Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Short attention span theater

Pokerappgate is not really the kind of thing I would ordinarily post about here. But McCain's excuse that it was a three hour hearing is too ridiculous for me to bear. I'm looking at you too, Andrea Mitchell!

A three hour hearing!!! Take it from someone who does hearings for a living, a three hour hearing is short. In my racket, most hearings run from between a couple of hours to the entire work day (i.e. 2-9 hours), often with no break for lunch, because no one wants to have to come back for the dreaded second day. And every once in a while I have a case which involves a multi-day hearing (I second chaired a three day trial in January). I realize that I don't have the same kind of hearings that other lawyers and lawmakers have, but from what I can tell a three hour congressional hearing isn't all that unusual. Quite a few of the hearings that make the news are multi-day affairs.

I'm a pretty avid iPhone game player (not poker, but still games), but I don't ever play when I'm in a hearing. That's because it's my fucking job to pay attention to what is going on at those things. If I were unable to resist playing a game on my phone during a hearing, I would not be able to do my job competently. In my hearings the biggest thing that might be at stake is someone's job. They are not over whether a whole bunch of people are going to be incinerated in a bomb attack, like they are in Senator McCain's. Even with my comparatively low stakes, it is patently offensive for me to even consider goofing around when there is a serious matter like someone's livelihood is at issue. If McCain doesn't think the issue whether to launch a military strike on a foreign nation is important enough to get his undivided attention, maybe he should get another job.