Aw: Al Franken fights to stay awake during Kagan's remarks

I’m giving you two clips, the first (via Greg Hengler) of Senator Smalley “resting his eyes” as she drones on and the second of her entire opening statement. Make sure you watch both before passing judgment on him; half of you won’t stay conscious long enough to even comment on this thread. It’s that bad. But in Kagan’s defense, it’s always that bad: Granted, she’s bland even by the standards of Supreme Court nominees, but the opening remarks are necessarily pure pabulum. The point isn’t to say something memorable, merely to avoid saying anything that might be considered the least bit provocative. Anyone who’s sweated his/her way through the tedium of a law-school “personal statement” will recognize it instantly. Sample line: “I’ve learned that we come closest to getting things right when we approach every person and every issue with an open mind.” Like I say, it’s that bad.

In the spirit of mercy, I’ll offer you a tip: The meat of what she says comes from 8:58 to 11:40, so skip ahead unless you want to join Franken in dreamland. One bit that almost rises to the level of interesting, as highlighted by NBC:

Kagan praised the law’s “even-handedness and impartiality, even when it’s not always even-handed or impartial (“What it promises is nothing less than a fair shake for every American”); she talked about how the Supreme Court should be “modest”; and, sure to please court-watchers looking to see if she would uphold the health-care law, she said that the court should try to be deferential to the American people and its elected representatives (“the court must … recognize the limits on itself and respect the choices made by the American people”).

George Will offered some hypotheticals for her in that vein a few days ago. If I had to bet, I’d bet Graham is tasked with pursuing them.

Not pictured here, incidentally: Her introduction by the most popular politician in Massachusetts. And no, I don’t mean John Kerry.