Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I almost cried along with Martha Alito today, when she dissolved into tears over the questions asked her husband and left the Congressional Chambers. The difference is, she was crying out of outrage and humiliation, and I was on the verge of tears from sheer boredom.

Judge Samuel Alita seems a mild-mannered, courteous and pleasant man. He also seems very evasive. He has a wonderful knack of using a lot of words to say nothing. In the hours he spent in that chair, evading the questions put to him, I learned just a few pertinent facts about him. I learned that he had "changed since his younger years and is a different man."

Well, now, that is downright illuminating. He doesn't explain further. He doesn't explain what he is changed FROM, which might be helpful. He doesn't voice any opinion on the issues, but simply skirts the issues, a born politician. But wouldn't it be nice to see someone in government say something, honestly and simply, without subterfuge?

The Senators were lined up to ask their questions. They each had thirty minutes to use up, so we learned an awful lot about them, chuckle, chuckle, but darned little about Alito. Finally, about twenty-five minutes into their monologues, the Senator of the Moment would ask a question. Then it was Alito's turn to skirt around, using legaleze to make it even more obscure.

As far as the Democrats go...they seem to have two worries....bigotry and abortion. The abortion question was simple....Alito just plain didn't give a straight answer to whether he is for it or against it. We all know he is against it, though. We've read it in the papers. But the it caused a little commotion, the only excitement of the day.

Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrat, evidently sent a letter Senator Arlen Specter, Republican Chairman of these Gawd-awful Hearings, asking for papers on a collegiate group that Alito had belonged to in his college days. Specter evidently didn't read the letter, or threw it away without responding. He claimed he never got the letter. Kennedy came up with an acknowledgment of his letter from Specter's office staff, and requested that the information be located.

Therefore, some poor soul in the basement archives has to dig through four boxes to find something about Alito and the College Group. You see, it seems that this group, called Concerned Alumni of Princeton, has a very bad reputation. They have been accused of being bigoted...and have stated their purpose to be that of keeping women away from obtaining Princeton educations. Martha didn't cry at this point, so evidently the prospect of women being shunned at Princeton did not bother her. It was later, when her husband was asked...."Are you a bigot?" that she left the room, in tears.

Now, let's say someone is a bigot. Are they going to admit it to the United States Congress? No way. The most prejudicial, narrow-minded and stubborn Republican would never admit bigotry before Congress. In fact, he would probably hug a Gay rather than admit bigotry. He would offer to write a Pre Nup for a gay couple rather than admit bigotry.

You see, it's all right in this Republican world to resent and inhibit Gays, but you can never admit you feel anything more than Brotherly Love for them. The same goes for Pregnant Unmarried Women......sanctimonious pity, laced with gentle concern. No Bigotry at all. No, sirree!

We've gone crazy in some peculiar way. In Michigan, a divorced man was taken to court because he saw his children on weekends with his longtime, live-in girlfriend in the house. They have lived together for many months since his divorce. The judge ruled that he could not see the children if the girlfriend was sleeping in the house, so on the nights the children visit him, she is forced to sleep in the car.

This, my friends, is Bigotry. We are talking about two consenting adults, choosing to live together without taking their vows. It is their business and theirs alone, and as long as the kids are treated with love and kindness, they will not be affected at all.

This case is headed for the Supreme Court. Who knows? It may be Alito's first decision to make. I believe he will be confirmed, unless they find some Smoking Gun that proves he has not told the truth, but I only hope he is more forthright as a Supreme Court judge than he is at a Congressional Hearing.

It is just too bad when a rerun of Seinfeld is far more interesting than a Congressional Hearing to select a Supreme Court judge who will be making decisions that will affect the lives of every one of us. I can only say one thing about those Hearings. ....there has to be a better way!