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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Rounding Out My Monica Goodling Obsession

Unlike Orin Kerr, I haven't limited myself to an hour of the Monica Goodling testimony today.  In an effort to stall on grading, I've watched way too much of this.  (Although it turns out you can get some work done when the Republican congressmen do the "questioning," as they are far more interested in making speeches than asking any questions.)   Nevertheless, like Orin, I can't help but notice how inept the questioning is across the board.  Those congresssmen actually asking questions seem incapable of going beyond their prepared scripts.  And when Goodling gives an answer that offers some humility, a mea culpa, or some cagey evasiveness, the questioners don't seem to know how to follow-up at all.  At the end of the day, we are not likely to know much more about why the 8 (or  9) US Attorneys were selected for firing than we did yesterday.  What we do know is that the insinuation that Goodling is inept because she went to a "4th Tier" law school must surely be wrong.  As Orin says, Goodling comes off a lot better than those asking the questions. 

Posted by Adam Gershowitz on May 23, 2007 at 03:33 PM | Permalink

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"Republican congressmen do the "questioning," as they are far more interested in making speeches than asking any questions."

Yeah, they could learn a thing or two from Democratic Ted Kennedy, who never makes speeches but instead asks direct questions.

Posted by: Observer | May 23, 2007 4:59:34 PM

Adam: Did you feel the same way (about Goodling or the questions she's been asked) during Artur Davis's questioning?

I'm not sure she came off all that great earlier either. Especially the part where she basically said, "Sure, I used partisan/political concerns that probably violated civil service laws in hiring various folks, now that I think about it. Was that so wrong"? [note: use of quotation marks does not indicate actual direct quotes, but that was the gist of it]

Posted by: Joseph Slater | May 23, 2007 6:06:40 PM

Joseph,

I think I put up the post a few minutes before Rep. Davis began his questioning. I thought he did a MUCH better job, though I would have liked to have seen him close out his questioning by more clearly asking whether she felt "uncomfortable" because Gonzales was trying to get their stories straight. He touched on this, but he didn't push her very hard on it.

I would agree with you that Goodling did not come out smelling like a rose. Still, I think she out-performed the committee. (This is why I think the Senate should subpoena her. With more time and greater skill, someone like Arlen Specter or Diane Feinstein would get better answers.) As for her admission to using partisan concerns, I certainly wouldn't say that makes her look good. But the fact that she owned up to it and the congressmen didn't seem to know what to do with that information (in spite of the fact that they probably got a proffer about it ahead of time), just seemed embarrassing to me.

Posted by: Adam Gershowitz | May 23, 2007 6:42:54 PM

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