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    Friday, January 13, 2006

    Alito and Concerned Alumni for Princeton

    Chris Bowers of My DD says Alito is lying when he says he can't remember whether or not he was a part of a group that wished to prevent women and racial minorities from Princeton. Obviously, I agree with Chris. This is a no-brainer.

    Alito is lying about his involvement with Concerned Alumni for Princeton, and the reason he is lying is because membership with such an organization demonstrates an embarrassing level of opposition to civil rights in this country that should disqualify someone from being a Supreme Court Justice.

    It should be embarassing and it should disqualify him. Whether he was a member of the organization or not, the fact that he reported membership on his application (and professed pride to have been part of the group) should be enough to disqualify him. It's really strange to me that Trent Lott could be raked over the coals (and rightly so) for his statement wishing that Strom Thurmond had been elected president to "avoid all these problems", but actual membership in a racist and sexist group seems not to be causing problems for Alito.

    This whole episode really shows how culturally acceptable racism and sexism continue to be. I'd like to think that there was a time where his having even said he was a member, true or not, would reveal him as a racist who should not be working as any sort of public servant, much less as a member of the Supreme Court. Perhaps that's naive.

    NYT titles a front page article Democrats Still Dislike Alito but Can't Stop Him where we learn what we already knew: no one's going to do anything except grandstand like Sen. Biden (sit your ass down!) and watch as Alito slides on through. No filibuster.

    I really wish that Harry Reid and Howard Dean could get their acts together on this and start a serious anti-Alito campaign. Everyone was saying, "Wait until the hearings; we have to give him a fair shot." Fine. But now that he's been questioned for days, it should be on. And in a year of Katrina and riots in France, questioning his stance on racial equality seems, frankly, too fucking easy. I guess this inertia is what you get when the party selects Reid, thankfully non-representative of the DP, as its leader.

    I mean, a decent line of questioning seems to me to be: "If you don't remember being a member of this organization, why did you mention in a job application? Were you lying? And, if you were, why did you want people to think you were proud of a past involvement in racist and sexist organizing?"

    Paul Rosenberg posts this (shrunken here) comment to Chris:

    Alito is most certainly lying (he remembered it 13 years later, but can't remember it today?) and this blows the center out of the GOP campaign to paint him as an honorable man. The Abramoff Scandal makes them particularly unconvincing in counter-attack mode on this one.

    Remember--his fall-back explanation on this one is that (he wasn't really a member of CAP) he was just lying to get a job. Which is precisely what he's doing right now.

    A respondent calling her/himself The Ugly American replied:

    You have no substantive argument so you attack the mans character.
    This is exactly why the Democratic Party is in decline.

    Allen Roe said, The man's character is an issue and SHOULD be attacked.

    First of all, when did it become okay to lie on a job application? (As Paul points out, he's doing it now or he did it then ...) But okay, let's say that The Ugly American is right and issues of character should be left out of the debate. Fine. What we're left with is that Alito was either a member of (or wished he'd been a member of) an organization which opposed racial and gender equality.

    The Left is pathetic on this. The senators, some of whom I generally adore, come off looking like camera-hams, making long statements as opposed to questions. The organizations haven't learned to pick their battles, so now I keep hearing this on all the talk radio programs analyzing the nomination of Alito: 'Well, they say that, if Alito was on the court, it would take women back decades. But they said that for everyone." It's a boy who cried wolf situation, and there's no denying that the real wolf is as sexist and racist and dangerous as the wolf we made every other nominee out to be.


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