified for bringing up valid questions.  

This nominee is one of the better ones as far as I am concerned because he doesn't have the extreme issues from either side.  I don't give a hoot about his religious views or his abortion views.  I am concerned more about the issues that affect the rights of the citizens.  I suppose there were others that could have been better but I am sure that neither side would allow a true centrist on the court. MHO

by TrueCentrist 2006-01-11 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Alito
So why bring [the CAP issue] up at all?

Because Alito himself brought it up, claiming to be a member, when he was looking for a job from Ed Meese. Either he really is racist and sexist (and pace your BS about not having "extreme issues from either side," his dissents bolster that possibility) or else he was lying to get a job (and the way he treated his previous Senate confirmation, for appeals court justice, bolsters that possibility) - in which case, why believe anything he says now?

I don't give a hoot about his religious views or his abortion views.  I am concerned more about the issues that affect the rights of the citizens.

You don't think his views on church and state affect "the rights of the citizens?" You don't think abortion affects "the rights of the citizens?" Do you not consider women "citizens?"


Yeah, right. And Shrill O'Lielly is an "independent" too.

by Mathwiz 2006-01-11 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Alito
When he 'brought it up' as you indicate, he had no idea that someday, someone, somewhere would be so paranoid as to think that he doesn't like women.  Okay, so he lied to get a job...DUH, what do you think all politicans do to get their jobs???  You cannot really believe that anyone ever elected did not lie at one point or time in their election to get the job.  And I thought only the loony tunes on the right believed in 'Honorable Honesty'.  

Evidently you aren't familiar with the Roe V. Wade rulings....there are at least 4 other cases that address women's right to choose abortion.  Roe is not the powerful tool that EITHER side want's you to believe that it is.  It is merely the lightning rod that they all hold up for the television camera's.    
As to church and state, if you are not a winger yourself, this issue would be as hilarious to you as it is to me.  As a card carrying indian, (Souix, Yankton) I don't care about anyone else's religion or lack thereof.  Tell me about church and state buddy when you've been hauled away from your family and forced to learn a new language and forbidden to practice your ceremonies.  Most of the middle-of-the-road people I know couldn't care less about the issues that the wingers keep spouting and that is going to cause problems for both parties during the elections.  

And, just for your information, I am a woman and obviously it goes without saying that I consider myself a citizen.  A citizen of the FIRST nation, not the one your liberalistic or conservative 'hero's are making.

by TrueCentrist 2006-01-13 09:36AM | 0 recs
Alito's not taking a position, huh?
What a conservative-only approach.  I assume you were not able to get a comment on this post from Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
by bekind 2006-01-11 11:03AM | 0 recs
To be blunt, Biden knows
... it's a farce, and decided to use his 13 minutes of fame to make a little campaign speech. It may have been a lousy speech, but I can't really blame him for trying.

He asked less questions of Alito than Strom Thurmond, and he's dead!

Suddenly, I'm hoping Al Franken runs for Senate in '08....

by Mathwiz 2006-01-11 12:07PM | 0 recs
I've been thinking
...about Abramoff, lately. I cannot understand why more people don't take this more seriously. This man admitted to bribing over a third of Congress. It may be common but that doesn't mean that it should be tolerated and institutionalized.

I don't know what it is: Maybe it's just general frustration with the world in general, maybe it's the fact that I haven't gotten laid all year. But everything and everyone pisses me off, these days. Democrats as well as Republicans and even Joe Sixpack in the abstract. If I didn't have a blog I'd be on a three state killing spree right now.

My blog entry is indicative of what I've been thinking and feeling, lately. Call me wrong or say that I need Thorazine, but we're ultimately responsible for the system that we're complaining about. What are the answers? Hell, wish I knew. If I did, I'd be making a run for Capitol Hill this year. But knowing the enemy, or the problem, is half the battle won.


by jurassicpork 2006-01-11 02:10PM | 0 recs
Alito and Democrats

Chris, you're right on with this blog.  The republicans are frat boys.  They've always had it easy and they are arrogant and banal.

Kennedy understands what it means to be a senator who fights.  He's been doing it for 44 years.  I've been impressed by his performance this week and proud that he represents me.

Biden and Shumer are absolute, total media whores but Biden is the whoriest of all.  There are too few of these bozos who take their responsibilities seriously.  That's why primary fights are essential, not just for Joementum but for too many Congressmen who have been their too long and think they are only representing themselves.  

by Thaddeus 2006-01-11 07:31PM | 0 recs


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