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January 14, 2006

Alito Wrap-Up: Dems Get Schooled In Girl Power


“He’s a Springsteen fan, history buff and marksman. He can whip up a salmon pate…. His marriage proposal began as an offer to take dancing lessons.”    —
Martha Alito

It’s a sad day in Donkeyland when the Dems get upstaged not by an extreme and uncooperative SCOTUS nominee, but by his otherwise insignificant other.

As it turned out, the highlight of the week month was an “attack by proxy” attributed to the Democrats but staged by a Republican — and a member of the Senate “Gang of 14” no less.  … And did you know that Lindsey Graham — in what was apparently a clear ethical conflict-of-interest — was part of the team that prepped Scalito for the hearings (Alito and His Coaches: For Supreme Court Nominee, Hearings are an Inside Game – link)?  I hadn’t.

Mrs. Alito’s crying episode not only brought sympathetic attention to a supposedly embattled spouse, it rolled into the Senate as stealthily  as a “trojan horse,” allowing the Repubs to steal the women’s banner right out from under the N.O.W.- backed boys in blue.  Martha’s show of emotion (real or feigned) achieved two symbolic ends.  First, it helped frame Alito as part of a couple, softening the sense that steel wool Sammy doesn’t just play a robot during Senate hearings, but is one on the job.  Second, it bathed Alito’s hearing in female energy, washing away any recognition that Alito is generally unconscious to the fact that man comes in more than one gender.

So, here we are, five years into the Bush Show, and it’s still the White House giving Dems the dancing lessons in PR.  Hat tip to my readers for explaining Rove’s lack of preparation for Bush’s worse-than-awkward New Orleans drop in last week.

With all the points piled up from the “Martha moment,” what else mattered?

(images: CNN video.  Screen shots.  January 11, 2006.  Alito Confirmation Hearings.  Washington.  Via

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