The hearings are to begin at noon, with opening statements from each senator and then from Judge Roberts. The formal questioning will not begin until Tuesday.
I heard on the radio that those opening statements are going to be a half hour each. There are 18 Senators on the committee. I know it's easy to do the math, but I've got to scream out it pain:
That's nine hours!
Oh, but the Senators really need to burnish their image!
Well, good luck, guys and Dianne. Do you seriously think anyone will watch? I'm about as interested in the Supreme Court as a sane person can be and have been eagerly awaiting a new appointment for years, plus I've got this blog and this TiVo. Yet I have a hard time picturing myself putting up with all that crap.
The Judiciary Committee hearings are this horrible, hulking, bloated mass of blather. And here's John Roberts, who's honed his style in half hour arguments before the Supreme Court, where your opening lasts — what? — a minute before they challenge you with questions, to which you must supply perfect, crisp answers to make your points as your few precious minutes run out. And he'll have to sit there, controlling his facial expressions and not fidgeting before those Senators who have no rational conception of time. They'll fill up the entire day with political speeches, which no one wants to hear. A few journalists will wade through to find some passage to use in the news reports. Or do they even bother? Surely, they get paper copies of the speeches in advance. Presumably, the quotable lines are highlighted. And then we'll just listen to whatever the newsfolk extract from the morass for normal people to sample.
Sorry I'm so jaded already. But I am excited about the fact that this is the first time there is a Supreme Court confirmation hearing with bloggers around to cut through the crap. So I'm going to do my part. I'm setting the TiVo. Maybe we bloggers can find a way to do something different. We really must.
UPDATE: Well, the radio either got it wrong or I heard it wrong, but per Senator Specter, starting off the hearings, each of the 18 committee members will have 10 minutes to do an opening. So a mere THREE HOURS of Senatorial wind. Whew! What a relief!