Mistake or Masterstroke?

Let’s start of our analysis of the Sotomayer nomination by all heaving a sigh of sympathy for Sonia. She is about to have her entire life subjected to the most vicious political and personal attack machine ever created. No stops of the Mighty Wurlitzer will be left unpulled, no rocks left unturned, no dirt will be undug, no depths will be left unplumbed and no rumor….no matter how unfounded, will be left unscreamed in 100 point type.

Heck, we may even hear something about her actual legal qualifications….though I doubt it.

The RW will, I predict, reach a new acme of acrimony and angst over Sonia Sotomayer.

Why? Because she doesn’t count. She is not real. She doesn’t actually even exist….to them. To them, her feelings don’t count, her humanity doesnt count her record, intellect, and fitness to be on the SCOTUS certainly doesn’t count. Previously observed protocols standards and political rules of engagement don;t count. Only one thing counts.

She is other.

So all bets are off.

Things that would NEVER be said about a man will be said of her, regardless of that man’s qualifications. Things that would never be said about a white person will be said about her, regardless of that man’s ideology or “temperament.”

Sonia Sotomayer the person just disappeared. She is about to be reduced to caricature. And as always with the RW the facts will have no bearing on the nature of the character, No facts but two that is, she is not male and she is not white. Add in the fact that she is from a lower class economic background and all bets are off.

The RW is, by their rules, under no obligation to treat her as a human being.

And they won’t.

She is other. Therefore she is not entitled to the respect or consideration that entities that they are able to identify as members of the human race….white males, or as they have  recently been dragged kicking and screaming to accept as human….non-white males, or white females. Sonia Sotomayer might as well be from another galaxy, or a non-carbon based life form.

It does not matter what she believes, how she would rule, or what she would bring to the Supreme Court, they will be unable to accept these two and a half strikes against her.

Turkana has a good analysis of reality here. But reality, as we well know, will have nothing to do with how the RW reacts.

Which brings us to the strategic question in the title. Personally I love this pick on every level. But strategically, Obama may as well have nominated Eugene Debs. The level of opposition and opprobrium would be the same. At least he was a white male.

Obama just picked a fight with the absolute worst element of the RW, the bigots and misogynists. (YAY!) He just walked up to Rush Limbaugh and Jeff Sessions and slapped them in the face with a gauntlet. Filled with rolls of quarters.

If it was his intention to make his first of his (we hope) many SCOTUS picks a quiet one, he failed. If it was his intentions to make a pick that would smoke out the racists, sexists, classists and rabid dogs of the RW in the media and in the Senate…..he has succeeded.

You did good Barack! especially as precedent for future SCOTUS fights, you are exposing their bigotry and lack of substance early and starkly.

With one HUGE caveat.

If you were going to pick a fight, you might as well have appointed a goddam LIBERAL, dammit.

She had better be relatively unassailable on her actual body of work. It looks like she is pretty damn unassailable on the basis of ideology. Leftish, but not LEFT.

Hopefully that is what he is laying the groundwork and setting a precedent for. And hopefully, though the odds are slim considering the makeup of the Court, his next choice will be to replace one of the Failtastic Four conservatives. Maybe Clarence Thomas will get an inoperable case of hemorrhoids and will be unable to fulfill his duties as an inert lump taking up space and voting however Roberts tells him to.

Miracles do occasionally happen. Hell, we have a Black President in America!

But oh…..poor Sonia! I hope she is ready for the onslaught, and I hope the spineless Left is ready to get her back. Including us. The most insidious smears will be stealthy and, on the surface reasonable and credible. And they will undoubtedly make even some of the Weak Sisters (sexism alert!) on the Left doubt her, and even turn on her, under the relentless multi-leveled Blitkrieg of Bullshit the RW is about to unleash. She is going to need every friend she can get, by the time they are done.

Clammyc gets the Pushback Party started over at DK. It will be interesting to see if the hardcore Obama supporters and anti-Leftists that are so prevalent these days are smart enough to perceive this as Obama waging war and smoking out the RW bigots…. and fight hard for him and Sotomayer. Or if they will succumb to the stealth campaign of the RW and passively (as is their wont) watch from the sidelines as they attempt to smear and discredit her…and by extension, Obama.

This could be a tipping point in the battle for a battle. Let’s see who Stands Up and fights.


Skip to comment form

  1. But WELL worth fighting for, as a battlefield to continue the death spiral of the Republiban Party….that WILL allow a Liberal in the future.


  2. You mean she’s a Puerto Rican-born, watermelon-eating, radical Muslim socialist fascist? I demand to see her birth certificate!

    • Adam on May 26, 2009 at 20:03

    Obama is throwing a Hispanic woman to the GOP wolves, as it were. If they bare their teeth and attack mercilessly, which is pretty likely, Hispanic voters will remember the GOP feeding frenzy on Hispanic blood. And they will remember.

  3. …all policies and appointments in any administration, regardless of election results removing them from power, or the fact that at least half the population doesn’t agree with their ideology–right?

    It’s okay for them to pack the court with mediocre, conservative ideologues, but scream “unfair”! if the POTUS seeks to inject a little balance.  And, it may just be only a “little balance”, (per Slate’s assessment of pick):

    Bipartisan: Check. (She was first nominated by President George H.W. Bush.)

    So, apparently the RW nuts will scream, thrash about, and evoke high drama, no matter who President Obama nominates to the SCOTUS.  I’m sure they have their “Scalito” clones in the wings to try to push for nomination, but it’s time they were forced to face up to the fact that they lost the election.

  4. and no rumor….no matter how unfounded, will be left unscreamed

    I heard she’s a lesbian feminist zombie ninja robot. That’s what her uncle’s cousin’s sister’s dog’s publicist says, anyway.

    She’s not just other … than a white male. She’s other than Robert Bork or Samuel Alito. She’s other than what they want. Plus, even if they liked her, they’d savage her, just for tactical reasons, so they could push the talking point that Obama is a radical. Expect to hear that “wise Latina woman” vs. “white male” quote on heavy rotation on Faux News and talk radio. NewsMax is already hyping it, but I won’t link to them. This is gonna get ugly.

    • TomP on May 26, 2009 at 20:42

    As you point out, she’s leftish, but not left.  She’s a good nominee nonetheless.  And it shows some fight against the right wing bigots.

  5. John Yoo weighs in.

    President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor shows that empathy has won out over excellence in the White House. Sotomayor has sterling credentials: Princeton, Yale Law School, former prosecutor, and federal trial and appellate judge. But credentials do not an excellent justice make. Justice Souter, whom Sotomayor would replace, had an equally fine c.v., but turned out to be a weak force on the high court.

    Obama had some truly outstanding legal intellectuals and judges to choose from-Cass Sunstein, Elena Kagan, and Diane Wood come immediately to mind. The White House chose a judge distinguished from the other members of that list only by her race. Obama may say he wants to put someone on the Court with a rags-to-riches background, but locking in the political support of Hispanics must sit higher in his priorities.

    The mind boggles.  There’s an essay in here somewhere.

  6. Upheld School District’s (mild) punishment of a highschool student for off-campus speech.


    • dmc on May 26, 2009 at 22:38

    to know that J. Thomas actually does have his own judicial identity on the court. I used to think the same thing, that he just sits there not saying anything and then votes as he’s told. But in actuality he takes the federalist ideology even a bit more seriously than some of the others. See some of his decisions on the Commerce Clause, see e.g. the 2005 case Gonzales v. Raich, where he dissents from a majority decision upholding the right of the federal government to arrest a medical marijuana patient from privately growing pot for their own personal use with no commercial involvement or intent whatsoever.

  7. American past time.  does that count?  Will that gain her some favor with RW?

    • urtica on May 27, 2009 at 00:33

    and I do–and possibly because of my love of Debs, I think she will face somewhat less animosity and hyperbole. Comparatively, she is mainline centrist, imo. But I like the visual. I hope she is nominated and confirmed.

  8. until I learn more about her.  

  9. the next one to be replaced will be Stevens.  He’s hung in there, way after he should have been able to retire, because he understood how many things have hung by a single thread and he personally has had to be that thread on too many fronts.

Comments have been disabled.