At yesterday’s Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s, Senator Lindsey Graham pursued a line of questions regarding her “temperament.” He quoted a website where lawyers can rate judges which stated she was difficult and unjudicial and “stuck out among the other judges” for her harsh treatment of lawyers.
This morning, some have asked if questioning on her “temperament” is sexist. On the MSNBC program Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski repeatedly asked if this line of questioning would have been pursued had Sonia been a male nominee.
Well…Mika need only think back a few months to the Presidential campaign to find her answer. During the campaign, McCain was repeatedly questioned on his “temperament” and whether he was too hard on staff and colleagues. This Washington Post article neatly sums up the issue.
Or perhaps she could think back to John Bolton’s nomination hearing where he was repeatedly asked about his temper. This TIME magazine article, subtly titled “Temper, Temper, Temper” is a good primer on the Bolton smear job.
The bottom line: these are not questions reserved for women. Frankly, I thought this type of questioning was reserved for Republican men.
Fair? That’s still up for debate, but there can be no debate that both sexes (and parties) are subject to this line of questioning.