It’s not just TNR — the entire Village is out in force against the horrors of a female or non-white SCOTUS nom. Digby finds Tweety suggesting that picking a Latina judge would be a “cookie cutter” move:
Will he go to the usual cookie cutter. He’s supposed to pick a latina, a hispanic woman, would be a woman. Would he do that just because that’s sort of the unfilled void in his patronage plan so far?[….]
Matthews: Even if she was involved in a case which involved firefighters and the old question of the white firefighters fighting for their position and holding to what they have against the new breed guys, the people of color coming along? That’s the kind of fight that goes on all the time.
His patronage plan? Naming an African-American AG and giving a few women cabinet positions is not what I call a patronage plan. You know what a patronage plan is? It’s Jack Murtha getting his nephew millions of dollars of contracts, it’s making Michael Brown the head of FEMA, it’s the Jack Welch “Lost Boys” program (yeah, believe Bob Somerby’s conspiracy theories on that one). For God’s sake, it’s giving nearly every important job in this country to a wealthy white guy for the past 250 years.
But, oh, the horrors of a few civil service jobs going to black people! Richard Cohen has an incoherent screed about this today too:
As the time approaches for President Obama to choose a successor to Justice David Souter, the term “litmus test” will be heard throughout the land. The White House will deny applying any such thing, but the nominee will undoubtedly be chosen according to where she stands on abortion, unions and other issues beloved by liberals. This is fine with me, but what I want to know is where she stands on Frank Ricci. He’s a firefighter.
He is also the lead plaintiff in a case recently argued before the Supreme Court. It was Ricci’s misfortune to take — and pass — the New Haven, Conn., fire department’s exam for promotion to lieutenant and captain, and then have the job denied him because he is white. Others will argue — fatuously and, when they are before St. Peter, with heads bowed in shame — that race had nothing to do with what happened to Ricci, but the fact remains that had he been black, his uniform would already sport a lieutenant’s bar.[….]
ill Clinton tried to square the circle of affirmative action in his “Mend It, Don’t End It” speech of 1995. It was a moving and eloquent address in which he recounted his region’s history, reminding us of the depth and ferocity of racism in the South and elsewhere. Trouble is, the New Haven case proves that affirmative action was not mended at all. It remains noble in its ends and atrocious in its means, and it now provides Obama the chance to use his own family’s history — indeed his own history — to show why it ought to conclude.
Now, I understand that affirmative action is something that reasonable people can disagree about. I realize that there are anecdotal problems with its implementation that can be maddening. But how does Cohen know that there is a real constitutional issue with this case (he makes no real effort to argue this)? And why are the evils of affirmative action so obviously more important than issues like abortion and unions, which he casually derides?
I think there are a variety of reasons why the Village is getting all hot and bothered about affirmative action type issues. One is that, with most other “cultural issues” fading away, it gives them a chance to attack liberals for being “out of touch” with “regular Americans.” Another is that a lot of the stronger affirmative action policies involve civil service jobs (personally, I think this is very smart — you’d have to be crazy not to think having an integrated police department is incredibly important), which are likely to be pursued by ethnic white northerners, and the punditocracy consists almost entirely of white ethnic northerners. As with many things, it’s all about Chris Matthews’ cranky uncle.
But the most disturbing reason is that these idiots really believe that they themselves have risen to the top of a brutally competitive meritocracy. The reality is that, aside from Nero and maybe Kim Jong Il, there has never been anyone in human history who deserved his high place in society less than Richard Cohen and Chirs Matthews do.