Wednesday, June 03, 2009


RAG Gets Results

A few days ago this entered the blogosphere:
Meanwhile, here is the complete text of the speech the judge gave with the controversial line that has some people -- including a certain former boss of mine -- calling Sotomayor a racist. Read the full speech yourself. It may not win any awards for eloquence, but I think the broader argument that she makes -- that it is impossible for a judge (or, arguably, anyone) to completely divorce one's experiences when making a decision -- is actually a fair one. Sotomayor concludes, however, that it is better to be aware of all of those biases -- or baggage, one might say -- when bringing them to the task at hand. And, yes, that means working within the law to come to correct decision.

Anyway, that's how I read it. I wouldn't call her a racist, though her view on how much of a role experience might/would/should play in decision-making is a more than reasonable line of inquiry for a Republican -- or any -- senator to pursue in confirmation hearings. As for Newt, of all people, he should know better than to take one line out of a speech and make a complete assertion about someone's mindset. Remember, "wither on the vine," Newt? That was a line in a speech where he said that he thought the Health Care Financing Administration bureaucracy running Medicare needed to be gotten rid of.

That, of course, ended up getting reported as Gingrich -- and, by extension, Republicans as a whole -- wanted Medicare to "wither on the vine." Funny how context matters.
Today, that former boss of mine posted this to his site (it also ran in Human Events):
My initial reaction was strong and direct -- perhaps too strong and too direct. The sentiment struck me as racist and I said so. Since then, some who want to have an open and honest consideration of Judge Sotomayor’s fitness to serve on the nation’s highest court have been critical of my word choice.

With these critics who want to have an honest conversation, I agree. The word “racist” should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person, even if her words themselves are unacceptable (a fact which both President Obama and his Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, have since admitted).

So it is to her words -- the ones quoted above and others -- to which we should turn, for they show that the issue here is not racial identity politics. Sotomayor’s words reveal a betrayal of a fundamental principle of the American system -- that everyone is equal before the law.
He then goes into a broader explanation why he thinks Sotomayor is a problematic appointment, at best. Much of his assessment comes down to her rulings on cases touching upon racial discrimination -- the famous Ricci/Connecticut firefighter case, being most prominent.

But even here, Newt makes an allowance -- taking note, as I cautioned, of all of her decisions:
In fairness to the judge, many of her rulings as a court of appeals judge do not match the radicalism of her speeches and statements. She has shown more caution and moderation in her rulings than in her words.

So the question we need to ask ourselves in considering Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation is this: Which judge will show up on the Supreme Court, the radical from her speeches or the convention liberal from her rulings?
This is actually rather refreshing. One doesn't often see a political figure -- elected or otherwise -- back down from incendiary language. Again, Newt has major problems with the judge -- and, in fairness to him, his concerns need to be fully vetted in the confirmation hearings. But it's a good thing to put a certain R-word back in the bottle.

And apparently demonstrating that "racism" was, like, so May, Rush Limbaugh declared that he was open to support the nominee -- even if she is a "reverse racist" -- because of abortion: "I can see a possibility of supporting this nomination if I can be convinced that she does have a sensibility toward life in a legal sense."

So, if she's just a racist, she's unacceptable. But, if there's even the slightest possiblity that she could be a pro-life racist, then that's OK? (Yes, liberals reading this blog: insert your own joke here).

My mind hurts.

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