Must-Leave TV
I was just about to turn on the Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor this morning, when I remembered that doing so would subject me to the sequential opening statements of 12 Democratic and seven Republican senators. And, with Joe Biden now gone from the Judiciary Committee, I wouldn’t even be able to count on one of his legendarily meandering, free-association confirmation hearing riffs to keep me entertained. Plus, these are usually the kind of partisan soliloquies (mostly written by staff), which leave you wondering whether Democrats and Republicans are even talking about the same nominee. So, I turned my attention to other pressing political matters.
That being said, I actually spent a fair bit of time following the political prelude to this week’s confirmation hearing. With so much of the actual proceedings dominated by a kind of stylized partisan kabuki among the senators, it is in this pre-hearing period that we typically get the best read on the likelihood of confirmation. Sotomayor’s nomination has been out there for about a month and a half now, and I haven’t seen any signs that it is in real danger of failing. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham seemed to have it just about right this morning, when he said Sotomayor would need a meltdown to jeopardize her confirmation. Even so, I’ll probably watch some of the Senate Q&A over the next few days, in hopes of catching some engrossing political theater.

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