[T]he assault on Sotomayor isn't about her skills as a jurist. This is classic race-based politics from the Republican right.
Jesse Jackson, Sotomayor Critics Just Race-Baiting, Chicago Sun Times, 3 June 2009
American voters say 55 - 36 percent that affirmative action should be abolished, and disagree 71 - 19 percent with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayer's [sic] ruling in the New Haven firefighters' case, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Jammie Wearing Fool, quoting from a Quinnipiac poll, 3 June 2009
The irony here is just too good not to sit back and revel in it. So what does it mean when Jesse Jackson, our nation's historical race-baiter in chief, calls Republican criticism of Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonya Sotomayer "race baiting?" Given the incredible clarity of Sotomayer's statements, given that she recently summarily disposed of a reverse racism claim, and given the "historic significance" of Obama's election, it means that we have a golden opportunity to expose and severely retard one of the most destructive political forces our nation has ever seen - the identity politics of the far left.
Jesse Jackson and the entire left wing are all playing the race card in response to Republican charges that Sotomayor evinced reverse racism. None are attempting to actually address Sotomayer's words - that by virtue of her sex and nationality, she arrives at "better" judgments than a white man. Nor are they trying to defend those words in light of her summary adjudication of the New Haven Firefighter's case. One simply cannot defend all of that with the even a patina of intellectual honesty on the the grounds that it is anything other than reverse racism. And indeed, their silence on these two points is deafening. Instead, what we get from Jackson and the left - Bob Herbert and Charles Blow being but two other recent examples - are a series of ad hominem attacks on the people who are criticizing Sotomayor. Their abuse of the race card in this instance is just too blatant and obvious.
This actually could be a watershed event. Not because Sotomayor's nomination is going to be derailed - its not and, indeed, it should not be. She should instead be made into a permanent symbol of far left's identity politics and reverse racism. Nothing else will create, in any more stark terms, a picture of the politics of the far left and all that is wrong with it. Further, it does so at a time when, if the above Quinnipiac poll is accurate, tolerance for reverse racism, victim politics and government mandated inequality seems very much to be on the wain. And indeed, there are many intelligent voices providing the grounds for an end to these evils, Victor Davis Hanson and Thomas Sowell being two of the most notable.
The election of Obama was historic and meaningful. Obama expressly held out the promise of a post-racial America, but the reality has shown the opposite. He clearly has no intention of doing away with the victim politics of his base. But no matter - the mere fact of Obama's election has apparently soothed enough white guilt over slavery and the racism that remained in slavery's wake that tolerance for the left's victim politics is approaching a historic nadir. If this is exploited honestly and intelligently, it could well be that Obama's election comes to be both the high water mark of the marxian politics of the far left and, at the same time, the cause of its demise. Oh, but irony is such a wonderfully fickle thing.
At any rate, Republicans should be doing little else during the Sotomayor hearings and the run up to them except discussing the evils of reverse racism and affirmative action. And if they are really smart, they will trot out Victor Davis Hanson and Thomas Sowell and provide them with a national platform to discuss these issues. Indeed, let's see if we can set up a debate on this issue between Hanson and Sowell and, say, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Jesse Jackson. That's one I'd pay to see.