Today marks the start of the Sotomayor confirmation hearings. I'm listening now as I blog and enjoy my morning yogurt. Now usually congressional hearings are a big puppet show, the definition of political theatre. They feign to be asking questions so they can get answers and determine a course of action based on those. And of course, normally, they have already determined the course of action a week or so before, or they're getting the answers they really need off the record, behind the scenes, under the counter. What we see is the congressional equivalent of Hulk Hogan vs the Undertaker. Psst - Hulk is gonna win!
Monday, July 13, 2009
However, sometimes the event provides useful information the congress critters. The hearings are not for these guys to learn more about Sotomayor - they did that research a long time ago. The new information they're getting is going to be from us.
Sometimes when you are holding the Undertaker in a hammerlock, you play the crowd. You listen to the response - it builds, it crests, it falls, then you let the Undertaker go. The fun part of this hearing is going to be watching the questions as the week goes on. Democrats will probably remain about the same tone-wise, but there's potential for Republicans to get less civil or more civil, and for the confirmation vote to be less or more monolithic, depending on how we react.
So in other words, at least it's INTERACTIVE political theatre.