Know when to fold ’em

There’s two things that jump out about the Sotomayor nomination: (1) the Village has a major hard-on for that New Haven affirmative action case (here; here; here) and (2) the Republicans are in a tough bind politically with this choice. Jay Newton-Small sums up the second point pretty clearly:

It’s no wonder that so many Republicans reacted to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court Tuesday by arguing that the confirmation process couldn’t be rushed: the GOP knows it has been dealt a bad hand, and it’s playing for time.

Villagers get hot and bothered about affirmative action because they believe, incredible as it seems, that their profession is a meritocracy. We’ve explored this delusion before. Republicans get hot and bothered about it because it has been a good political issue for them in the past.

But the fact is that screaming about about quota queens and welfare moms and young bucks buying T-bone steaks simply is not a magic bullet anymore. It works with white southerners and it works with Chris Matthews’ cranky uncle. But the Republican party has already maxed out with that demographic. Unless they can improve their standing with women, Latinos, and younger voters, they’re screwed. Obviously, attacking a Latino woman for being a Latino woman will hurt politically with Latinos and women. And younger voters don’t hear 40 year-old dog whistles that well.

If Republicans are smart, they’ll just keep walking, no matter how much Fred Hiatt eggs them on.






121 replies
  1. 1
    r€nato says:

    Christ, it’s 3am here. What am I doing up so early?

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    What am I doing up so early?

    Or so late.

  3. 3

    If Republicans are smart, they’ll just keep walking, no matter how much Fred Hiatt eggs them on.

    That is an Everest-sized If there padre.

    I was on a news-free vacation for the past few days. Have there been any signs of intelligent life in the GOP in the interim?

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    That is an Everest-sized If there padre.

    True.

    No signs of intelligent life recently.

  5. 5
    bob h says:

    Hatch should be informed that his suggestion of 90 days for the nomination process is unacceptable, and that if it goes beyond 70 or so, we will re-start the 2005 discussion of stripping the minority party of judicial veto power.

  6. 6
    Xel says:

    They lose even if they try to bite the bullet and let her pass uncontested – the base wants symbolic howling about any SCOTUS nominee that hasn’t “seen the light” regarding racial issues and injustice and won’t realize their aching, petty dream about overturning Roe. If they don’t get it they might stop acting like an instinctively anti-Obama attack-dog and get busy whining about their own party. Successes and triumphs for Obama will always fire up the base, but if Obama triumphs because of the surrender and deference of moderates in congress or elsewhere the pundits and the Palimbaugheney-base will puke their guts out for the injustice of it all. Conservative posturing and avalanches of hostility is never a bad move! One more wave of united attacks, please!

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    Too late, DougJ. They’ve already been all over the airwaves screaming and waving their hands over that dangerous brown woman. She’s already been dismissed as a strictly affirmative action choice by Pat Buchanan and Karl “Harriet Miers” Rove questions her intelligence. And the fact that she has stated that her background has driven her to understand the people involved in cases before her just shows she’s a commie Constitution hater. The meme seems to be she will be unable to overcome her childhood poverty, woman parts, and wetbackness in order to provide fair rulings in favor of wealthy white males as our Founders intended.

  8. 8
    zoe kentucky in pittsburgh says:

    This is going to get ugly fast. I can only hope and assume that the Obama administration is ready for it.

    The right-wing is all hot and bothered and ready to go totally berzerk over her, thankfully for us they’re tone deaf enough not to realize how wrong they sound when they say certain things. It hasn’t been 24 hours and we have people like Inhofe already questioning her ability to be objective based on the fact that she’s a woman and a minority and others, like Rove, saying she’s just not that smart. I expect that it will only get worse as time goes on.

    On top of all that they just can’t stop talking about how much they hate “empathy,” because they believe that judges aren’t allowed to be passionate about anything. (Like Scalia is a textbook example of objective, cold jurispudence.) They’ll talk a lot about affirmative action because they want to convince people that Sotamoyer is only where she is because of it. They tried to do the same about Obama and see how well that turned out for them.

  9. 9
    El Cid says:

    Wise Republican philosopher and scientist Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) worries that we have to be careful to preserve an objective approach:

    In the months ahead, it will be important for those of us in the U.S. Senate to weigh her qualifications and character as well as her ability to rule fairly without undue influence from her own personal race, gender, or political preferences.

    I thank God every day that Inhofe is able to help move a good, patriotic agenda forward and protect us from Al Gore without ever letting his own personal race, gender, or political preferences exert “undue influence”.

    ‘Cause right wing white male Southerners & Westerners are the default measure of all objectivity.

  10. 10
    IndieTarheel says:

    @geg6:

    Karl “Harriet Miers” Rove questions her intelligence.

    The irony of a college dropout questioning the intellect of someone who graduated summa cum laude from Princeton (at a time when the institution had a quota on how many women were even allowed to attend) is well in excess of the lifetime minimum requirement.
    Then again, he probably saw the words summa cum laude and thought it was either an elitist Italian soup or a p0rn title…

  11. 11
    MattF says:

    Well, they’re just going to have to vote for or against her. It is a bit uncomfortable, having your balls stapled to the wall by the President of the United States of America.

  12. 12
    DBrown says:

    Guys, as you endlessly talking about the Supreme Court selection, while North Korea has set off a bigger atomic bomb (thank you ass-wipe George Bushwhack). We have in answer have declared a search of all North Korean ships that might be carrying nuclear material out of Korea for delivery to terrorist or rouge States. North Korea has answered that it will attack South Korean and Japanese targets using missiles if we do this (how can we not considering the alternative?)

    If these events start to transpire this could very well be a start of all out war between the Koreas and us since we still have troops in both countries and could be sit by with thousands died from such an attack in allied nations? Millions of soldiers could then be fighting and this leaves open a possible nuke exchanged.

    So why in the f%#k are we are obsessing about this SC nominee?

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    If these events start to transpire this could very well be a start of all out war between the Koreas and us since we still have troops in both countries and could be sit by with thousands died from such an attack in allied nations? Millions of soldiers could then be fighting and this leaves open a possible nuke exchanged.

    I really don’t think any of this will happen.

  14. 14
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    … carrying nuclear material out of Korea for delivery to terrorist or rouge States.

    They haven’t given up on that Confederacy thing yet? ;)

  15. 15

    Given how the Republicans’ only chance is to claim that Sotomayor is somehow inexperienced or unqualified, it makes perfect sense for them to pretend she’s only ruled on one case in her entire life.

  16. 16
    DBrown says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal): What? Its rather early and I’m slow.

    DougJ I hope you are right because N. Korea doesn’t need to back down considering how many wars we are fighting – but can we back down considering what happens if nukes get out to real bad guys (these are real bombs)? This isn’t looking good. When is the last time we had troops facing a nuke power … lets see, the USSR but they weren’t loons we were. Also, we never fought a hot war with them unlike Korea.

  17. 17

    You know how the racist wingnuts like Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan are holding up the Ricci case as “proof” that Judge Sotomayor is a “reverse racist”? Do you think they actually realize that there are hispanic plaintiffs along with white plaintiffs in that case? So with their logical gymnastics I guess they are saying Sotomayor is a self hating reverse racist against her own people.

    The sad thing is nobody in the media has even pointed this discrepancy in their logic out to them so far.

    http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/s.....ci-effect/

    As Tom discussed, much attention will now turn to Judge Sotomayor’s record as a judge on the Second Circuit, and in particular on the decision she joined in Ricci v. New Haven, the case involving a suit by white and Hispanic firefighters passed over for promotion when the City declined to implement the results of a promotion test upon which black firefighters performed disproportionately poorly.

    Joe Scarborough, Pat Buchanan, and Mike Barnicle have been decrying the plight of white men all morning on Morning Joe today. Gah

  18. 18
    MikeJ says:

    rouge States.

    I don’t like the red states either, but I don’t think they’re buying nukes from NoKo.

  19. 19
    gocart mozart says:

    Apparently she should have shown more empathy to the white firefighters, overruled precedent and legislated from the bench against the city of New Haven. Do I have that about right?

  20. 20

    The GOP has been dealt a bad hand? Bwahahahahaha! She forgot to mention that they were the dealer! Obama’s just calling their punk ass bluff.

  21. 21
    gocart mozart says:

    Also, “federal courts should micro-manage the hiring decisions of local communities”, is now a bedrock “conservative” principle. We live in interesting times.

    And lastly, no matter which way she decided, she would have been making a decision with future policy implication.

  22. 22
    r€nato says:

    @DBrown:

    you don’t pay much attention to DPRK rhetoric, do you?

    hyper-hyperbolic rhetoric is their style.

  23. 23
    jon says:

    What the Republicans mean by “adequate time to deliberate on the confirmation” is that they need time for the Supreme Court to decide the New Haven case before they go on an all-out attack against her for her lower court decision on the same case. Although it would look kind of bad if they attacked her on it and the highest court backed her up, many Republicans are willing to risk looking less-than-wise on the issue. Maybe that should be “most”.

    In other words, they don’t want to use that case to label her an activist judge until the conservative activist judges overrule her activist judgment regarding the actions of the activist board in New Haven, which spurred some firefighters to activism. Or something like that.

  24. 24
    Fulcanelli says:

    @geg6: The meme seems to be she will be unable to overcome her childhood poverty, woman parts, and wetbackness in order to provide fair rulings in favor of wealthy white males as our Founders intended.

    Well put.

    @DBrown: Aren’t all the rouge states here in the US? Is North Korea arming Mississippi?

    The Dems need to ditch Harry Reid and elect a Senate leader with balls enough to club hypocrites like McConnell, Sessions and DeMint over the head like the red-headed baby seals they are and put an end to this Republican nonsense.

  25. 25
    kay says:

    None of it matters.
    She took the traditional route. She racked up all the requisite elite schools, and all the academic honors. She has more experience as a judge than any current sitting justice had when they were nominated.

    She went up the ladder, in the precise manner we’re all told to go up the ladder, in the precise manner every current sitting justice went up the ladder, and she’s still suspect.

    So, you tell me. How was she supposed to get there? What would make her “legitimate”?

    They’re not just saying “she can’t have it because she hasn’t earned it”. They’re saying that if you’re a person like her, you cannot get there legitimately. Because there’s no route. The traditional route isn’t sufficient, and they won’t reveal what might be sufficient, in her case.

    She can’t get there.

  26. 26
    El Cid says:

    WRT to North Korea, John Bolton once again talks really tough and bullsh*ts about “pressure” and the awesome Bush Jr. approach while ending up hoping that China does something or other about North Korea.

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    The traditional route isn’t sufficient, and they won’t reveal what might be sufficient, in her case.

    Silly. She could have been born with a penis to a family that only spoke English. Her failure to do these things proves she doesn’t have the temperament for the Supreme Court.

  28. 28
    over_educated says:

    If Republicans are smart…..

    But really, they are not smart. Not anymore. They have completely morphed into the Democratic party during the Reagan years (actually even worse, at least the Democrats had an agenda that thought long-term). I forsee weeks of beating on Sotomayor, at least until some moron steps too far across the line and the hispanic/latino community proceed to do an old fashion media beat down.

    /popcorn

  29. 29
    Napoleon says:

    Wow, all 3 of your examples are from the liberal WaPo. Who would have guessed. And of course Jeff Rosen gets mentioned.

  30. 30
    gypsy howell says:

    I believe Lindsay Graham is a rouge state senator. Lipstick and powder too.

  31. 31
    DBrown says:

    @MikeJ: Hope you are right. Also, sorry for the rouge vs. rogue … typing too fast.

  32. 32
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @geg6: @sgwhiteinfla:

    Do the Republicans think that sending Pat “Scrub Stock” Buchanan and Tom TanKKKredo out to call Sotomayor a racist is going to persuade anyone who doesn’t already subscribe to their Bizarro version of the world? I realize that yelling something loudly and repeatedly will help get their “message” out but the only folks who will be receptive are already in their bag.

  33. 33
    Michael says:

    I’d really like to know the questions that were on that Connecticut firefighters exam and the relationship between those questions and the job function.

    I’d also be wondering about whether there is a qualitative difference between deciles on that test and job performance. All too often, the right wing howls when the black guy who got an 83 gets the promotion over the white guy with the 86, and that seems a bit….hasty.

  34. 34
    gnomedad says:

    Point of order: “villager” == “Washington insider”?

  35. 35
    r€nato says:

    @kay:

    So, you tell me. How was she supposed to get there? What would make her “legitimate”?

    Being born white.

    You see, ‘white’ is the default skin color. White people are naturally born without any racial agendas, just like the default gender is ‘male’ and all males are born without any gender agendas.

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    @r€nato:

    That’s pretty much what I said,but I got sent to moderation jail, probably for use of the medical term for a wee-wee.

  37. 37
    eastriver says:

    Prediction: The RNC will be so gentle in the sanctioned attack that it won’t even resemble an attack. More of a collective frown cast Maria’s direction.

    But there will be a handful of fringers, spewing the spicy smears, still doing damage and hogging headlines. The RNC will act like they are pearl-clutchingly shocked by such crude tactics.

  38. 38
    eastriver says:

    Prediction: The RNC will be so gentle in the sanctioned attack that it won’t even resemble an attack. More of a collective frown cast Maria’s direction.

    But there will be a handful of fringers, spewing the spicy smears, still doing damage and hogging headlines. The RNC will act like they are pearl-clutchingly shocked by such crude tactics.

  39. 39
    Michael says:

    So, you tell me. How was she supposed to get there? What would make her “legitimate”?

    White skin, balls and a preening sort of evangelical conservatism.

    Nothing else matters.

  40. 40

    @kay: This is exactly right, exactly what everyone hears and exactly why the GOP has less appeal than a Limburger and lutefisk sandwich* and has become the party that only a WATB could love.

    The funniest part? They have no idea that the inferior types cracked their code ages ago so the GOPers will continue to screech about “merit” and they’ll continue to wonder why their voter demographics are rather … vanilla.

    You’d think they would have figured out that Dey Tukr Joobs! isn’t a winning battle cry after an African-American with a funny name got elected to the highest office in the land. But then you’d realize we’re talking about the dumbest bunch of motherfuckers to ever hold office and make some more popcorn.

    *With RealAmerican(R) mustard, natch.

  41. 41
    someguy says:

    The judicial nominations process, post-Bork, is just another excuse for shrill partisan temper tantrums. Very little that is said about Sotomayor through this process will be anything other than a projection of the speaker’s hopes, dreams, fears and neuroses on a nominee about whom little is or can be known.

  42. 42
    Napoleon says:

    I wish Sotomayor was gay also. That would really send the right into a tizzy.

    Oh well, maybe with the next pick.

  43. 43
    Brachiator says:

    @DBrown:

    If these events start to transpire this could very well be a start of all out war between the Koreas and us since we still have troops in both countries and could be sit by with thousands died from such an attack in allied nations?…So why in the f%#k are we are obsessing about this SC nominee?

    Perhaps because a fully functioning government, with all its branches fully impaneled (pace Al Franken) might help us deal with various world crises.

    And by the way, I’ll see your North Korea, and raise you a terrorist attack in Pakistan.

    Rescuers are searching the rubble of a police building in the Pakistani city of Lahore after a bomb attack killed at least 23 people and injured 200. Gunmen reportedly opened fire on guards before detonating a car bomb which flattened the emergency response building at police HQ. Nearby offices of the ISI intelligence service were also damaged. The interior ministry chief linked the attack to Taliban insurgents whom troops are battling in the Swat valley.

    The PBS program, Frontline World just featured a truly sobering program on the Taliban in Pakistan. Over 200 schools demolished, women who never dressed this way before now forced to wear the burkha, people listening to radio broadcasts for “further instructions” even when they disagree with the Taliban because they are afraid not to pay attention, the Pakistan army destroying a village in order to save it (sound familiar?), female correspondent blandly warned that she will be killed if she tries to attend a Taliban meeting, because she is a woman (she is allowed to send a male substitute).

    This most recent attack is in an area deep inside Pakistan, and raises serious questions about that country’s ability to withstand the Taliban offensive.

    Obama, and the nation, is going to need all available resources to deal with the challenges ahead.

  44. 44
    Scruffy McSnufflepuss says:

    No signs of intelligent life recently.

    Persistent vegetative state. But don’t worry- according to Dr. Frist, they’ll soon be up and about. Just don’t pull the plug on them!

  45. 45
    DougJ says:

    Point of order: “villager” == “Washington insider”?

    Basically. Here’s the origin of the term.

  46. 46
    Antwerp says:

    attacking a Latino woman for being a Latino woman will hurt politically with Latinos and women.

    Which Republicans are “attacking” Sotomayor for being a Latino woman Latina?

    Cite an example.

    And the Pat Buchanan clip is not being presented fairly. He is citing the quotes of Sotomayor herself when she stated that in effect, she is more adept at interpreting the law because she is a Hispanic woman, as opposed to being a white male. That’s what he’s referring to as “reverse racism”, and this is true.

    As for the Ricci case, she wrote a one paragaph opinion which so insulted Judge Cabranes he wrote:

    Indeed, the opinion contains no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case

    Her decisions have been overturned by the SCOTUS 80% of the time. Nowhere in Obama’s statement yesterday did he indicate that she would be the best nominee for upholding the tenets of the Constitution and interpreting the law with blind vigor—the stipulation of any justice—but only that she has the right background.

    But I understand this is the narrative within which liberals want to frame this debate. From the crowd that bellyached over the perceived abuse of the law from the last administration, supporting a SC nominee solely because she is a Latina, is hypocritical at the least.

  47. 47
    zoe kentucky in pittsburgh says:

    I wish Sotomayor was gay also. That would really send the right into a tizzy.

    Well, she is a never-been-married, childless woman so don’t be surprised if they start to suggest that she is a closeted lesbian.

  48. 48
    Napoleon says:

    @Antwerp:

    Her decisions have been overturned by the SCOTUS 80% of the time.

    Like everything else in your post a complete bs lie.

    Not even 1% of her decisions even get appealed, which makes it kind of difficult for 80% of them to get overturned.

  49. 49
    kay says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    I am genuinely baffled. If I’m this judge, I have to insist Pat Buchanan tell me how I get to the Supreme Court.

    I can’t take the John Roberts-Samuel Alito Ivy to lower court to higher court to highest court route, apparently, because that’s not valid, in my case. She was appointed by a Republican and then a Democrat and now another Democrat. Bipartisan! Check!

    She checked every freaking box on the rise to power list. Every one. She even lawyered in the private sector, and that’s supposedly Scalia’s big claim to legitimacy, that he crows about constantly.

    Private sector! Check! Got it!

    How does she get there? She doesn’t, right?

  50. 50
    Napoleon says:

    @zoe kentucky in pittsburgh:

    Well, she is a never-been-married,

    I thought I read that she was married briefly, and this morning I saw a picture of her years ago when she was appointed to the bench and it had a guy identified as her fiancée helping her put her robe on.

    Oh, and on the BS reversal meme, this says that of all her opinions only 6 have had a decision reviewing them (out of what, 100s?) and that her revesal rate is below average (good).

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c.....?ref=fpblg

  51. 51
    MikeJ says:

    Well, she is a never-been-married,

    Divorced.

  52. 52
    Michael says:

    Indeed, the opinion contains no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case.

    Doesn’t have to. The current brand of conservatism in wingnutopia requires 40 pages of dissembling, parsing opinion written by wingnut welfare recipient law clerks in preparation for their future employment as astroturf waterers; the rest of us in the real world tend to laugh at that.

    Fuck Cabranes. Same goes for Roberts and Scalia.

    But most of all, fuck the future Laura Ingrahams and Ann Coulters that currently draw public pay for padding their True Conservative resumes.

  53. 53
    zoe kentucky in pittsburgh says:

    Her decisions have been overturned by the SCOTUS 80% of the time.

    Um, only if 1% and 80% are the same to you.

    Why are you starting from the point of view that she’s not qualified for the job? Because she has spent more years as a sitting judge prior her nomination than any of the current SCOTUS justices? Yup, all those years as a judge certainly make her totally unqualified.

    I love it when people start from the position that she’s not qualified and then try to cherrypick reasons to back up that position all the while complaining that other people aren’t be objective.

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @DougJ:

    Basically. Here’s the origin of the term.

    Thanks for the link. This explains it very well.

    I think I became thoroughly revolted with the Villager mentality when I listened to Beltway pundits bloviate over what was happening after Katrina, as though New Orleans were a foreign patch next to Indonesia that had been devastated by a typhoon. I kept wondering, “why don’t you get off your lazy butts and simply go and take a look for yourselves?”

    And yet these fools kept delivering their “sober judgement” of the people of New Orleans, and of unfolding events as though their untethered opinions meant a damn thing.

    Still pisses me off.

  55. 55

    Antwerp

    Are you serious or just a snark filled parody?

    1. 80% of Sotomayors opinions have NOT been overturned. Its actually less than 1% of all of her opinions. Even if you tried to pull a fast one and say of all of her cases that actually made it to the supreme court it would still be only 50% as only 6 out of almost 400 of her opinions actually made it in front of the court and of those 6, 3 were overturned. Of course the going averages is above 70% so she is still well above average in terms of percentage.

    2. Pat Buchanan called Sotomayor an “Affirmative Action pick”. Try to come up with a way that that
    a) isn’t referring to her race and gender and
    b) is taken out of context.

    3. As for Cabranes

    http://washingtonindependent.c.....-sotomayor

    They have ignored, however, that when asked, the full Second Circuit Court of Appeals voted not to re-hear the case, suggesting that a majority of the judges on the court agreed with the three-judge panel’s opinion.

    Still, conservatives rely on the dissenting opinion of Judge Jose Cabranes, one of six judges who voted in favor of re-hearing the case, saying that Cabranes “chastised” Sotomayor for “going to extraordinary lengths to dispense with claims of unfair treatment raised by firefighters.”

    In fact, Judge Cabranes’ dissent never mentions Judge Sotomayor. It says simply that “the use of per curiam opinions…is normally reserved for cases that present straight-forward questions that do not require explanation or elaboration by the Court of Appeals,” and that the questions in this case, in his view, “are indisputably complex and far from well-settled.”

    So either you are doing a great job of parodying a wingnut or you have been brainwashed by Boss Limbaugh. Which is it?

  56. 56

    zoe

    Sotomayor has been married. She is divorced. But of course the closeted stuff will probably still come up.

  57. 57
    MikeJ says:

    If an appeals court is upholding the decision of a lower court, there’s rarely any need to blather on themselves. If you want to know the reasoning involved, go read the decision from the district court.

  58. 58
    Antwerp says:

    I thought I read that she was married briefly,

    Sotomayor is currently divorced

  59. 59

    I am genuinely baffled. If I’m this judge, I have to insist Pat Buchanan tell me how I get to the Supreme Court.

    Barring radical plastic surgery the moment you were born? A 100% GOP-approved record while on the bench.

    That’s the other problem with their screeches about elitism and merit. We’re not allowed to point out (for example) that their pretzledent is very wealthy and Ivy League educated. Despite the lifetime of privilege and years spent in the Dread Ivory Towers, he’s still just a good old regular joe you’d want to have a beer with. Also. Heh.

    However, a Democrat who is privately educated must be an elitist soc i a list*. If said Democrat is not Caucasian, s/he must be an elitist soc i al ist** who got where he is by taking the spot that should have rightfully gone to a Caucasian.

    *Take that stupid filter thingy.
    **And that!

  60. 60
    Ed in NJ says:

    The problem with idiots like Antwerp spouting his talking points is that almost all of what he said has starting to take hold in the public conversation, truth be damned.

    When do the Democrats start to show up and counter these false attacks? I know we are in recess this week, but Republicans have sure gotten off their asses to make their positions known. And once again, like the stimulus and Guantanamo debates, my TV is filled with mostly Republicans getting their false memes out there 24/7.

  61. 61

    Ed in NJ

    Chuck Shumer was on Morning Joe doing some pretty good pushback this morning and Barbara Boxer was on Rachel Maddow’s show doing a good job as well. I can’t speak for the other cable networks but I would assume they sent people to those as well.

  62. 62
    Flukebucket says:

    I laughed and laughed this morning when I heard Jeff Sessions say that the appointment of Sotomayor presented a great opportunity for Republicans to educate the public.

    Oh please teacher. Tell me more!

  63. 63
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    The establishment that keeps the pitchforks of our better natures at bay by continually re-selling us the Horatio Alger myth once again reflexively savages a person who actually did work their way up from the bottom rung of the ladder. Consider their regard for Bill Clinton with that of their regard for G.W. Bush. Apparently, only those Americans who are born on third base with a twelve foot lead are to be lauded for scoring a home run.

  64. 64
    Xenos says:

    @kay: How does she get there? She doesn’t, right?

    You forgot to mention her time as a prosecutor – they can’t even trot out the she-defended-a-murderer/pervert line.

    Membership in the Federalist Society is the only legitimate route to power for these people. Everything else is after the fact bs.

  65. 65

    […] Juice: DougJ writes about the politics of affirmative action and a New Haven, Conn., firemen case in regards the Sotomayor […]

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @Antwerp:

    But I understand this is the narrative within which liberals want to frame this debate. From the crowd that bellyached over the perceived abuse of the law from the last administration, supporting a SC nominee solely because she is a Latina, is hypocritical at the least.

    Let’s put this lie to bed by revisiting Dubya’s nomination of Harriet Miers.

    He claimed that she was eminently qualified because he knew her heart (i.e., she would be a willing stooge for the evangelicals). But she was a close personal friend of Bush, and she had once referred to him as “the best governor ever.” I guess this was what you call vetting.

    Miers had a good, but not spectacular legal education, was admitted to the bar in Texas, but had not been admitted to the Washington DC bar. She had never served as a judge.

    Now, let’s go to the Wiki:

    Miers met with senators after her nomination was announced, and in those meetings she was ill-prepared and uninformed on the law. Senator Tom Coburn told her privately that she “flunked” and “[was] going to have to say something next time.” In mock sessions with lawyers, Miers had difficulty expressing her views and explaining basic constitutional law concepts. Miers had no experience in constitutional law, and did not have extensive litigation experience; at her Texas law firm, she had been more of a manager. Miers had rarely handled appeals and did not understand the complicated constitutional concepts senators asked of her. To White House lawyers, Miers was “less an attorney than a law firm manager and bar association president.”

    Early one-on-one meetings between Miers and the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were said to have gone poorly, and the White House considered suspending them to focus on preparation for the confirmation hearings. In an unprecedented move, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter and ranking Democrat Patrick Leahy also requested that Miers re-do some of her answers to the questionnaire submitted to her by the Committee, noting that her responses were “inadequate,” “insufficient,” and “insulting” because she failed or refused to adequately answer various questions with acceptable accuracy or with sufficient detail. Miers also privately expressed a belief in the right to privacy to the pro-choice Arlen Specter, only to later deny that she had communicated that. Her answers also included an error on constitutional law where she mentioned an explicit constitutional right for proportional representation; though many court rulings have found that legislative and other districts of unequal population violate the equal protection clause, the right to proportional districts is not explicitly mentioned in the United States Constitution.

    Miers is the gold standard of an incompetent nominee. And of course, Limbaugh loved her.

    By the way, Miers, like Condi Rice, was never married and had no children. But of course, being a single woman is not an issue if you are an official GOP handmaiden.

    So there you have it. Miers was nominated to replace Sandra Day O’Connor solely because she was a woman, and an evangelical. But not only had she never served as a judge, she could not even adequately explain constitutional law concepts.

    I will bet you good money that Obama and Sotomayor had a nice chat about the Constitution during a White House lunch.

  67. 67
    dmsilev says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    This is exactly right, exactly what everyone hears and exactly why the GOP has less appeal than a Limburger and lutefisk sandwich* and has become the party that only a WATB could love.

    I read that as ‘Limbaugh and lutefisk sandwich”, which I believe qualifies as “most disgusting combination of organic matter, ever”.

    -dms

  68. 68
    JGabriel says:

    MikeJ:

    I don’t like the red states either, but I don’t think they’re buying nukes from NoKo.

    Not yet.

    Maybe.

    .

  69. 69
    chopper says:

    It’s no wonder that so many Republicans reacted to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court Tuesday by arguing that the confirmation process couldn’t be rushed: the GOP knows it has been dealt a bad hand, and it’s playing for time.

    why would an upperdown vote take that long?

    oh, i forgot, the GOP is in the minority now. never mind.

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    they can’t help themselves. Sotomayor has more experience than any appointee in 70 years, but somehow , she’s ‘ unqualified’.

    Let them do what they do.

    Let them tell the Latino community that a Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton, with more experience than any nominee in 70 years, is simply an Affirmative Action hire.

    let them show that they were always who we thought they were.

    they truly cannot help themselves.

  71. 71
    kay says:

    @Brachiator:

    Antwerp needs to point me to what’s missing from her resume.
    As Xenos (correctly) noted, she also checked “prosecutor”, on the experience list.
    Ivy, Honors, lower court, higher court, private sector, prosecutor, bipartisan appointment(s).
    Put up or shut up, Antwerp. Why is she less qualified than Justice Roberts?

    Make a list. Let’s go.

  72. 72
    Zandar says:

    I wonder.

    The few Republicans left who are smart enough to realize that the worst case scenario is “We’ll piss off a good 70% of America to the point where they will not vote for us anytime within the next 20 years” have to really be scared.

    Not just worried or concerned, but downright terrified. Sotomayor + universal health care = loud squishing sound for the GOP.

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    Antwerp:

    Dude, there’s a typo in your handle. In English, the article preceding a noun that begins with a consonant is “a”, not “an”.

    .

  74. 74
    Robert Johnston says:

    If Republicans are smart, they’ll just keep walking, no matter how much Fred Hiatt eggs them on.

    As others have pointed out, that’s a let-everyone-have-a-pony sized “if.” However, Republican restraint here doesn’t require particular smarts. They’ll howl incoherently and mostly vote against Sotomayor, but they won’t really obstruct the nomination, largely because they simply can’t. They don’t have the votes. Going nuclear on party discipline in the face of the self interest of party members requires all Republican Senators to be Inhofian in their dimwittedness, and while they’re generally stupid, they’re not generally or uniformly that stupid.

    The Republicans have succeeded over the years in turning all confirmation battles into extremely high profile affairs. It’s possible that they’d be able to maintain party discipline on a confirmation vote if no one paid any attention, but people will pay attention. And once one or two Senators break discipline, that’s the end of the story.

  75. 75
    JGabriel says:

    A twerp:

    Her decisions have been overturned by the SCOTUS 80% of the time.

    Sotomayor has heard approx. 380 cases while on the 2nd Circuit. 3 were overturned by the Supreme Court. That’s a bit less than 1%, about 0.8%.

    Which means you’re off by about 10,000%; i.e., about the usual margin of error for wingers.

    .

  76. 76
    El Cid says:

    @JGabriel: Well, yeah, sure, if you’re going to use secular numbers and figgers.

  77. 77
    Krista says:

    Let them tell the Latino community that a Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton, with more experience than any nominee in 70 years, is simply an Affirmative Action hire.

    This. And it doesn’t just insult the Latino community, it’s insulting to anybody who isn’t a physically able white guy.

    There are an awful lot of women, racial minorities and handicapped people who, because of affirmative action, were finally able to not have discrimination close doors to them that should be open due to their skills and qualifications.

    And once they got through those doors, they worked their arses off to prove that they belonged there. And they likely still encountered a lot of discrimination while moving up the rungs.

    So to hear these privileged idiots, who have never had to endure discrimination, blather on about how Sotomayor is only being picked because she’s a non-white woman — well, I imagine it’ll piss off quite a lot more people than just the Latino community.

  78. 78
    kay says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s lame to compare her to Miers. This isn’t difficult, on paper. Just make a list. Check boxes.

    They’re ignoring relevant experience, and throwing around buzzwords, which tells me they have nothing.

    I hope they make the bogus affirmative action argument, and that’s all they have, so that’s what they’ll do, because they never, ever pick a battle. They engage on anything, like maniacs who don’t think 5 minutes past the next cable appearance, even an obvious loser, like this comparison. They set the terms, so let’s go. I’m fine with this fight.

  79. 79
    Antwerp says:

    Let’s put this lie to bed by revisiting Dubya’s nomination of Harriet Miers.

    Why? Nobody here is arguing Harriet Miers was qualifed to be a SC Justice, and nobody is making the comparison except you.

    While we’re at it, put the “lie to bed” by revisiting my “qualifications” to be a justice, of which there is none.

  80. 80
    DougJ says:

    And it doesn’t just insult the Latino community, it’s insulting to anybody who isn’t a physically able white guy.

    Define physically able.

  81. 81
    Antwerp says:

    Dude, there’s a typo in your handle. In English, the article preceding a noun that begins with a consonant is “a”, not “an”.

    Never heard that one before. You must be really smart, thinking that up all by your lonesome!

    Good for you slugger…

  82. 82
    JGabriel says:

    @Antwerp:

    Never heard that one before. You must be really smart, thinking that up all by your lonesome!

    Ooh, somebody got out of bed on the grumpy side this morning.

    .

  83. 83
    gbear says:

    One of the small benefits of republican footdragging over the Sotomayor nomination is that Al Franken will be in the senate by the time her vote comes up. I know he’s looking forward to that already.

    And what kay@25 said. Also.

  84. 84
    Xenos says:

    @Antwerp: Admit it, already. You have got nothing. Man up.

  85. 85
    kay says:

    @Antwerp:

    I asked you to compare her to John Roberts. Now that you have accused her of being unqualified, I think you have to do that.
    I didn’t know it when Obama made the pick, but I do now.
    I’ll argue Sotomayor, and you argue Roberts.
    You put in in play. Now you have to back it up, or admit you have nothing, and just did a knee jerk reaction based on your “feelings”.

  86. 86
    Krista says:

    And it doesn’t just insult the Latino community, it’s insulting to anybody who isn’t a physically able white guy.

    Define physically able.

    Good point. I was just writing for brevity, but I basically meant anybody who does not have a disability that is apparent to other people (but wouldn’t have an effect upon their ability to perform the tasks of their job), upon which people would base discriminatory judgments.

    I feel like I’m stepping into a minefield here, Doug. If so, and if I’ve inadvertently offended anybody, I do apologize. Basically I’m just saying that there are also people with physical disabilities who may have benefited from affirmative action, but who have worked their butts off to prove that they belong there just as much as anybody else, and who would likely not appreciate hearing derogatory remarks about how affirmative action beneficiaries basically just coast along and are handed everything on a platter.

  87. 87
    gbear says:

    @kay:

    Now you have to back it up, or admit you have nothing, and just did a knee jerk reaction based on your “feelings” talking points printout.

    Might be more accurate. I doubt Antwerp has any genuine feelings about it.

  88. 88
    burnspbesq says:

    @kay:

    What would make her “legitimate”?

    In the eyes of the Radical Right, only a Y chromosome and a lack of pigmentation would make her legit.

  89. 89
    Andrew says:

    “If Republicans are smart,” Hmmm and how likely is that to happen? Obama is laughing his ass off right now. This is the perfect thing to distract the lazy ass media away from the controversy over the, “Preventive Detention” Speech, which they didn’t really seem to understand or thought was too hard. The people attacking him from the left were just starting to get traction on that issue when he throws this bone to rile up republicans so they can line up with incoherent claims of affirmative action, activist judges and “raaaarrrrh The brown people are coming”.

    While it appears to once again show Obama to be a damn canny politician, and it is good to see Repulicans get their own wedge issues used against them. It worries me about when will we see meaningful solutions to the Gitmo fiasco

  90. 90
    burnspbesq says:

    @Antwerp:

    You need to put fresh batteries in your calculator, bucko.

    Judge Sotomayor has written over 150 opinions during her tenure on the Second Circuit. She’s been reversed three times.

    The way I do math, that’s a two percent reversal rate. Not 80. Two.

    You lie.

  91. 91
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Antwerp: I love it when my fellow citizens, my Republican brothers in this great experiment called “America”, realize that the only patriotic course of action is to do what the president wants.

    That is what we patriotic Democrats were told to do over the last eight years, if I recall correctly. There was something in there about no judicial filibusters being allowed, and that an “up or down” vote would be the only reasonable and rational course of action when dealing with the momentous occasion of a Supreme Court nominee.

    I assume, of course, that the same rules apply under a Democratic administration as a Republican one.

    I look forward to the “up or down” vote on Ms. Sotomayor’s nomination, don’t you?

  92. 92
    DougJ says:

    I feel like I’m stepping into a minefield here, Doug. If so, and if I’ve inadvertently offended anybody, I do apologize.

    Actually, I just meant that old white Republicans — e.g. Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh — don’t seem that physically able to me.

  93. 93
    kay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    My fear is that they’re letting their feelings, their whiny, petulant insistence that they are members of some maligned GROUP, get in the way of looking at the text.

    I hope that isn’t the case, but why not just look at the resume? Start there. Why’d they start with gender and ethnicity?

    Outside the four corners! I call foul!

  94. 94
    tc125231 says:

    @DBrown:

    If these events start to transpire this could very well be a start of all out war between the Koreas and us since we still have troops in both countries and could be sit by with thousands died from such an attack in allied nations? Millions of soldiers could then be fighting and this leaves open a possible nuke exchanged.

    Have you considered letting China and Japan take the lead on this? They have a much bigger army in the neighborhood, and North Korea has an army of 3 million people.

    They also have a lot to lose.

    Or are we the cops of the world?

  95. 95
    Krista says:

    Actually, I just meant that old white Republicans—e.g. Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh—don’t seem that physically able to me.

    True, but having a lump of coal where one’s heart should be isn’t a physical disability that is immediately apparent to the outside world, so they get a pass.

  96. 96
    El says:

    Now you have to back it up, or admit you have nothing

    This is like challenging a parrot to justify its last human sounding sqwak.
    You’re just going to get the same thing over and over because there is no actual thought involved.

  97. 97
    burnspbesq says:

    I wish my Spanish were better, so I could see how this is being spun on Univision and Spanish-language radio (especially by El Cucuy and Piolin, who are the most important opinion shapers that most white folks have never heard of). My guess is that Hispanics are already at a slow boil over the Radical Right and the Village’s treatment of Sotomayor, and won’t be cooling down for quite some time.

  98. 98
    anonevent says:

    @Krista: Actually as a white guy who grew up in a poor family, I have seen plenty of things not available to me just because I was different. The weirdest thing was the bully in my gifted program because I was the only one from the poor school. And as we’ve said on other threads, those of us who are not sociopaths – sorry, I mean Republans – can understand the problems other people face without having to experience it ourselves.

  99. 99

    Antwerp is a spoof troll. Could be DougJ trolling his own thread, or another of the trollgang just bored and taking a shot this morning.

    In any case, ‘Twerp, your work is pretty lame. Keep your day job.

  100. 100
    burnspbesq says:

    @kay:

    Because if your opposition to Sotomayor is based on qualifications and experience, you have nothing to work with.

    And because a reasoned discussion about judicial philosophy doesn’t inflame the base and open its checkbooks.

    On the other hand, a Brown Lezbo Affirmative Action Queen Who Rules Against White Firemen on the Supreme Court? Raw meat for the stoopid.

    Res ipsa loquitur.

  101. 101
    Persia says:

    @kay: That’s it exactly, Kay. Nicely put, but so depressing.

  102. 102
    kay says:

    @Persia:

    This cheered me up.

    Daddy Bush on Justice Thomas:

    “He is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor.”

    Do you think they planned it? It’s almost too perfect.

  103. 103
    Persia says:

    @kay: Alas, I think they’ve declared Daddy Bush a RINO by now. After all, he smiles at Bill Clinton at parties!

  104. 104
    gbear says:

    @Persia:

    I’d bet that Bush1 finds it easier to smile at Bill Clinton than at Bush2.

    Can you imagine the father/son dynamic with those two now?

    Yea, but I got to serve two terms. And two wars! So there!

    Yes son, but I didn’t leave the country in ruins.

    Yea, but shut up!

  105. 105

    @JGabriel:

    Dude, there’s a typo in your handle. In English, the article preceding a noun that begins with a consonant is “a”, not “an”.

    Win.

  106. 106
    AhabTRuler says:

    5@gbear: I can’t imagine anything but a hostile silence between pere and fils. I mean, we know that Shrubya resented Dad before.

  107. 107

    […] Balloon-Juice: attacking a Latina for supporting racist policies is racist and will backfire! Because she’s Latina! And only white racists think racism is racist! I dunno, something like that. […]

  108. 108
    David Hunt says:

    So, you tell me. How was she supposed to get there? What would make her “legitimate”?

    Others have taken a stab at this and have come up with various answers concerning Republican-friendly rulings and membership in the Federalist Society. Those are close, but I believe that I have the single prerequisite to her being “legitimate”: Being nominated by a Republican President. No other criterion matters until that hurdle is traversed.

  109. 109
    buggy ding dong says:

    To your last point:

    If Republicans are smart, they will just keep walking.

    They won’t because they are simply incapable. The problem with being a rabid, attack everything and anything your opposition does party is that there is no room for thinking.

    Hopefully Obama has figured out completely who he is dealing with. They will not in any way, shape or form work with him. Just as they relentlessly attacked everything Bill Clinton did, they will do to him.

    It stopped working against Clinton until The Blowjob, and that was with a majority and a lot more conservative nation.

    So if Obama keeps his zipper closed, the GOP is just going to scream themselves into a political Siberia not seen since…the last time they did this to themselves.

  110. 110
    oh really says:

    As a white male, I feel that my interests are under-represented on the Supreme Court. I had hoped that Obama would help redress that injustice, but he clearly cares nothing about my feelings. So much for empathy.

  111. 111
    Bender says:

    Obviously, attacking a Latino woman for being a Latino woman will hurt politically with Latinos and women.

    What’s so obvious about that?

    Did the Democrats opposing Miguel Estrada expressly “because he is a Latino” hurt the Democrats politically with Latinos and men? Of course not, because the media made damn sure that nobody heard about the Democrats’ memos.

    So what is obvious is that attacking a Leftist Latino woman because she is a Leftist will hurt politically with Latinos and women, because the Leftist Big Media will spin the attacks every day without fail as attacks on Latinos and women, even though they aren’t.

    Propaganda works on the ignorant, and it will work this time, too.

  112. 112
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Jules Crittenden » Blood Sport:

    attacking a Latina for supporting racist policies is racist and will backfire! Because she’s Latina! And only white racists think racism is racist! I dunno, something like that

    Cretinden strikes again! That summary makes reading his inane post redundant.

  113. 113
    Calouste says:

    @Scruffy McSnufflepuss:

    Persistent vegetative state. But don’t worry- according to Dr. Frist, they’ll soon be up and about. Just don’t pull the plug on them!

    Time to recycle an old Spitting Image joke:

    In the spirit of bipartisanship Obama decided to take the Republican leadership out for lunch on Sunday. At the table, Obama is cracking jokes with Rahm Emanuel, but the Republicans are rather quiet. When it is time to order the waiter of course asks the President first. Obama takes a quick look over the menu and says “I’ll have a steak please.” “Excellent choice sir” says the waiter, “What about the vegetables?” “They will have a steak as well.”

  114. 114
    Brachiator says:

    @Antwerp:

    Why? Nobody here is arguing Harriet Miers was qualifed to be a SC Justice, and nobody is making the comparison except you.

    You stated outright that the sole reason for Sotomayor’s appointment was that she was a woman. This is a lie. This also opens one comparison to the nomination of a patently unqualified woman, which was the case with George Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers.

    While we’re at it, put the “lie to bed” by revisiting my “qualifications” to be a justice, of which there is none.

    Hell, you’re not qualified to be a poster on this blog.

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    So what is obvious is that attacking a Leftist Latino woman because she is a Leftist will hurt politically with Latinos and women, because the Leftist Big Media will spin the attacks every day without fail as attacks on Latinos and women, even though they aren’t.

    See Antwerp, that’s how *quality* spoof is done.

  116. 116
    Johnny Pez says:

    If Republicans are smart

    Aye, there’s the rub.

  117. 117
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Bender: Yes, they are. As others have so amply pointed out, she is more than well-qualified; she has served on the appeals court for over a decade, and she was a prosecutor. Not to mention, oh hell. I’m not going to list her entire resume because you most likely know it and choose to ignore it. If you were to read her resume without seeing the name on the top, you would be damn impressed.

    Now, either back it up with some data (as you didn’t do on other threads) or STFU.

    TengPhule, sadly, I don’t think s/he is spoofing given what I’ve read from him/her on the Prop H8 thread.

    kay, nothing. She can do nothing to be legitimate, just as I cannot unless I sell out my soul. That is why I will never be a Republican and I was never attracted to their party. I don’t hate myself THAT much.

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    @kay:

    It’s lame to compare her to Miers. This isn’t difficult, on paper. Just make a list. Check boxes

    I wasn’t really comparing her to Miers. I was pointing out that Bush set the standard in appointing a patently unqualified nominee, and that for my money the GOP have no right to criticize any Obama pick. Ever.

    I was also reacting to the hypocrisy in suggesting that Sotomayor was nominated only because she was a woman, presumably with no other qualifications, by pointing out that this was precisely the case with Miers.

    Obama already said it: in terms of qualifications, Sotomayor’s record is superior to that of any sitting justice.

  119. 119
    Johnny B. Guud says:

    I’m surprised that this isn’t causing an uproar:

    Today, Judge Sotomayor’s culinary tastes range from tuna fish and cottage cheese for lunch with clerks in her chambers, to her standard order at the Blue Ribbon Bakery: smoked sturgeon on toast, with Dijon mustard, onions and capers.

  120. 120
    Jed Swartz says:

    “Obviously, attacking a Latino woman for being a Latino woman will hurt politically with Latinos and women”

    This was a very ignorant line by Mr. Cole. Who has ever suggested that Republicans would attack her for being Latino? For being both outwardly racist and liberal yes, but for being Latino??? Talk about creating a straw man.

  121. 121

    […] 2009 – Chris in Paris, AMERICAblog Old media ignore FEC Palin dismissal – W.T. Huston, Newsbusters Know when to fold ’em – DougJ, Balloon Juice Which is most disqualifying? – E Pluribus Unum, RedState Perhaps a decade […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] 2009 – Chris in Paris, AMERICAblog Old media ignore FEC Palin dismissal – W.T. Huston, Newsbusters Know when to fold ’em – DougJ, Balloon Juice Which is most disqualifying? – E Pluribus Unum, RedState Perhaps a decade […]

  2. […] Balloon-Juice: attacking a Latina for supporting racist policies is racist and will backfire! Because she’s Latina! And only white racists think racism is racist! I dunno, something like that. […]

  3. […] Juice: DougJ writes about the politics of affirmative action and a New Haven, Conn., firemen case in regards the Sotomayor […]

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