Identity Politics, Left and Right

No group has a monopoly on wisdom

Some people are unhappy to hear President Obama suggest that attributes like gender, ethnicity, and "empathy" are critical in choosing a Supreme Court justice, and it's hard to blame them. When I hire a lawyer, I don't care about that person's ancestry, complexion, theological preoccupations, reproductive equipment, or personal warmth—I care about getting the best advice and representation.

Likewise for Supreme Court justices. Find me a tedious brainiac who reads the Constitution exactly as I read it, and I don't care if that person would fit in at the Chapman family reunion. Reducing a selection for a vitally important office to a demographic formula is not the path to sound constitutional interpretation.

Conservatives rightly lamented Sonia Sotomayor's suggestion that female Hispanic judges make better decisions than white males. At National Review Online, Kathryn Jean Lopez ridiculed the odd notion, raised by one commentator, that her diabetes would deepen her judicial wisdom.

This is not to deny the value of a diversity of backgrounds and experiences in an institution like the Supreme Court. We all understand the world through our personal environment, and the more exposure we have to other people's experiences and perspectives, the better off we are.

A daughter of Puerto Rican parents raised in a housing project may have insights into police abuses or the drug war or regulation of taxicabs that a white man who grew up middle-class in Indiana would not. The white guy, however, might also know some things she wouldn't.

But that is a long way from asserting, as Sotomayor has, that "a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." A wise Latina, like a wise WASP male, understands she has no monopoly on rich experiences or vital truths. She values what her life has offered without letting herself be constrained by it. If she's a judge, she recognizes her obligation to strive for impartiality.

So conservatives have reason to be wary of Sotomayor's approach to judging. But it's a little late for most of them to decry identity politics. Few objections were heard from Republicans in 1991, when President George H.W. Bush decided that the ideal person to fill the vacancy left by Thurgood Marshall, the court's first black justice, was Clarence Thomas, who just happened to be black as well.

Bush did his best to have it both ways. He insisted that race was irrelevant and that Thomas was simply the "best qualified" candidate in the country. But he also said, "(I)f credit accrues to him for coming up through a tough life as a minority in this country, so much the better."

Back then, conservatives played the identity game gingerly, as if they were slightly embarrassed. But they have since learned to make the most of it. The most recent and regrettable example is Sarah Palin, lustily cheered by Republican audiences last year not because she had the credentials and ability to step into the presidency, but because she was the Right Kind of Person.

First, she was a woman, picked to attract disappointed Hillary Clinton supporters, as Palin shamelessly highlighted: "Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."

Second, she was not one of those effete urban elitists but a real American—small-town girl, beauty queen, hockey mom, "Bible-believing Christian" (as she put it), mother of five, and moose hunter.

Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), said she was controversial because "liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God." Palin herself celebrated her brethren from small towns, which she called "all of you hard-working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation."

Of course it's useful to include the perspective of small-town residents in formulating policy, just as it's a good idea to consider the impact of laws on Latinos. But to imagine that either group—or any group—has a unique claim to wisdom or goodness is only to prove that no group is immune to foolishness.

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    Why would we complain about Justice Thomas? He is a great man and very admirable.

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    He doesn't like Sarah Palin either. Evidently she's not Elite enough to qualify. Our loss.

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    Can't replace no black justice with no honky.

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    The justice appointed by republicans votes for their side and if aappointed by democrats votes for his side as was shown in Bush Vs Gore. Maybe it is a reality of which people are ashamed and do not want to highlight but party identity is also an identity

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    Why would we complain about Justice Thomas? He is a great man and very admirable.

    Because Chapman, it seems, never fails to fail.

    This article blames PC correctness on both sides. The problem with this lame association is the fact that the Leftarded would have screamed to high heaven if Bush had not chosen a black person to fill the seat of Thurgood Marshall. So "both sides" are not the same, even though it is one of Chapman's, and Libertarians, favorite memes.

    There is a gigantic difference between being the diversity police and fearing their wrath. As Art says, "you can't replace a black judge with whitey".

    Does anyone remember Thomas saying how he would be more wise than whitey because of the "wisdom of black men" or other such idiocy? Of course not.

    Now, in the case of Palin I would never deny the cynicism of John McCain but just because Chapman accepts all of the media charactures of her as being true doesn't make it so.

    The fact that she had never lived in DC made her the most unique Presidential candidate in some time. I realize that the Chapmans of the world look down their noses on the "little people" who don't have ivy league degrees but that was part of her appeal.

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    Here's the quote ( omitted all the main steam print omitted) " I firmly believe in the rule law as the foundation for all of our basic rights" Sotomayor's nomination acceptence speech 5/26/09.

    This "belief " of Sotomayor is the reason we have a Constituion, to protect us from Her!
    The Constitution was wrote to protect our rights from being infinged upon by the rule of law. The foundation of our basic rights come from the Declaration "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among men, Deriving their powers from the consent of the Governed......"
    This is the foundation of our rights.
    Then the preamble to "secure the Blessings of Liberty"
    Then for further clarification, the 1st 10 Admendments, all state that the government cannot take away Our Rights, not that the Government gives or creates our rights by law, or the "rule of law" is the Foundation of our rights.
    This lady is the Anti-Constitutionalist. She is in no way qualified to decide on Constituional Matters. Please read the Declaration & the Constitution, and if you agree with me, contact your Senator and ask them not to support Sotomayor.

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    Maybe it is a reality of which people are ashamed and do not want to highlight but party identity is also an identity

    True. It would be so odd to see the partisan political machine do something that seemingly wasn't in their own self-interest.

    't'd be almost refreshing, though.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    It's worth noting that Sotomayor's statement about a Latina making better decisions than a white man was preceded by the phrase "I would hope," meaning that the suffering one endures as a Latina ought to make one a better judge than a white man, but unfortunately that's not always the case. It's a bit self-congratulatory, but I can imagine Justice Scalia (I guess that should be "Scal-ia") might, on occasion, have suggested that Catholics should make better judges than Protestants.

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    The sucky thing about being Conservative and having to face the "Both sides are the same" canard is that unfortunately we're stuck having to use the GOP as the vehicle to advance the political agenda.

    Ever since the GOP lost its fight with Clinton in the Government Shutdown War of 1995 (?) , it seemed like the GOP lost its ability to adhere to conservativism and publically make cases for it. They seem to have let the Democrats and the Media brainwash them into believing all the nonsense the Left wants people to believe at the Right.

    And boy oh boy the mind games are really working now. It's like teh GOP accepts the premise of every silly premise a critic comes up with.

    My favorite ones are... "Party of No". "Mean party" "Party of Extremists" "party of the rich"... "The party of Wall St".. and the dummies in the party seem to accept that as being true. It's the Democrats wwho are all those things.

    So when it comes to identity I always reject being lumped in with the GOP because as long as its going to act like its mentally wounded then its doing more harm than good.

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    I can imagine Justice Scalia (I guess that should be "Scal-ia") might, on occasion, have suggested that Catholics should make better judges than Protestants.

    Bullshit, Alan. Link? Reference? Oh, I almost forgot that you were a billboard.

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    There is a gigantic difference between being the diversity police and fearing their wrath.

    Well said, MG.

  • Wicks Cherrcoke||

    I do not think the two cases are comparable. Bush XLI did not say that Thomas possesed the gender, ethnicity, and "empathy" characteristics that Obama claims are critical in choosing a Supreme Court justice. Bush did play ethnic politics but did not proclaim that to be the definining characteristic of his candidate, or proclaim that his candidate would rely on his ethnicity in making his decisions.

    However, in light of what I have been hearing in the news from "Latino Spokespersons" (whoever they are) supposedly "warning" Republicans not to be "unfair" to Sotomayor, I think it would be quite fair for her to be treated to the same calm, rational, reasoned, subdued, and topical confirmation process that Clarence Thomas received from Democrats and the Left. Where's Anita Hill?

  • Fluffy||

    There is a gigantic difference between being the diversity police and fearing their wrath.

    There is a difference, true. But it's certainly not one that flatters Republicans.

    Yesterday a lot of lefty blogs were trumpeting Alito quotes from his confirmation hearings where he talks about how his heritage made him a better judge by giving him insight into the problems of immigrants.

    I blew it off at first, arguing [as you are now] that the only reason Alito testified in his way was as a song-and-dance for the Democrats on the judiciary committee who would like to hear that sort of nonsense. Alito was just play acting, I reasoned, while Sotomayor really believes it.

    Unfortunately, this is only a good argument until you realize that this means that Alito was willing to bullshit the committee with a sob story in order to gain confirmation. And that's not really very much better from thinking that being Latina gives you special insight into the problems of the downtrodden. Or that having such an insight is a qualification for being a SCOTUS judge.

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    "Latino Spokespersons" (whoever they are)

    People who make their bread by defining themselves according to their ethnic identity support a candidate that was nominated on the basis of her ethnic identity. Surprising.

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    Jesus, won't someone make a Rosie Perez/White Men Can't Jump joke?

    For the record, I can't jump, but that's because of a vicious accident that shattered my heel. I was actually a high jump/long jump contender in high school.

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    Well put Fluffy.

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    Let's release her divorce records to the public, like Obama did to Ryan in Illinois.

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    Let's release her divorce records to the public, like Obama did to Ryan in Illinois.

    Probably no juicy sex club story, though. Just run-of-the-mill Bronx wife-beating.

  • Urkobold™||

    JAMES ARD, YOU FOOL, THAT INVOLVED SEXY, AND OBAMA WAS HOPING TO BOTH WIN AND TO SEE PICTURES OF MRS. RYAN.

  • Abdul||

    In fairness to Obama, there was an outside chance that the Ryan divorce records would have revealed hot threesomes with Jeri Ryan. Dude's gotta roll the dice in a situation like that.

  • Abdul||

    Dammit, Urkobold scooped me!

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    Alito was willing to bullshit the committee with a sob story in order to gain confirmation. And that's not really very much better from thinking that being Latina gives you special insight into the problems of the downtrodden. Or that having such an insight is a qualification for being a SCOTUS judge.

    I agree that it isn't "much better" but it is still better.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    From "Affirmative Action, Negative Justice":

    In the tail end of the Nineties, a new role for affirmative action emerged. Now, it no longer mattered whether a "racial imbalance" was or wasn't the result of "discrimination" (past or present, proven or alleged). Now, the failure to achieve proportional demographic reflection -- or to use the obligatory term, "representation," as if it referred to democratic elections (again, the confusion with political equality) -- was an intrinsic evil. It was inexcusable not to "look like America." Indeed, embarrassment and apologies were supposed to rejoin the indignantly asked "Why are there so few ['representatives' of group x]?" Clearly, one should have done what was necessary to ensure a "more equal" composition, even if that meant taking race into account -- which, of course, is precisely what anti-discrimination laws prohibit in the private sector and the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits in the public sector. So important has this objective become to the affirmers of affirmative action that it's even been given its own Orwellian designation -- DIVERSITY.

    The most interesting feature of this project (thus far) is its limitation to fields of achievement. This conflicts with the basic moral impulse of affirmative action: the egalitarian demand for "equality" irrespective of context. Logically, the campaign for diversity-of-pigment should be extended to fields of failure. If proportional reflection is an imperative for jobs, then isn't it equally an imperative for, say, jails? Shouldn't we make sure that the prison population "looks like America"? To achieve racial balance, all we would have to do is establish an arrest maximum for some ethnic groups and an arrest minimum for others. What possible objection could there be -- a concern for the actual behavior of individuals? That, like the virtue of a demimondaine, is a distant memory. Besides, isn't the current racial makeup of our penal system really the result of past and present discrimination by policemen and juries and even just "society as a whole"? Our worry should be whether feminists, of all people, will oppose the institution of gender equality in the penitentiary. Curiously, they see male "over-representation" in fields of achievement (e.g., the executive suite) as the result of "privilege" and not individual responsibility, but in fields of failure (e.g., the prison cell) as the fault of the men themselves -- that is, individual responsibility -- and not the result of any kind of prejudice. Why can't they just understand that "equality" means equality?

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

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    Sotomayer could have been ok back in her day. Nothing wrong with curvy latinas.

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    People who make their bread by defining themselves according to their ethnic identity support a candidate that was nominated on the basis of her ethnic identity. Surprising.



    Some of the same groups did oppose Miguel Estrada for the DC Circuit, on the basis that he was too talented and had too good a life story, and might then be nominated for the Supreme Court, where he would be difficult to oppose.

    But that's politics.

    And incidentally about Sarah Palin, in other circumstances if you were told that there was a Republican governor who had gotten into office by knocking off a corrupt incumbent Republican governor in a primary, wouldn't you assume that person would be a natural short lister for McCain's running mate? Seems to me like that sort of qualification would go right up there with him along with toying with the idea of picking Lieberman.

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    However, in light of what I have been hearing in the news from "Latino Spokespersons" (whoever they are) supposedly "warning" Republicans not to be "unfair" to Sotomayor, I think it would be quite fair for her to be treated to the same calm, rational, reasoned, subdued, and topical confirmation process that Clarence Thomas received from Democrats and the Left.

    She should also receive the same respect and consideration for her ethnicity that the Dems gave to Miguel Estrada's.

  • Charlie||

    I agree that it isn't "much better" but it is still better.

    I wholeheartedly disagree. I'd rather have someone be honest and wrong than dishonest and right. If Alito didn't really believe what he said to the Judiciary Committee about having special insight into the plight of immigrants thanks to his background, then he lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee for the express purpose of getting himself confirmed.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that Sotomayor is, in fact, arguing that Latina women make for better judges (as opposed to the ho-hum "my life experiences shape who I am today" observation), she's a judge who clearly has her biases, but has spoken openly and eloquently in support of them. Alito, on the other hand, may have explicitly lied about his biases to get a job.

    Now, perhaps that doesn't matter for most jobs. But being a Supreme Court justice implicates fairness, openness, and honesty in a different way than being Deputy Undersecretary of Cleaning Cocaine off $100 Bills or whatever. If I'm appearing in court, I'd rather face the judge who's honest and open about his biases than the one who hides them.

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    Watching conservatives try to discuss race is free comedy.

    At any rate, if Chief Justice John Roberts is representative of white men, I think there is a strong case that we're more out of touch. I remember during his confirmation hearing someone asked him about his experience with diversity. He said he encounters all sorts of diverse people at his kids' soccer games.

    The main problem with being privileged, by race or wealth, is that you don't have to encounter different types of people very often--thus you are more likely to treat them as abstractions.

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    Thomas isn't the only minority judge ever appointed by a Republican. Let's not forget Miquel Estrada. This guy comes to the US as a poor peasent from Hondurus. Had litterally nothing. He winds up graduate from Columbia (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard (Magna Cum) and was the assistant soliciter general under Clinton. That is a great American story if there ever was one. Bush nominated him for the DC Circuit and the Dems wouldn't even give him a vote. They were terrified that he might get a Supreme Court nomination and Latins are not allowed off the Liberal Plantation.

    Every time I hear some liberal scum bag talking about Sotomayer's great American story and how important that is, I think of the way these dirtbags treated Estrada and want to drive an ice pick through their skulls.

    The contrast ought to bother anyone with a conscience. It of course doesn't bother Chapman because fitting in with the lefty media establishment is more important.

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    "The main problem with being privileged, by race or wealth, is that you don't have to encounter different types of people very often--thus you are more likely to treat them as abstractions."

    Kind of like Obama, someone who has never lived outside a major metro area, looks at people in the country as angry,religous gun clingers? Actually Tony you make a valid point. But what you forget is that there is more than one way to be insulated. Someone like Obama who has only been around elite colleges and liberal activists since he was 18 is every bit or more out of touch than Roberts meeting the occasional black yuppie at a soccer game.

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    John,

    Sotomayor was blocked from appointment to the 2nd circuit court of appeals for more than a year by Republicans for the very same reason--that she would be a supreme court contender.

  • ||

    "John,

    Sotomayor was blocked from appointment to the 2nd circuit court of appeals for more than a year by Republicans for the very same reason--that she would be a supreme court contender."


    She got it didn't she? If we are so concerned about great stories, how about letting Sotomayor on the Court and giving Estrada the DC Circuit seat he got screwed out of?

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    Unfortunately, this is only a good argument until you realize that this means that Alito was willing to bullshit the committee with a sob story in order to gain confirmation. And that's not really very much better from thinking that being Latina gives you special insight into the problems of the downtrodden.

    I dunno, Fluffy. I think there's a very real difference between bullshitting a bunch of mediocre pols with what they want to hear, and actually believing that tribalistic/collectivist crap and thus being likely to act on it.

    The main problem with being privileged, by race or wealth, is that you don't have to encounter different types of people very often--thus you are more likely to treat them as abstractions.

    Oh, horseshit, Tony. The very core of tribal/collective identity politics is treating people like abstractions. Its got nothing to do with being white or privileged.

    As John notes, and as Clarence Thomas' story confirms, its not about biography or background in and of itself. Its about biography and background in the service of power politics and collectivist thinking.

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    Tony,

    Yes, you're absolutely right that Sotomayor was blocked for the same reason. That's why I said "But that's politics."

    In the case of Justice Thomas, he's my favorite Supreme Court Justice, and I'd support him regardless of race over many actual appointments before or since. So it's somewhat difficult for me to get too worked up about it.

    His being black did help him get nominated, though I doubt it won him any additional political support in reality. But politics means that even if the vast majority of people don't play identity politics, it doesn't take too many who do for playing along to have enormous rewards.

    As I recall, GHWB insisted that Justice Thomas was not selected on the basis of race, whereas Obama freely admits that race was a basis of selection here. I suppose that's a bit different, but you can view it as less hypocrisy if you like.

    The commenters here alleging that Sotomayor is actually unintelligent are pretty disgusting, though no worse than things that prominent Democratic supporters said and continue to say about Justice Thomas.

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    Or how about we recognize politics as a dirty business and not go into ice-pick wielding rages at one side when the other side did the exact same thing?

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    The main problem with being privileged, by race or wealth, is that you don't have to encounter different types of people very often--thus you are more likely to treat them as abstractions.



    So, Tony, can we conclude that you were more supportive of Thomas's nomination than Roberts's? Or of Alito's than Roberts's?

    Why did more Democrats back the Republican nominee with the more privileged, less diverse background?

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    It is of course easily to think of a relatively recent case where someone's life story and empathy made a difference-- and apparently influenced the other justices.

    I'm talking about the cross burning case from 2002, Virginia v. Black, naturally.

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    "Or how about we recognize politics as a dirty business and not go into ice-pick wielding rages at one side when the other side did the exact same thing?"

    Tony everyone knows how the Left acted in the last 8 years. Now that they have won an election, this sort of thing is "just politics". If in 2010, the Republicans filliabuster a BO nominee you will be screaming your head off.

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    Dems backed Roberts because he was highly qualified and managed to do a great job of hiding his ideological rigidity in his confirmation. Alito had an established reputation as an ideologue.

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    Shorter Tony:

    white people < everyone else

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    I will be absolutely fascinated to see what the SCOTUS does with the appeal of Ricci discrimination case (to be decided before the end of June). If they slap her around like her 9 dissenting colleagues did at her Circuit, the hearings could get interesting.

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    "Dems backed Roberts because he was highly qualified and managed to do a great job of hiding his ideological rigidity in his confirmation. Alito had an established reputation as an ideologue."

    Ok. Then why can't BO just nominate someone like Cass Sunstein or Larry Tribe. No one would raise a word about those guys. And they are plenty liberal for BO's taste. Why does he have to give us the "wise Latina" instead of you know the most qualified person?

  • ||

    "Most qualified" is highly subjective. There is absolutely no doubt that Sotomayor is as qualified as anyone. The whole point of affirmative action reasoning is that once you reach the threshold of being qualified (highly qualified in her case), there is only added benefit to adding gender and ethnic diversity to the supreme court that influences the lives of a diverse population.

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    SugarFree,

    As a white male that would be an odd position for me to take. What I react against is what seems to underlie the logic of those getting their panties twisted over minority appointments--the assumption that there will always be a white male who is more qualified.

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    "There is absolutely no doubt that Sotomayor is as qualified as anyone. The whole point of affirmative action reasoning is that once you reach the threshold of being qualified (highly qualified in her case), there is only added benefit to adding gender and ethnic diversity to the supreme court that influences the lives of a diverse population."

    No offense to Sotomayer, but no one thinks that she is half the legal mind that Tribe and Sunstein are. She is just not. She is also not as qualified as many of the current members of the Court. Thomas for all of the flack he gets ran a federal agency. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a part of some serious land mark sex descrimination litigation in the 70s.

    Further, I don't think she brings any new perspective the court. She is a woman, there already is one. She grew up poor and a minority. So did Thomas. She is Catholic, so is half the court. She went to an Ivy League Law school. So did all of them.

    You just think she brings a unique perspective because you are a racist and judge her by the color of her skin and her ethnicity rather than who she is.

    If you really want diversity, nominate a Prostestant who didn't go to an Ivy League Law school and practiced some kind of law besides Con law.

  • ||

    Sotomayor has more judicial experience than any nominee in 100 years. She was summa cum laude at Princeton and edited the Yale law journal (a position you get via a blind merit-based selection process). She has not been as much of a legal philosopher as others like Sustein, but rather more of a modern technocratic judge.

    My point is that there is no just one person in the country uniquely qualified to sit on the SC at this moment. There are likely hundreds of people who could be credible, Sotomayor among them. As a liberal I'd rather see someone I'd be more confident in would rule the way I like, but as someone who thinks that one's identity plays some role in one's worldview, I like the idea of adding diversity to the court. It's an outrage in my opinion that there is currently only one woman on the court that serves a nation of mostly women.

    As I said, conservatives talking about race is a farce. Racism is something that I grew up around and I know for a fact it takes a lot of hard mental work to completely rid oneself of racist tendencies, work conservatives don't think they have to bother with since the only racists in the world are minorities against white people.

  • ||

    And it's clear, John, that you haven't done the mental work to rid yourself of racist assumptions, since everything you've just written presupposes that a white male is somehow the default demographic for everything, and the mere fact of a nominee's non-white-maleness is a reason to suspect her of being an affirmative action candidate, just as many conservatives absurdly claim about Obama.

  • Jordan||

    Racism is something that I grew up around and I know for a fact it takes a lot of hard mental work to completely rid oneself of racist tendencies, work conservatives don't think they have to bother with since the only racists in the world are minorities against white people.



    Weren't you the one talking about being insulated from others?

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    It's an outrage in my opinion that there is currently only one woman on the court that serves a nation of mostly women.

    Really? This country is mostly women?

    I like the idea of adding diversity to the court.

    Why? How does diversity, in and of itself, improve the Court's work product?

  • ||

    "Racism is something that I grew up around and I know for a fact it takes a lot of hard mental work to completely rid oneself of racist tendencies,"

    You are judging how Sotomayer thinks based on the color of her skin. How do you know she has some unique perspective? The only think you know about her is the fact that she was once poor and is Puerto Rican. However hard you worked to get rid of your racist assumptions, you haven't worked hard enough.

    I don't think you are a terrible racist. You mean well. But ultimately you buy into a subtle form of white supremacy. You look at Sotomayer and don't see a person in the same way you do when you see a white person. You look at her and you see her group. You see a bunch of stereotypes about what it means to be Hispanic and the like. Yes, the stereotypes are positive. But they are stereotypes none the less. And they are stereotypes that you don't subject white people to.

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    Steve Chapman: "Second, she was not one of those effete urban elitists but a real American"

    Whoa whoa whoa. Is Steve Chapman suggesting that someone not being a Washington DC insider is somehow not a huge plus?

  • Jordan||

    Come on now, Tony. Admit it: you're really shrike, aren't you? You forgot to work in a reference to "Christfags" and insinuate that everyone who disagrees with you listens to Rush Limbaugh.

  • ||

    "Come on now, Tony. Admit it: you're really shrike, aren't you? You forgot to work in a reference to "Christfags" and insinuate that everyone who disagrees with you listens to Rush Limbaugh."


    Tony is not shrike. Tony is annoying sometimes. But shrike is just a jerk.,

  • ||

    Why? How does diversity, in and of itself, improve the Court's work product?

    From my perspective as a gay man, it's pretty clear that if you've not spent much time around gay people you tend to treat them as abstractions rather than as full human beings. Once your cousin or sibling comes out as gay, your perspective changes radically. I see it all the time.

    The way conservatives paint urban blacks and latinos, people they don't encounter very often, is to treat them in the same abstract way--which usually means with a cruel disregard.

    It's possible 9 enlightened white octogenarian men can rule fairly on issues that concern types of people they rarely encounter in their daily lives. But you're acting like adding diversity is a net negative, under the assumption that there has got to be a white man out there more qualified. That is in itself the racist attitude I'm arguing against. If the court is composed of mostly white men it's not because white men are more qualified, but because of other reasons.

  • Fluffy||

    the mere fact of a nominee's non-white-maleness is a reason to suspect her of being an affirmative action candidate

    Well, honestly - too bad.

    The existence of affirmative action and its intendent injustices means I have the right to assume it is in play at any given moment in time.

    Let's make an analogy to, say, the practice of favoring legacies in Ivy League admissions. Because the Ivies have historically granted preferential treatment to the relatives of alumni, particularly prominent alumni, if the day comes when one of the Bush girls has a kid and that kid gets into Yale, I am absolutely entitled to presume that his family connections assisted him in getting into Yale. And if the kid is some super-genius who would have gotten in anyway, and if my presumption devalues his genius and accomplishments - oh well. Talk to the Ivy admission boards about that, because they're the ones who muddied the waters by making decisions in the way that they do.

    The presence of corrupt systems will lead to people being suspicious even of honestly-obtained outcomes. That's just a given. It's one of the pernicious things about corrupt systems.

  • Jordan||

    Tony is not shrike. Tony is annoying sometimes. But shrike is just a jerk.,



    Sorry, the blatant stereoptyping of their political opponents confused me.

  • ||

    John,

    I'm not saying Sotomayor's race and gender are all-important. I'm saying they're not totally unimportant. She's clearly qualified for the post--arguably moreso than any of the white men currently sitting on the court were when they were appointed. Her diversity is simply gravy because it pushes the court to be more reflective of the population it serves.

  • ||

    Tony: "Her diversity is simply gravy because it pushes the court to be more reflective of the population it serves."

    How is that a positive? Diversity in and of itself is not a good or bad thing. Is making people feel good important? Do you give a shit if you go to a doctor that's representative of the population he serves? Should anyone?

    If she's qualified she's qualified and the diversity aspect is completely irrelevant.

  • ||

    I don't so much care that she's obviously a racist bigot.

    I care that she said the court of appeals is where policy is made. I can't see how that disqualifies her for SCOTUS. Hell I can't see how that doesn't get her removed from the bench she's on.

  • ||

    I have no problem with considering race or any other attribute as long as he or she is ALSO qualified. I also think there is a big difference between a supreme court judge's criteria and a politician such as Sarah Palin. All politicians are chosen based on popular appeal as in his Palin example. That's the nature of democratic leadership. And ultimately the tenure of a politician is temporary and they are (if imperfectly) accountable to the voters for their performance in the next election. A SCOTUS judge, on the other hand,is NOT an elected official. He or she is an appointed official --for life! Thus, they are not accountable to an electorate. Whether a latina can come to better judgements than a white male is a straw man. The real issue is what is her view on the Constitution and can she uphold it DESPITE her personal views and experiences.

  • ||

    If she's qualified she's qualified and the diversity aspect is completely irrelevant.

    But it's not irrelevant as a factual matter. It's relevant politically and if nothing else for the sake of appearances--that's leaving aside any consideration that one's identity could possibly have an affect on one's experiences and outlook.

    Again, I still detect the pernicious assumption that her not being a white male somehow makes her qualifications suspect.

  • ||

    Thank you, faithkills, for giving us Limbaugh's perspective.

    I'm sure nobody on this board has ever said something impolitic in their lives. The fact that dittoheads are harping on the same one or two quotes means they don't seem to have a lot to go on.

  • ||

    During the closing days of the 1980 presidential campaign, Reagan pledged to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court, saying one of the first openings "will be filled by the most qualified woman I can find...it is time for a woman to sit among our highest jurists."

    Reagan also pledged to appoint women to lower federal courts "in an effort to bring about a better balance on the federal bench."

    With his appointment of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on July 7, 1981, Reagan kept his promise, saying "I've long believed that the time has come for the highest court in our land to include not only distinguished men, but distinguished women as well."

    Reagan made his original pledge to nominate a woman for the SCOTUS on October 14, 1980 during a presidential campaign news conference in Los Angeles:

    Within the guidelines of excellence, appointments can carry enormous symbolic significance. This permits us to guide by example, to show how deep our commitment is and to give meaning to what we profess.

    One way I intend to live up to that commitment is to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court.

    I am announcing today that one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my administration will be filled by the most qualified woman I can find, one who meets the high standards I will demand for all my appointments.

    It is time for a woman to sit among our highest jurists. I will also seek out women to appoint to other federal courts in an effort to bring about a better balance on the federal bench.




    On July 7, 1981, Reagan had addressed his views on appointing a woman to the SCOTUS:

    Needless to say, most of the speculation has centered on the question of whether I would consider a woman to fill this first vacancy. As the press has accurately pointed out, during my campaign for the Presidency I made a commitment that one of my first appointments to a Supreme Court vacancy would be the most qualified woman I could possibly find.




    Apparently Identity Politics is only bad when the Democrats do it.

  • ||

    But you're acting like adding diversity is a net negative, under the assumption that there has got to be a white man out there more qualified.

    No, I'm not. My operating assumption is that someone's racial heritage is irrelevant to the task of appellate judging.

    Again, I still detect the pernicious assumption that her not being a white male somehow makes her qualifications suspect.

    I think that's mostly if not entirely in your head. The position I see amongst the skeptics is that her not being a white male is not a qualification, just as being a white male is not a qualification.

  • ||

    Apparently Identity Politics is only bad when the Democrats do it.

    Indeed, and what really seems to irritate people is the fact that liberals can oppose diverse candidates on ideological grounds--as if we're the ones who see color or gender and nothing else.

    I think Clarence Thomas was an affirmative action candidate more than anyone else. He wouldn't be on the SC if he weren't black. His judicial views are about as far out of the mainstream as you can get, and he seems partially insane.

    Sarah Palin was another such token. Completely unqualified and chosen purely because of her identity. Republicans play the diversity game too but they are the ones who more often disregard qualifications for mere appearances.

  • ||

    I'm sure nobody on this board has ever said something impolitic in their lives.

    Nobody on this board is a nominee for SCOTUS.

    That's the problem with most liberals and conservatives. They can't think, they little brains are too busy trying to reconcile arbitrary incoherent 'ideas'.

    The fact that dittoheads are harping on the same one or two quotes means they don't seem to have a lot to go on.

    Don't project your man-crush on Limbaugh. I don't share it.

    She's ignored Heller when she dismissed Maloney on appeals. She made a plainly racist ruling in Ricci.

    Her rulings are consistent with her words. We don't need to guess if these were 'slips'. We know they were not, because she ruled that way.

  • Jordan||

    Apparently Identity Politics is only bad when the Democrats do it.



    Sorry, I didn't denounce it in 1980. I wasn't even born yet. Let me fix your quote for you:

    "Identity Politics is only bad"

  • ||

    R C Dean,

    I agree with you that in my version of utopia any candidate for any job in the world would not be seen as a member of a gender or ethnic group but rather as a candidate pure and simple.

    In the world we live in the supreme court is and has always been dominated by white men.

    Now, there is no rational means you can use to find the single most qualified person to fill a vacancy. There are going to be many people with adequate qualifications. Therefore other considerations come into it. One such consideration is a candidate's political stance. Another is age. And it just so happens another might be her gender or her race.

    I really don't see what the issue is here since Sotomayor is eminently qualified. Shouldn't that be the end of the discussion, according to your rose-colored view of the world? You're acting as if her being a Latina automatically makes her qualifications suspect in a way you'd never assume about a white man.

  • ||

    Again, I still detect the pernicious assumption that her not being a white male somehow makes her qualifications suspect.

    I think that's mostly if not entirely in your head.

    Doubtful, considering she is a qualified nominee (you don't get to the appellate level without qualifications -- she was confirmed after vetting with the support of many GOPers ) yet people still want to try and pretend she was nothing more than an affirmative action pick (the implication being was only chosen because of her race/gender)

  • ||

    Sorry, I didn't denounce it in 1980. I wasn't even born yet. Let me fix your quote for you:

    Did you denounce Alito when he claimed that his heritage and his being an immigrant brings a useful perspective to the SCOTUS?

  • Jordan||

    Yup.

  • ||

    The best part is that each and every attack on Sottameyer is fucking hypocrisy at it's finest.

    Even the bullshit "Empathy has no place in the law" complaint is hypocritical. The same asshats complaining about Obama's wanting empathy had nothing to say when Bush I said :

    I have followed this man's career for some time, and he has excelled in everything that he has attempted. He is a delightful and warm, intelligent person, who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor. He's also a fiercely independent thinker with an excellent legal mind who believes passionately in equal opportunity for all Americans. He will approach the cases that come before the Court with a commitment to deciding them fairly, as the facts and the law require.



    Or more recently when Alito said :

    When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.



    Sounds like a SCOTUS nominee is explicitly saying he will be empathetic to immigrants in cases of discrimination or immigration.

    But remember -- it's only bad when a Democrat does these things.

  • ||

    Yup.

    Suuuuure you did!

  • ||

    The old intolerant angry white guy irrevelant party led by Limbaugh, Cheney, Gingrich, and little cowardly Hannity is shriveling like rotten roadkill. While the Democrat Party is growing at warp speed with smart women, tolerant young people, increasing minorities, and smart college grads. Adios and good riddance old angry white guys, you're so over it's pathetic.

    J Russell
    Illinois

  • ||

    The best part is that each and every attack on Sottameyer is fucking hypocrisy at it's finest.

    The hypocrisy is that you defend a revisionist and a racist SCOTUS nominee because she's a certain party and a certain race.

    If a white nominee had made racist assertions (like white judges make better decisions) and racist rulings (Ricci) he/she would be opposed and should be.

    If a white nominee had ruled against the Constitution and recent SCOTUS precedent he/she would be opposed and should be.

    This is what disgusts me about the left and the right, you don't have a consistent set of ethics, you have talking points.

    It probably confuses you why you lose arguments all the time, it's because you think it's all about opinions and the volume at which you yell them.

  • ||

    The hypocrisy is that you defend a revisionist and a racist SCOTUS nominee because she's a certain party and a certain race.

    I am defending her because the attacks are bullshit. I could care less what her party affiliation or her race was. I do care about honesty from the people attacking her. And the people attacking her had no problems when it was one of theirs doing the same shit. So spare me your delusions.

    The only racists are the people attacking her as an affirmative action candidate. These people haven't read more than a couple of snippets of a couple of her opinions as a jurist. Yet are somehow CONVINCED tat the ONLY reason she was chosen is her race/gender.


    Nothing that she said was racist. Not even a little. I do believe that someone with her background would in fact have a better perspective and be a better jurist that John Roberts or an Antonin Scalia.

    You can agree or disagree with that opinion, but it isn't inherently racist to believe that certain experiences give you a superior perspective and that living thought hardships makes a better person than someone who has everything handed to them or has lived an elite life.

    And you must think that Alito is a racist for thinking that his immigrant background is an advantage, right? Or was that somehow different?

    If a white nominee had made racist assertions (like white judges make better decisions) and racist rulings (Ricci) he/she would be opposed and should be.

    You position is that white nominees have never made racist rulings or said racist things? Are you sure that is the position you want to go with? Really?

    If a white nominee had ruled against the Constitution and recent SCOTUS precedent he/she would be opposed and should be.

    Many white nominees have ruled against the Constitution. So have the white guys sitting on there right now. Every time they carve out 1st amendment exceptions, and every time they uphold the current scope of the commerce clause. Yet almost all of the people who attack Sottameyer didn't have any problem with those white guys. Funny that.

    This is what disgusts me about the left and the right, you don't have a consistent set of ethics, you have talking points.

    I have a very consist set of ethics. They just don't line up with the loonies like yourself.

    And what do you think your objections to her are? They are nothing but RNC talking points. A little self awareness would be helpful.

  • Jordan||

    Suuuuure you did!



    *Yawn*

  • ||

    The justice appointed by republicans votes for their side and if aappointed by democrats votes for his side as was shown in Bush Vs Gore.

    More like, the justices appointed by Republicans often turn out to be quite liberal, while the justices appointed by Democrats always stay liberal.

    If SCOTUS justices hewed to the politics of the presidents who appointed them, SCOTUS would be way more conservative. Kelo would have been decided as a rebuke against eminent domain abuse, the drug warriors would have gotten more decisions their way, the DC gun ban vote wouldn't have been such a squeaker, and so on.

  • ||

    Doubtful, considering she is a qualified nominee (you don't get to the appellate level without qualifications -- she was confirmed after vetting with the support of many GOPers )

    All true, assuming any Circuit Court judge meets the minimal qualifications to be a SCOTUS Justice.

    Presumably, though, some Circuit Court judges are better than others. Is there any reason to think that she is even above average as a federal appeals judge? She is overturned, I might note, at an extraordinarily high rate (60%), and her judicial output is not regarded by anyone as being top-shelf.

    yet people still want to try and pretend she was nothing more than an affirmative action pick (the implication being was only chosen because of her race/gender)

    Then you should complain to Obama, who put her race and gender front and center.

  • ||

    I'm not appalled or particularly surprised by the choice, and it's Obama's prerogative to make foolish appointments. And the Senate's job to keep him honest.

    That said, she's pretty unimpressive, with none of the "wow" factor that even justices I can't stand today had as appellate judges. Also, I'm disturbed by her hyper-diversity opinions. Yeah, yeah, white males suck and should be crucified up and down the Mall, but I've got a problem with anyone who puts identity politics this high up on her priority scale. That goes for the president, too, I might add.

  • ||

    Heaven forbid Obama make a politically smart pick. The large hispanic population in this country, until now receiving no reflection on the supreme court, I'm sure will be charmed by Republican attacks on Sotomayor. Let them go at it. I dare them. At least considering gender and race is more innocuous than, say, Bush affirmative actioning Alito because his views were extreme enough to please his political base.

  • ||

    Tony,

    Let's think about this for a moment. A poor justice, even on your side of the political spectrum, can be a bad thing. Wouldn't you want a top-tier justice batting for your team? She appears to be fairly mediocre--not bad but not great, either. A big problem with less-than-stellar justices is that they rarely sway the other justices when they're trying to get a majority.

    I'm not just offended politically; I'm offended as an attorney. And, of course, I've been offended by other picks, too. . .by presidents of either party.

    Obama has the right to appoint just about anyone who wants. But he has a duty to appoint someone good for the job. There's only nine seats, and the appointment is for life. Pretty serious responsibility, and not one to be thrown away on what appears to be purely a political move.

  • ||

    Pro,

    I disagree that Sotomayor is mediocre. Indeed she's been recognized as Supreme Court material for years--which is the reason she was anonymously blocked from confirmation to her current position for more than a year. By people whose opinions matter she is universally regarded as a brilliant jurist, if not a firebrand.

    If she were a white male I doubt anyone would be questioning her qualifications.

  • ||

    Tony,

    As Mr. Dean pointed out above, the measures we lawyers tend to use to assess appellate judges do, in fact, point to mediocrity. She's been on the outskirts of the short list (she wasn't considered a front-runner by anyone I'm aware of) precisely because of her ethnicity and gender, not so much because of her stellar opinion writing.

    Like I said, it's Obama's prerogative to do this. I just think it's a mistake. But, the truth is, since I didn't get Janice Rogers Brown, I'm planning to mope over pretty much anyone he's likely to appoint. Note that my first choice--one I've been vocal about for years--is a black woman. So white male has nothing to do with anything. Besides, Obama could've selected a better candidate who was female and non-WASPy.

  • ||

    Pro,

    She wouldn't be my first choice either but I'm a fire breathing liberal, and I have concerns that she'll be less of a liberal on certain issues than Souter. I like the idea of an activist supreme court, as long as it's activist in the direction I like, but given how politicized this process has become it's probably better (and definitely more politically tenable) to get someone of a more modern, technocratic bent than a political crusader.

  • ||

    It's sad we can't get one libertarian on the Court. Even if that libertarian were only pure on civil liberties, it would be an improvement.

  • ||

    I think there's a big difference between saying your life expereinces helps you to be a better judge, and the fact that you are a member of a certain ethnic group helps you to be a better judge.

    After all, our life expereinces turn into wisdom, and that's used when deciding cases (the hard ones anyways). Yes some cases are probably simple, you can just read the constinution, and figure out what was meant, but others probably take a bit more thinking.

    It's in those cases that having wisdom not just knowledge will probably help.

  • ||

    Nothing that she said was racist. Not even a little.

    She said her decisions are superior because of race and gender. She made racist rulings in the second circuit. She's racist. Delude yourself all you like.

    You position is that white nominees have never made racist rulings or said racist things?

    Yawn. Leftist wacko invokes straw man. Ad homs to follow. News at 11.

    Did you ever consider if you had a coherent position that you wouldn't need the whole rhetorical fallacy crutch thing?

    Nah, just yell more.

    Many white nominees have ruled against the Constitution..Yet almost all of the people who attack Sottameyer didn't have any problem with those white guys. Funny that.

    Laughable assertion without basis in any fact. On a LIB site, you're suggesting that people have no problem with white guys ruling against the Constitution? You made me really LOL. My officemate gave me a look.

    I have a very consist set of ethics.

    If simple == 'consist' I would agree. You have a very simple set of ethics. Dems say it and you yell it. Ethics at it's finest.

    And what do you think your objections to her are? They are nothing but RNC talking points. A little self awareness would be helpful.

    Wow, indeed a little self awareness would be. A collectivist dem fanatic telling a lib they are adhering to a party line that they despise.

    Whyncha throw Bush in too? Grr Grr!

    Cause you know libertarians LOVE Bush so well. All those bailouts and "no children left behind" and faith based initiatives and the mountains of new business regulations.. yeah Bush was a Libertarian dream

    Here's a bone for you : "Halliburton!"

    Go fetch!

    The right doesn't think, but sometimes I wonder if the left can think. I think you guys just emote and can't tell the difference.

  • ||

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the "racism against whites" trope is really stupid rightwing bullshit. If you don't care about racism until you detect it happening against whites then I suggest you exercise your first amendment right to cry me a river.

  • ||

    I think the key here is that racism is bad whether against blacks, whites, hispanic, or any other race.

    racism isn't good just because it's against whites.

  • ||

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that the "racism against whites" trope is really stupid rightwing bullshit.

    Her assertion wasn't racism against whites. It was just plain racism.

    If you don't care about racism until you detect it happening against whites then I suggest you exercise your first amendment right to cry me a river.

    You beat that straw man boy!

    Cuase no white person ever spoke out against racism right? Much less a libertarian?

    Hell even the moron GOP had enough sense to free the slaves over the objections of the democratic single party south.

    Racism is anti-freedom. That's why libertarians are against it. Racism is pro-collectivist, that's why you support it.

  • ||

    Didn't say it's a good thing, I just don't think it's a credible thing.

    That's why it's comedy gold to see conservatives try and discuss race. Decades of ignoring (and encouraging) the real problems of racism in this country, yet all of a sudden they're crusaders for racial justice when engaged in full-on "poor persecuted christian white male" mode.

  • ||

    faithkills,

    I hate to break it to you but the party of Lincoln is not the same thing as the party of Limbaugh just because they share the same name.

  • ||

    I'm no fan of either. They are both good collectivists. Just like you. You all want your very strong opinions backed with federal legislation and their armies and guns.

    I call you all cowards, if you feel so strongly about forcing other people to your will, pick up your own gun.

    The right thinks there is a beneficent god. The left thinks there is a beneficent politician. I'm not sure which is more deluded.

    I am sure you all should be free to subject your mind to your delusions, I am also sure free people are getting tired of being forced to be subject to your delusions.

  • ||

    Oh, and by the way, on Ricci: It's just plain wrong to question a judge's motives or to accuse her of as vile a thing as racism just because she decided a particular way on a controversial case. That kind of bullshit is what has politicized the courts to an alarming degree in the first place.

    Sotomayor recommended rejecting Ricci's claim because of the damage that would be done to policies meant to discourage racism should his arguments prevail. That's not racist, it's recognizing that racism still exists.

  • ||

    The right thinks there is a beneficent god. The left thinks there is a beneficent politician. I'm not sure which is more deluded.

    Maybe it's you? I could be wrong but I have never met a leftist who worships politicians the way rightwingers do. That criminal bigot Ronald Reagan is a saint to them, and they were first to label anyone who opposed Bush as a traitor to the country.

  • ||

    Lol, you collectivists crack me up.

    That's like saying violence is not violence because it's meant to discourage violence.

    You could try to twist Ricci that way were that the only thing. Combine it with her rhetoric and we needn't guess. She is a vile racist, as you say.

    And all that racism does is justify the bubbas to continue in their racism. And all of that racism together continues to justify collectivism on both sides.. "We gotta protect you from racism!"

    It doesn't end until it ends, but you don't want that, do you collectivists? You all gotta be victims. White reverse discrimination victims gotta be protected by the GOP and poor latina SCOTUS nominee victims gotta be protected by the Dems.

    You're all dupes.

    I could be wrong but I have never met a leftist who worships politicians the way rightwingers do.

    Hahahaha! Oh the right does revere Reagan, but you're seriously comparing Reagan worship to Obama worship? Wow some people just don't care about their credibility.

  • ||

    you're seriously comparing Reagan worship to Obama worship

    No, I'm saying Reagan worship is much more fanatical, especially given the fact that he accomplished less good in his 8 years than Obama has in 5 months, and was an arms smuggling criminal bigot with mental deficiencies while Obama--that guy liberals all over blogland are criticizing at the moment for myriad reasons--is not.

  • ||

    he accomplished less good in his 8 years than Obama has in 5 months,

    The only accomplishments I've seen in the Obama administration so far are (1) a marked increase in the quality of press releases, and (2) a massive increase in spending. What am I missing?

    Oh, that's right, the number of medical marijuana raids in California is down somewhat, even though legalization has been taken decisively off the table. All hail!

  • ||

    Obama hasn't accomplished terribly much (although it can be argued that he rescued the economy from collapse), but I'm only comparing him to the freakshow reign of idiocy that was the Reagan administration, the negative consequences of which we're still living through.

  • ||

    By people whose opinions matter she is universally regarded as a brilliant jurist, if not a firebrand.

    I'm gonna need a link for that, Tony.

    If she were a white male I doubt anyone would be questioning her qualifications.

    If she were a white male, she wouldn't have been nominated. Obama as much as said so.

  • ||

    Obama hasn't accomplished terribly much (although it can be argued that he rescued the economy from collapse),

    Dear God, do you have any acquaintance at all with the data on this economy? Home prices are still heading down, foreclosures are still heading up, unemployment is still heading up, banks are failing, major car companies are either in bankruptcy or are being nationalized, and the currency is collapsing.

    This economy is a long, long way from being rescued.

  • ||

    Obama most assuredly did not rescue the economy from collapse. Nor did Bush. The dirty little secret is that the economy was never in that kind of danger. It's a recession, with two sectors taking worse than normal hits. We've got a while before the recession will be over, but there are already some signs that we'll experience a recovery before too long. Provided that our government doesn't push us into runaway inflation or worse.

  • ||

    Actually, it's a depression. As Bill Bonner over at the Daily Reckoning says.
    http://dailyreckoning.com/

    our entire economy is going to go through a long and painfull process as we move from being excessivly leveraged to living within our means. We still have massive amounts of foreclosures waiting as op-arms, and alt-A's hit the market, plus prime loans foreclosures are going up too.

    Will we hit 25% unemployment probably not, but all this green shoot bullshit you hear in the MSM is exactly that, bullshit.


    And yes our government will push us into rampant inflation, it's the only way we can pay back the reckless spending. Devalue the dollar. Of course now they call it something different, quanititative easing. It's really just printing money.

    Oh, and you can say a lot about Regan but he did help to bring down the USSR. And that goes a LONG way imo. Also, he let Paul Volker do his thing (unlike Obama) and that goes a long way too.

  • ||

    No, I'm saying Reagan worship is much more fanatical, especially given the fact that he accomplished less good in his 8 years than Obama has in 5 months,

    What good? The announced new era of transparency in government? Yeah that would be the only thing, except just the opposite happened. He's been an unmitigated disaster.

    Lol, and I thought Bush was a disaster. I have to downgrade him from disaster to misadventure.

    I'm old enough to remember how Reagan was portrayed by the media. He was routinely mocked at best and vilified at worst. There's absolutely no comparison to the Obama worship we see now.

    Reagan was no saint, but go read the interview with him on this site. He was wrong on many issues, but at least he actually understood them and could articulate an argument unlike Obama. I was shocked when I read that interview last year. I had bought the bumbling buffoon portrayal. Compare this to Obama's media canonization.

    The only difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama is willing to spend the country into third world status in an attempt to gain a permanent majority and he can read a prompter much more convincingly.

    Or maybe I should keep holding my breath for the Patriot Act to be repealed? Yeah I'll do that.

  • ||

    And yes our government will push us into rampant inflation, it's the only way we can pay back the reckless spending. Devalue the dollar. Of course now they call it something different, quanititative easing. It's really just printing money.

    You're totally right and I don't think it can be stopped. We're not likely to go into a war and wipe out all our competition, nor reinvent a production economy to take advantage of it.

    Recovering from the FDR disaster was a historical fluke which will not recur in a nuclear era. People believe the nationalist rhetoric and think there's something magical about Americans which will save us. There isn't. We got lucky once.

    America didn't make freedom, freedom made America. We're on the road to being another failed fascist state with nukes, because collectivists on the left and right think there's an economic Santa Claus.

    Actually we're already a fully fascist state under Obama. Government now runs industry. If you can call it 'industry'.

  • ||

    Tony said: "Watching conservatives try to discuss race is free comedy."

    How so?

  • ||

    Tony said: "Watching conservatives try to discuss race is free comedy."

    How so?



    Because it's like they just realized it's no longer the 1960s and they have to sound like they care about racism--by bitching about racism against white people.

  • debbiesim||

    I disagree with some of this analysis. I do think Sarah Palin was picked in part because she is a woman. However, she has a strong - albeit short - record as governor, and her credentials as a reformer and maverick are real, even if the tagline has become a bit hackneyed. We tend to forget this because she was so reamed by the media, but go back and read about her political career - in depth. She did some very courageous things in taking on the powers that be in the Republican party. Also watch a video of the televised debates when she ran for governor. She did very, very well. She came across as strong, smart, articulate, confident - with no gaffes.

  • ||

    Including race, ethnicity, and sex as criteria in selected a nominee for the Supreme Court is not necessarily to accept the notion of identity politics and it's not so bad. Though of course I want high quality jurists on the court and though of course I want them to be as impartial as humanly possible, the post is partly a political one and I am not offended that some political criteria are included.

    I was not offended when there was a "Jewish seat" on the court, and I'm not offended now if there's a black seat, a Hispanic seat, or a female seat or seats. But I want to have confidence that, whoever they are, they're committed to the rule of law and will treat me and everyone else impartially. I have reservations whether Sotomayor meets my criteria.

  • ||

    Re: Sarah Palin

    Third, she was someone who had actually worked her way up the political ladder, and had experience in the executive branch of government.

  • ||

    "It's worth noting that Sotomayor's statement about a Latina making better decisions than a white man was preceded by the phrase "I would hope," meaning that the suffering one endures as a Latina ought to make one a better judge than a white man, but unfortunately that's not always the case. It's a bit self-congratulatory, but I can imagine Justice Scalia (I guess that should be "Scal-ia") might, on occasion, have suggested that Catholics should make better judges than Protestants."

    Wow. There isn't a word in this quote that reflects positively on its writer. First, there is an assumption of motive that is, generously, naive. Second, there is a made-up story that allows the person to feel better about the flaws in the candidate. Winning argument, bub. Maybe you should have paid attention at the classes on logic in high school.

  • ||

    Malclave,

    Bingo! That's exactly what I would have written if you hadn't written it first. Palin was the only one of the people on either ticket with executive branch experience.

  • ||

    I'm a Conservative, refuge from the hapless, embarassing GOP. I tend a lot toward Lib'tarian positions , at least on a Fed Govt level.

    I have to laugh at Tony. I'm gay too, so i recongize his type.. the mindless clone gay Leftist. There is no other creature in this country more hateful and mindless, generally.

    The feeling of victimhood is off the charts with your gay Lefty, so they are probably the most groupthink-ed of those on the Left.

    Reading his comments and his view of the people he thinks he's arguing with. Anyone who opposes him is a Right-Winger and Conservatitve (according to him). This statement is very telling:

    "The way conservatives paint urban blacks and latinos, people they don't encounter very often, is to treat them in the same abstract way--which usually means with a cruel disregard. "

    You see, Tony views everyone in terms of some group they belong. And if the person is not a white male , then it's a victim group that is the primary identity. That's just the normal view for Tony. Everyone in their box.

    As a Conservative and I suspect Lib'tarians are the same, I view people as individuals. (this is where Tony type people will say i'm a hypocrite for stereotyping them.. If folks like tony insist on being viewed as a clog in a big Groupthink blob, then I will view them as such.)

    So when i see Tony's stereotypical victimized brown colored indigent in teh decayed inner city of heartless America, I dont associate them with some abstract group.. I view them as I view everyone I dont know.... someone I know nohting about it, so why would I take interest... does it even make sense... i never take interest in anyone who i will only encounter ina meaningless way that goes for the fancy lawyers who i share an elevator with in my general office skyscraper.

    So no. I'm not treating brown people any different then i do anyone else.

    That's why the GOP gets such a bad rap.. because Conservatives are horrible at pandering at people for belonging to some racial/ethnic group. Conservatives are much more interested in what a person thinks than how they look.

    Leftists are the worst at trying to objectively describe what makes people they disagree with tick. That is because they have to subscribe to the adbsurd templates of their enemies as a group .. that's why what they say is so boring. "Dittohead"... puh lease.. get a new script.

    How does it feel being on the Left.. being used by the liar in the White House who alll he needs to do is spout some rhetoric and have you ejaculating in your pants over something that is totally ingenious. Do you ever consider you're no different then the people in germany that hitler was able to seduce?

    And have you considered your knee-jerk reactions to things are the very behaviors our Islamic enemies are relying on in order to have you weaken the country enough for them to think they will be succesful in either destroying us , colonizing us, converting us, or rendering us geopoolitically irrelevent?

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