Maureen Dowd, in today’s New York Times, gets it just right about the ongoing confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to become a Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor has learned her coached lessons well: that is, don’t say anything; be as bland as possible; don’t let the old white guys get under your skin. Listening to the re-caps of yesterday’s hearing, it was astonishing to witness the patronizing and condescending behavior of the senators toward the judge. The most outrageous was when Senator Lindsey Graham asked about her judicial “temperament,” and said that it was reported that she was “nasty” and “a bully.” This is a classic case of gender bias: a male in a similar situation would be called “aggressive”; a female is “a bitch.” Today’s hearing appears to be more of same. These hearings take on the aspect of an old-fashioned college fraternity hazing: something horrifying to endure in order to become a member of the club. It is an unseemly spectacle.