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White Man's Last Stand!?

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2009 at 1:12 AM
  • 43 Replies

 Racist...sexist...hmm

Op-Ed Columnist

White Man's Last Stand

 
Published: July 14, 2009

Washington

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

 

You can't judge a judge by her cover.

Despite the best efforts of Republicans to root out any sign that Sonia Sotomayor has emotions that color her views on the law, the Bronx Bomber kept a robotic mask in place.

A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not know that a gaggle of white Republican men afraid of extinction are out to trip her up.

After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They've had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.

So when Republican Senator Jon Kyl, without so much as a howdy-do, went at Sotomayor, and soon was asking her if she agreed with Barack Obama's contention, when he voted against John Roberts, that a judge's heart is important, the would-be justice was as adroit as her idol Nancy Drew.

"No, sir," she said, indicating that the only bleeding-heart thing about her was the color of her jacket. She added that "it's not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It's the law."

President Obama wants Sotomayor, naturally, to bring a fresh perspective to the court. It was a disgrace that W. appointed two white men to a court stocked with white men. And Sotomayor made it clear that she provides some spicy seasoning to a bench when she said in a speech: "I simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging, but I accept there will be some based on gender and my Latina heritage."

The judge's full retreat from the notion that a different life experience is valuable was more than necessary and somewhat disappointing. But, as any clever job applicant knows, you must obscure as well as reveal, so she sidestepped the dreaded empathy questions - even though that's why the president wants her.

"We apply law to facts," she told Kyl. "We don't apply feelings to facts."

She even used a flat tone when talking about the "horrific tragedy" of 9/11, when she was living near the World Trade Center. And she was mechanical in explaining to a grumpy Senator Orrin Hatch that banning nunchaku sticks did not dent the Second Amendment because the martial-arts weapons' swing "can bust someone's skull."

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer gamely tried to make the judge seem even more coldhearted. Recalling the sad plight of poor families from the Bronx who sued T.W.A. after a jet crashed off Long Island in 1996, he quoted the Bronx jurist's dispassionate dissent: "The appropriate remedial scheme for deaths occurring off the United States coast is clearly a legislative policy choice, which should not be made by the courts."

Schumer also cited the case of an African-American woman who filed suit after being denied a home-equity loan, even after the loan application was conditionally approved based on her credit report.

Sonia Legree ruled that the woman's claim was filed too late, the same argument that the Supremes used on Lilly Ledbetter when she belatedly learned that her male coworkers were much better paid. President Obama has cited the Ledbetter decision as a reason the court needs a more "common touch."

"The law requires some finality," Sotomayor explained about her case, with an iciness that must have sent a chill up the conservative leg of Alabama's Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, even as it left Obama hanging out on an empathy limb.

Republican Lindsey Graham read Sotomayor some anonymous comments made by lawyers about her, complaining that she was "temperamental," "nasty," "a bit of a bully." Then he patronizingly lectured her about how this was the moment for "self-reflection." Maybe Graham thinks Nino Scalia has those traits covered.

But the barbed adjectives didn't match the muted performance on display before the Judiciary Committee. Like the president who picked her, Sotomayor has been a model of professorial rationality. Besides, it's delicious watching Republicans go after Democrats for being too emotional and irrational given the G.O.P. shame spiral.

W. and Dick Cheney made all their bad decisions about Iraq, W.M.D.'s, domestic surveillance, torture, rendition and secret hit squads from the gut, based on false intuitions, fear, paranoia and revenge.

Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music. Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.

Senator Graham said Sotomayor would be confirmed unless she had "a meltdown" - a word applied mostly to women and toddlers until Mark Sanford proudly took ownership of it when he was judged about the wisdom of his Latina woman.

And then there's the Supreme Court, of course, which gave up its claim to rational neutrality when the justices appointed by Republican presidents - including Bush Sr. - ignored what was fair to make a sentimental choice and throw the 2000 election to W.

Faced with that warped case of supreme empathy, no wonder Sotomayor is so eager to follow the law.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/opinion/15dowd.html?_r=1

by on Jul. 16, 2009 at 1:12 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mrs_khan07
by Silver Member on Jul. 16, 2009 at 1:18 AM

I keep hearing the term "affirmative action" in reference to her. Does anyone know for sure if she did get where she is by affirmative action? If not, I think she has every right to be there. If so, I have a very different opinion.

Mrs. Khan

margroc
by on Jul. 16, 2009 at 8:44 AM

Excellent article, I really like Maureen Dowd.

PamR
by Pam on Jul. 16, 2009 at 8:55 AM
Whether or not she benefited from Affirmative Action in getting accepted to college is really irrelevant - the Senators should be looking at her record as a judge.
SisterA
by on Jul. 16, 2009 at 9:43 AM


Quoting mrs_khan07:

I keep hearing the term "affirmative action" in reference to her. Does anyone know for sure if she did get where she is by affirmative action? If not, I think she has every right to be there. If so, I have a very different opinion.


AA might have helped get her into the college but AA could not help keep her there.  AA could do nothing for her interms of the papers she had to write, tests she had to take and so forth.  AA might be good but in the end it was this woman alone who got her to where she is.

'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

PamR
by Pam on Jul. 16, 2009 at 12:35 PM

This is true - Affirmative Action has helped minorities get their foot in the door, so to speak, but they have to do the work to remain there.

Racism?  Sen. Coburn telling Judge Sotomayor that she might have some "splainin' to do" in his best Ricky Ricardo imitation.  You think? 

And then there's the wonderful irony of Jeff Sessions, another poor, put-upon white guy.

Sessions Uses Sotomayor Nomination To Continue His Lifelong Crusade Against Civil Rights

Conservatives have chosen a strange leader to spearhead their charge against Judge Sotomayor — Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). With only days remaining until Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings begin, Sessions has focused his attacks on Sotomayor’s past service on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), a leading civil rights organization that Sessions calls “extreme” because it “brought several race discrimination lawsuits for minorities” while Sotomayor sat on its board.

Setting aside the facial absurdity of this attack — race discrimination is illegal, a fact which apparently also bothers Sessions — it’s puzzling that conservatives would let Sessions be their public face of opposition against the first Latina nominated to the Supreme Court, especially in light of his own checkered history with race.

In 1986, Sessions’ nomination to the federal bench was rejected by the Senate because of Sessions’ deep-seated hostility to the very notion of civil rights. In comments that are strikingly similar to his recent attacks on PRLDEF, Sessions attacked the NAACP as an “un-American” and “Communist-inspired” organization that “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” When confronted about these statements at his confirmation hearing, Sessions reluctantly conceded that they “probably w[ere] wrong.” Watch:

Nor were Sessions’ attacks on the NAACP an isolated incident. As a federal prosecutor, Sessions conducted a tenuous criminal investigation into voting rights advocates that registered African-Americans to vote, an investigation that culminated in an unsuccessful prosecution against a former aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Additionally, an African-American attorney who once worked for Sessions testified at his hearings that Sessions said that he “used to think [the KKK] were OK” until he found out some of them were “pot smokers.” The same attorney also recalled being called “boy” by Sessions and being told to “be careful what you say to white folks” after Sessions overheard him chastising a white secretary.

So Sessions’ attacks on PRLDEF fit into a much larger pattern; they are just the most recent phase of Sessions’ crusade against civil rights and the organizations that promote them. America has changed a lot since 1986, but Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III remains exactly the same.


MattisMommy08
by Bronze Member on Jul. 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM

I compleetely disagree.  There are many many cases in which this is completely false.   -especially in the state school system.  I will have to dig up some facts to back it up... but AA has run it's course.  It should be amended or be put away.  It is a sad day when a "minority" who is less qualified is given a position over a more qualified "white" person simply based on the color of their skin or origin.  now THAT is racist.

Slightly off topic but along the same premicise....Why can't I get an entry level job as a bank teller??  I have a college degree, 6 years of management and money handling experience..... want to know why?  I am not fluent in Spanish.  wth?

Quoting PamR:

This is true - Affirmative Action has helped minorities get their foot in the door, so to speak, but they have to do the work to remain there.

Racism?  Sen. Coburn telling Judge Sotomayor that she might have some "splainin' to do" in his best Ricky Ricardo imitation.  You think? 

And then there's the wonderful irony of Jeff Sessions, another poor, put-upon white guy.

 

 


                                               Click to see my site!

mrs_khan07
by Silver Member on Jul. 16, 2009 at 1:04 PM


Quoting SisterA:


Quoting mrs_khan07:

I keep hearing the term "affirmative action" in reference to her. Does anyone know for sure if she did get where she is by affirmative action? If not, I think she has every right to be there. If so, I have a very different opinion.


AA might have helped get her into the college but AA could not help keep her there.  AA could do nothing for her interms of the papers she had to write, tests she had to take and so forth.  AA might be good but in the end it was this woman alone who got her to where she is.

Thank you.

Mrs. Khan

mrs_khan07
by Silver Member on Jul. 16, 2009 at 1:07 PM


Quoting MattisMommy08:

I compleetely disagree.  There are many many cases in which this is completely false.   -especially in the state school system.  I will have to dig up some facts to back it up... but AA has run it's course.  It should be amended or be put away.  It is a sad day when a "minority" who is less qualified is given a position over a more qualified "white" person simply based on the color of their skin or origin.  now THAT is racist.

Slightly off topic but along the same premicise....Why can't I get an entry level job as a bank teller??  I have a college degree, 6 years of management and money handling experience..... want to know why?  I am not fluent in Spanish.  wth?

Quoting PamR:

This is true - Affirmative Action has helped minorities get their foot in the door, so to speak, but they have to do the work to remain there.

Racism?  Sen. Coburn telling Judge Sotomayor that she might have some "splainin' to do" in his best Ricky Ricardo imitation.  You think? 

And then there's the wonderful irony of Jeff Sessions, another poor, put-upon white guy.

 


I've always felt that way too. I don't care for AA at all. It may have served its purpose in the past but you're right, it has run its course. About your bank job, that is messed up! Yeah, it's good to know a second language, especially Spanish in this country, but for that to be required??? This is going too far. As if there aren't enough jobless people in this country right now and for them to turn you away because of that. BS.

Mrs. Khan

blondekosmic15
by on Jul. 17, 2009 at 4:20 AM


Quoting MattisMommy08:

I compleetely disagree.  There are many many cases in which this is completely false.   -especially in the state school system.  I will have to dig up some facts to back it up... but AA has run it's course.  It should be amended or be put away.  It is a sad day when a "minority" who is less qualified is given a position over a more qualified "white" person simply based on the color of their skin or origin.  now THAT is racist.

Slightly off topic but along the same premicise....Why can't I get an entry level job as a bank teller??  I have a college degree, 6 years of management and money handling experience..... want to know why?  I am not fluent in Spanish.  wth?

Quoting PamR:

This is true - Affirmative Action has helped minorities get their foot in the door, so to speak, but they have to do the work to remain there.

Racism?  Sen. Coburn telling Judge Sotomayor that she might have some "splainin' to do" in his best Ricky Ricardo imitation.  You think? 

And then there's the wonderful irony of Jeff Sessions, another poor, put-upon white guy.

 

 


I agree MattisMommy....my husband has been @ 1 company for 40 yrs. Retiring next yr. He has been faced w/ many problems due to AA & minority taking his job when they have very lil' if any experience esp. compared to his length of time present there! 

Wyldbutterfly
by Bronze Member on Jul. 17, 2009 at 8:26 AM


Quoting mrs_khan07:


Quoting MattisMommy08:

I compleetely disagree.  There are many many cases in which this is completely false.   -especially in the state school system.  I will have to dig up some facts to back it up... but AA has run it's course.  It should be amended or be put away.  It is a sad day when a "minority" who is less qualified is given a position over a more qualified "white" person simply based on the color of their skin or origin.  now THAT is racist.

Slightly off topic but along the same premicise....Why can't I get an entry level job as a bank teller??  I have a college degree, 6 years of management and money handling experience..... want to know why?  I am not fluent in Spanish.  wth?

Quoting PamR:

This is true - Affirmative Action has helped minorities get their foot in the door, so to speak, but they have to do the work to remain there.

Racism?  Sen. Coburn telling Judge Sotomayor that she might have some "splainin' to do" in his best Ricky Ricardo imitation.  You think? 

And then there's the wonderful irony of Jeff Sessions, another poor, put-upon white guy.

 


I've always felt that way too. I don't care for AA at all. It may have served its purpose in the past but you're right, it has run its course. About your bank job, that is messed up! Yeah, it's good to know a second language, especially Spanish in this country, but for that to be required??? This is going too far. As if there aren't enough jobless people in this country right now and for them to turn you away because of that. BS.

I completely agree. I wanted to share that even now Colleges are requiring a second language to be able to attend. Unless of course you were second language exempt in grammar and high school.

My problem with requiring second languages is that people here barely understand the English language . I say educate them first fully in English. When they have a full understanding of English. Then they can move on to a second language.

There are many illiterate children and adults and I find that very sad!

My son struggles something fierce with English. He was born and riased here and it's very difficult for him. I had to fight with the school to teach him English before they shoved another language at him.

When I think about English and how many of the words are spelled or pronounced, it's no wonder so many people struggle. For instance the old addage of I before E except after C. When there are so many exceptions to that rule. For instance ThEIr. I does not come before E and there is no C, that is just one exception to the rule.

Sorry I got off topic! This is just a subject that hits close  to home for me.

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