Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Mrs. A. Breaks into Tears
Again today I watched the Alito hearings. What stood out for me is not how Alito refused to talk about abortion, absolute presidential powers, or his membership in a Princeton anti-women, anti-minority club (CAP). What stood out is how often he and his wife looked ready to burst into tears.
And now I’ve just heard that Mrs. A. did indeed break into tears, not long after Mr. A. was questioned by Republican Senator Graham Lindsey this evening.
I suspect Mr. A. will be confirmed, and I’m afraid he’ll end women’s rights over their own bodies, along with a bunch of other goodies we've perhaps taken for granted over the years.
Particularly disturbing is the woman who called into CSPAN and complained that Democratic Senators were roughing Mr. A. up and making his wife cry.
Actually, I noticed from the very first of the hearings -- which began yesterday -- that Mrs. Alito, a librarian, showed signs of extreme stress whenever a Democrat questioned her husband. When a Democrat came up to bat she would stare into space about ceiling height, with a sorrowful look on her face. She'd freeze in that posture. Rarely did she look around or even blink -- just stared blankly with her mouth turned down. I noticed this because when the camera moved in to show Mr. Alito, it always showed Mrs. A. behind him. And something about her often disbturbed me -- something that kept drawing my attention away from Sam. Finally, early this morning, it dawned on me: this woman is trying very, very hard not to cry. She's holding on with every ounce of energy she has.
I felt sorry for her. However, to blame Democratic Senators for Mrs. A's tears is preposterous. The Senators excelled at questioning a man who, if elevated to the Supreme Court, will decide our fates for decades to come. And I suspect not in a pretty direction. But our Democratic Senators, voted into a minority position, won't be able to do much about that, will they? All they can do is try like crazy to get our attention re: how bad Alito is.
We need to ask where Mrs. A's tears came from. Sorrow for her husband? Sadness over having her husband questioned about his membership in an anti-woman, anti-minority club? At his statements that abortion is wrong even if it jeopardizes the life of the woman? Were they tears of embarrassment over being married to such a man? Or tears of revulsion at being married to him? Will we ever know?
7:35 PM: “Republican Women for Choice” just came out against Samuel Alito.