Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Domo arigato Sotomayor-o?

OK so in recent weeks/months, I've eschewed blogging about politics in favor of doing more pop culture stuff ... for which I think I can be forgiven, given that we've entered the summer movie season.

But I wanted to at least mention two things about the current Supreme Court nominee fooforaw:

Judge Sotomayor and President Obama

1) The AP (God bless them for the work they do keeping the American public informed) is reporting that "Gingrich backs off 'racist' label for Sotomayor" -- the essential bit is:

"In a letter to supporters, the Georgia Republican said that his words had been "perhaps too strong and direct" last week when he called Sotomayor a reverse "racist," based on a 2001 speech in which she said she hoped the rulings of a "wise Latina" would be better than those of a white male without similar experiences."

Of course our illustrious former Speaker was going to catch hell for opposing any nominee of Obama's, particularly a Latino. (I don't think anyone is pulling punches because she's a woman, though -- both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin got so beaten up so much last year that they proved we are equal opportunity bashers where female politicians are concerned.)

So why is the Speaker backing off of this label? Well ... probably because it's not working particularly well, because he risks coming off as the bad guy, and she as the innocent victim. The slanderous attacks on Judge Alito during his confirmation process only increased his favorability ratings because said attacks were perceived as so ludicrous (which, incidentally, they were). By backing off the "you are a racist" label Gingrich demonstrates humility enough to apologize without really doing so.

Is Judge Sotomayor a racist? Well ... probably. I mean, everybody's at least a little bit racist if they're honest with themselves. It's like a great philosopher said once:

"We humanoids are a product of millions of years of evolution. Our ancestors learned the hard way that what you don't know might kill you. They wouldn't have survived if they hadn't jumped back when they encountered a snake coiled in the muck; and now, millions of years later, that instinct is still there. It's genetic."

I think this video from "Avenue Q" sums it up pretty well:

More than that - culturally - our country, particularly the political left, is pretty tolerant of anti-white sentiment, especially when it is perceived as mostly harmless. (Example: Mayor Nagin's "chocolate city" speech, for review here.)

2) If this Sotomayor's nomination is going to be about identity politics, why do I hear so little mention of religion? She is Catholic -- not that there's anything wrong with that, some of my favorite people are or used to be Catholic -- but her approval would make her the SIXTH Catholic on the bench: Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito are all disciples of the Holy Father. Ginsburg and Breyer are Jewish, and only Stevens is Protestant.

Granted, Catholicism is the largest individual religion in the US -- estimated 24% of the population -- but more than half the country is some kind of Protestant. (The Boston Globe did an interesting article on religion in the US here that you could check out.) How about some more Protestants on the bench? How about a Mormon? (1.7% of the population btw) How about (gasp!) an agnostic?

Obviously judicial temperament, intelligence, and experience are more important than identity politics ... but I'm baffled that the religion issue hasn't played out more in the press. USA Today posted an article about it ... shortly after I started writing this blog entry.

Anyway ... there's my 2 cents, which in today's economy is only worth about half a farthing.

For someone whose opinion carries considerably more value, here's what my old boss, Senator Hatch is saying about Judge Sotomayor, fyi.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There can never be enough catholics!


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