Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Supreme Court Thoughts

I read two fantastic articles today about Sonia Sotomayor, the presumptive front runner in the deathrace to replace Souter.

The first is from Greenwald, critiquing Jeffrey Rosen of the New Republic. Rosen published a hit piece on Sotomayor, citing exclusively annoymous sources who questioned her intelligence and temperament. The article was widely circulated in the rightwing trashpile, giving cover to many conservatives to wonder aloud if Sotomayor's gender and ethnicity (she is black and Puerto Rican) played a large role in granting her front-runner status. Greenwald writes:

In the last 24 hours alone, Rosen's article has been used by three different National Review writers -- who, I'd be willing to bet lots of money, know virtually nothing about Sotomayor -- to declare her to be "dumb and obnoxious." That's a phrase they've revelled in repeating three times now (and counting), culminating with this: "I'm sure Mark H. is right about Sotomayor's being dumb and obnoxious, just as Derb is right about her being female and Hispanic is all the [sic] matters." The amazing speed with which so many people who know absolutely nothing about her are willing, indeed eager, to assume that she's stupid and doesn't deserve her achievements -- based on the fact that she's Puerto Rican and female and Rosen published some trashy, unaccountable gossip feeding that perception -- is really remarkable.

The second article, which considers the sexist and racist implications in many of the rightwing critiques, is by A. Serwer, and appears at The American Prospect. Serwer writes:

Affirmative action was installed as a corrective against bigotry, a way to ensure qualified people were not passed over because of arbitrary conditions of their race or gender -- not as a "punishment" for whites, although it's not surprising to me that Cohen sees it that way. The fact that white women have been the greatest beneficiaries of affirmative action goes unmentioned because it's harder to make the case that "white people" have been hurt, because in the end, "white people" have benefited more than anyone else. "There's no need to cling to such a remedy anymore," says Cohen, who shares the WaPo op-ed page with a single black columnist.

And then, if you can stomach it, here is the remedy against thoughtful, mature dialogue courtesy of Sean Hannity and friends. I got about 2 minutes in before I stopped. If you can beat me, you get a special surprise present.

No comments: