What About Lindsey Graham?

For me, one of the most exciting moments of the Alito hearings was Senator Feingold demanding a list be made public of all the people who took part in Alito's preparations. Here was something that Alito had to answer for, factually speaking. He couldn't forget. He couldn't squirm out of it. He couldn't wave it off, saying that the issue might come up before him in court. He had to answer.

So of course I found Feingold's request even more important in the aftermath of Lindsey Graham causing Alito's wife to have a breakdown. It's a well-established fact that Graham was involved in the preparations. Some have wondered whether or not the spectacle of Alito's wife crying during the hearing was something that was rehearsed before hand, as the right-wing message machine blamed the whole thing on the mean ol' Democrats, even though it was a Republican who set her off. I can't claim to know either way.

What does bother me greatly is that Graham's name does not appear on the disclosure list of those in attendance at Alito's murder boards. Here's a graphic file of the PDF posted by Think Progress.

Am I missing something? Unless I'm wrong, this is not a full and accurate list of the people involved in preparing Alito for the hearings. And as Kos points out, disclosure of the names of those involved is a very serious subject, as it raises some real ethical questions. Here's hoping the full list -- the real full list -- is released soon.

Final Alito Thread

This is it for me--no more posting in Washington. I am going to skip town and head back to my beloved Philly soon. (yey!) Before I go, I would like to announce that "Borkemada" won the Guess Alito's Freeper User Name contest. User Clare Boothe Lucid should send me an email at chris@mydd.com, so she can claim her prize. I will get back to her tomorrow at the latest.

We can still beat Alito, even if the odds are against it right now. Winning the post-hearings spin is important in this process, so check out Bill Scherr for some really good post-hearings messaging.

I would like to give a big thanks to everyone who helped me out in DC this week, and a big shout out to the blogopshere in general. I think we did a much better job this time than we did on Roberts. There is still some real opposition left in this country.

Finally, I thought that Senator Kennedy's statement today at the end of his questioning was a very good summary of why Alito should not be confirmed. I have included it in the extended entry.

There's more...

Cry Me a Murder Board

The story about Borkemada's wife crying during the hearings is getting a lot of ink today, which is yet another sign of just how well the established news media is doing its job. One thing the stories on the tears seem to miss is that she started crying during Lindsay Graham's questioning, and Lindsay Graham helped prepare Alito for the hearings. Hmmm... that seems a little fishy, doesn't it?

Jane Hamsher writes about the incident:

It was an old trial attorney trick that Graham pulled out of his briefcase yesterday, and the NYTimes and the teevee media are lapping it up. Suckers.

The trick goes like this: when you have bad information about a witness who will be testifying for your side at trial, you get out in front with the information by bringing it out yourself rather than let the other side pull it out. That way, when the other side gets around to it, the bad stuff seems like old news.

You know -- the fact that CAP was a bigoted, white boys only club, kind of organization. The kind of group that thought it was appropriate to call a female student's mother to inform her that her Catholic daughter was using contraception...talk about respecting privacy rights and individual freedoms. Hoo boy!

Joseph Hughes writes (emphasis in original):The fact that the press fell all over itself to document the tears tells me exactly how seriously the Fourth Estate is taking these proceedings. Answer: Not seriously at all.

I understand that these hearings stretch long into the night, but this is only the third day, people. This whole "ordeal" will wrap up within a few days. I'm sorry, but if a week of extended questioning - it's not like the Republicans are grilling Alito - is too much for you, color me unsympathetic. This is a lifetime appointment.

Jeralyn Merritt writes:I also think Lindsay Graham has some explaining to do about his dual role as murder board coach and hearing officer.James Wolcott writes:Then Mrs. Alito suffered a case of the weepies that was so dramatically well-timed and patently maudlin that I was reminded of the classic stage direction in Private Eye (takes out onion, wipes away tear), and suddenly the proceedings turned into a soap opera with Fox News commentators arriving on cue to deplore the toll taken on innocent bystanders in these brutal proceedings. From their sympathetic clucks and disapproving tones you would have thought Alito had been subjected to a Stalinist show trial presided over by Randi Rhodes in a bad mood rather than honey-tongued Lindsey Graham asking Alito with tender solicitude, "Are you a bigot?" The whole thing stinks of being staged.

Alito's Freeper Name: The Finalists

Right now there is a poll up on the front page about the Guess Alito's Freeper User Name. I chose the finalists, but you guys will choose the winner. Check it out and vote.

This is also an open thread.

Weren't These Hearings Supposed To Be About Alito?

I have learned a few things in DC these past three days. I have learned from Republican Senators that Justice Ginsberg is the most ultra-left wing person on the planet. I have learned from these same Senators that her appointment to the Supreme Court means that Republicans should be allowed to appoint Ayatollah Sistani to the court (assuming that he converts to evangelical Christianity, of course). I have learned that posting something about a weird picture in a Senator's office will get you noticed. I have learned that despite all my efforts, Washington DC's street plan still escapes my meager directional skills. I have even learned that there is a free wireless service somewhere outside the office where I am working.

One subject I have not learned much about, however, is Samuel Alito. In fact, other than that he is into stonewalling and is lying about his involvement with certain equality-challenged organizations, I haven't learned anything new about him at all. These hearings were supposed to be about Samuel Alito, but in truth we haven't really learned anything knew about him. We already knew that Alito was a lot like Bork, but we knew that because ,Alito praised Bork before the hearings, not because of anything he said during the hearings. Had he been asked about Bork during the hearings, he probably would have declined to comment altogether.

I think this is a point democrats should hammer home (and, admittedly, to a certain extent, that is why they are asking for more time). The entire Republican strategy in these hearings was to reveal as little about Alito as possible, except that he is a "nice guy," or something. Well, it worked: we didn't learn much of anything new about Altio. Hard to imagine Republicans will disagree with us on that point.


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