Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Being a Bully

Senator Lindsey Graham in essence called Judge Sonia Sotomayor a bully today. While listening to his attack on her temperament, I couldn't help but to think that Senator Graham himself is a bully. I have never known male judges seeking such a distinguished position asked whether they were bullies.

The whole line of questioning from Senator Graham just seemed sexist. How many times are men labelled as difficult? Many of these guys just seem so out of touch with the era. Please excuse my ignorance, but is this a southern thing? Senator Graham of South Carolina and Senator Sessions of Alabama were way out there today. They appeared so personal and not so professional.

When Senator Graham asked Judge Sotomayor about her opinion of being called a bully, he interrupted her response saying, "If I may interject judge. They find you difficult and challenging more than your colleagues. The only reason I mention this is because it stands out." Graham mentions other negative labels. I wonder if women find her "difficult," "challenging," "excitable," "angry," and "temperamental." Who made these assessments? Men perhaps? Graham continued: "These statements about you are striking...This is pretty tough stuff that you don't see about others judges on the 2nd Circuit."

I did not like these questions that did not focus on her many years of judicial rulings, but one line spoken in a speech. The questions appeared to be sexist and demeaning. The look on Judge Sotomayor's face evokes sympathy, while Senator Graham seems clueless to his bullying. Is he not even aware that he has an audience? Everybody knows that she will be confirmed; Senator Graham himself even said so yesterday in the hearing. So, the question is, who is he performing for and I wonder if women are among these?


Linda S. Socha said...

I agree.....well said Judith


Judith Ellis said...

The Senate needs fresh faces and ideas, Linda. Senator Graham admires Strom Thurmond for his longevity in the Senate. I do not.