Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Talmudic question for Democrats

Orin Hatch says that he has searched all of the materials available to him and found no evidence that Sam Alito was actually a member of CAP. I assume that Alito was speaking the truth when he said he was a member of this despicable organization, but you never know with Republicans. The point that Hatch was trying to make is that Alito must have been a member, but not a very active one.

Now the Republicans have another tact. Lindsey Graham asked Alito directly, “Are you a closet bigot?” to which Alito, bravely offered, “I am not any kind of a bigot.” Graham then wrung his hands and poured out his heart about how “sorry” he was that Alito would have to endure the innuendo.

The right wing chattering chorus picked it up from there. For example: On Court TV, Stuart Taylor, columnist for the National Journal, (Princeton 1970) put it this way:

Every person who has testified about Alito, the ABA, liberals, conservatives, every person who has spoken to any newspaper or television station about Alito -- hundreds and hundreds of people have testified about every corner of his life or spoke in public about if for months – and there isn’t a grain of evidence anywhere that there is a grain of rascism and sexism in the man.

To which I say, “Fiddle-faddle!”

The National Association of Women Lawyers ("NAWL"), Committee for the Evaluation of Supreme Court Nominees, has evaluated Judge Samuel Alito for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Committee has determined that Judge Alito is not qualified to serve on the Court from the perspective of laws and decisions regarding women's rights or that have a special impact on women.

You can disagree with NAWL or not: that’s not the point. The point is that it is too late in the day to argue that Alito is beyond reproach when it comes to his attitudes towards women. Sure, he didn’t verbally harass a co-worker or make a joke about finding a pubic hair in a can of Coca-Cola, (not that that would disqualify him in the eyes of Republicans.) But the jurisprudence of Sam Alito is extremely hostile to women. If that isn’t sexism, I don’t know what is.

I can go down the line and point to the many decisions of Sam Alito that are hostile to the rights and interests of women, and minorities. Together they constitute good and sufficient reason for opposing Alito. Add in the fact that he is clearly less than candid in his conversation about CAP. Throw in his extremist view of Presidential power.

Sure, his confirmation is a foregone conclusion. Of course, the only way to stop it would be to filibuster. Yes, there is a risk of the nuclear option. But ask yourself this: WWHD?

That stands for What Would Hillel Do? He’s the Rabbi in the Talmud who asked,
“If not now, when?"
“… and tell them ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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