The "Treasury View" and Fiscal Policy
links for 2009-05-30

Point Counterpoint: Republican Meltdown


Even by Republican standards, the Sotomayor meltdown is pretty impressive. Tom Tancredo calls La Raza, which is a pretty ordinary advocacy group, "a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses." Newt Gingrich writes that we cannot accept Sotomayor's rather anodyne remarks about experience being helpful in judging "if Civil War, suffrage, and Civil Rights are to mean anything", which would surely be news to all the African-Americans who are not presently enslaved. Rush Limbaugh compares Sotomayor to David Duke. Michael Goldfarb and John Derbyshire's readers are going on about the vast privileges enjoyed by Puerto Ricans who grow up poor in the projects.... Fred Barnes thinks her summa doesn't mean much, since "there’s some schools... where if you don’t get Summa Cum Laude then or some kind of Cum Laude, you then, you’re a D+ student." (For the record, when I was there, Princeton gave summas to around 5% of its students.) But really, nothing quite compares to G. Gordon Liddy saying not just that she is a member of La Raza, "which means in illegal alien, 'the race'", but this: "Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then..."

Will Wilkinson:

And I really don’t get why many Republicans have taken this opportunity [of Sotomayor's nomination] to reinforce the already widespread impression that they are morally odious morons...

Matthew Yglesias:

I see two options here. One option is that a large number of people who are not odious morons have, in the past, behaved in ways that garnered them a reputation as odious morons and have, unaccountably, decided to persist in that behavior. This is a non-partisan blog, so I won’t attempt to sketch the other possibility...

Hilzoy again:

[Y]ou do something right, which you suspect might lead your opponents to do something wrong. If you are right about them, they discredit themselves.... If you're wrong, you are pleasantly surprised. But you do not have to do anything wrong or underhanded yourself.... That's what [Obama is] doing now. He has chosen a judge [Sonia Sotomayor] who is by any standard exceptionally qualified... a fairly conservative judicial temperament. She sticks close to the law; she follows precedent.... But she is also a Puerto Rican woman. If the Republican Party were led by sane and decent people, this would not matter. But they aren't. As a result, they seem to be unable to see anything about her besides her ethnicity and her gender. The idea that she must be a practitioner of identity politics, a person whose every success is due to preferential treatment, etc., is apparently one they absolutely cannot resist. All Obama had to do was nominate an excellent justice, and all that is made plain.

And I hate it. I want to have a reasonable opposition party. I also don't want people of color, and especially kids, to have to listen to all this bigotry. We should be better than this...