Senator Kennedy’s thuggish behavior yesterday led to the moment the public is going to remember from the Alito hearings. Kennedy’s viciousness caused the nominee’s wife to burst into tears and leave the room. 

“Maybe now Americans will under stand what a ruthless, partisan bunch of bullies walks the halls of Congress – pretending to statesman status,” New York Post editors write. 

“If they don’t, they should talk to Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito’s wife, Martha-Ann Bomgardner.”

The Associated Press reported:

“‘She’s sick and tired of the mistreatment of her husband,’ [Senator Orrin] Hatch said. He also said that she was suffering from a migraine headache.

“She returned to the hearing room after a committee break, smiling and holding her husband’s hand.”

Mrs. Alito is emerging as the heroine of these hearings. Sitting behind her quiet husband, who was so patiently answering questions, she actually broke down when an embarrassed Senator Lindsey Graham was attempting to apologize for Kennedy’s boorish behavior:

“Are you really a closet bigot?” Graham asked Alito. The nominee said no, and Graham said, “No sir, you’re not.” 

A decent woman’s pain that this absurd issue was raised, and raised repeatedly and cruelly, was apparent on the network news shows. It made the hearing seem positively indecent, which it was.

The bright side of this is that the opponents of the nomination are doing themselves irreparable harm. Liberal columnist Richard Cohen laments that Biden is making a fool of himself, while Robert Novak notes that Kennedy is “shooting blanks.”

Martha Alito isn’t the first lady Ted Kennedy has made cry-but this time he did it on national television.