"She's a terrible judge! She has a 60% reversal rate!"
"She's racist! She belongs to la Raza, a racist Hispanic group!"
"She's a Hispanic woman!"
Really, that last one is being used as a talking point against her (at least it has the dubious benefit of being true). Apparently, the fact that she is both Hispanic and female, at the same time, is proof positive that her selection was due to Affirmative Action. (Because, after all, there's no way that a Hispanic female could possibly be qualified otherwise, is there?)
"She has a 60% reversal rate!" You know, I love how that number is being bandied about by unhinged right-wingers. But since only 5 cases have gone to the Supreme Court, it's strange that it's even expressed in percentages, which are only useful when discussing significantly more than 5 of anything.
And, weirdly enough, since the reversal rate of the Supreme Court of the United States (or as some of us like to call it, SCOTUS) actually runs about 75%, doesn't that mean that she's doing better than average? Come on, folks! If you're going to play with numbers, at least stick to the ones you understand.
As for her "wise Latina woman" quote, let's look at this thing we call "context." It's used in legal circles sometimes, so it's almost related to the meta-subject here. But in a more specific way, it relates to Judge Sotomayor's statement, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Wow. That sounds almost like she's answering a question, doesn't it? In fact, she was specifically discussing the importance of judicial diversity in determining race and sex discrimination cases. Which is what the panel discussion was about.
And if you think about it, a woman who could have been a target of discrimination might have a more accurate view of it than, say, some fat complacent white man with limited opportunity to be discriminated against.
But really, why does this matter? The right wing didn't go up in flames when John Yoo (the author of the terror memos) wrote the following about Justice Clarence Thomas:
As his memoir shows, Justice Thomas's views were forged in the crucible of a truly authentic American story. This is a black man with a much greater range of personal experience than most of the upper-class liberals who take potshots at him. A man like this on the Court is the very definition of the healthy diversity his detractors pretend to support.Ooh, look at that. John Yoo is a radical liberal!
More to the point, let's look at the confirmation hearing for little Sammy Alito. For some reason, the GOP didn't feel that they should oppose a conservative judge based on the following exchange.
U.S. SENATOR TOM COBURN (R-OK): Can you comment just about Sam Alito, and what he cares about, and let us see a little bit of your heart and what's important to you in life?For some reason, the same arguments, made by a white conservative, don't elicit the same reaction from the GOP. It's strange, isn't it?
ALITO: Senator, I tried to in my opening statement, I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point.
I don't come from an affluent background or a privileged background. My parents were both quite poor when they were growing up.
And I know about their experiences and I didn't experience those things. I don't take credit for anything that they did or anything that they overcame.
But I think that children learn a lot from their parents and they learn from what the parents say. But I think they learn a lot more from what the parents do and from what they take from the stories of their parents lives.
And that's why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let's say, someone who is an immigrant -- and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases -- I can't help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn't that long ago when they were in that position.
SO they move on to their next meaningless talking point. "She's racist! She belongs to la Raza!"
The National Council of La Raza (NCRL), despite all the blatherings of that pinheaded moron Tom Tancredo, is not "a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses." They're a support group, fighting poverty and discrimination in the Hispanic community. (You can read about them here, if you want.) But in summary, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo put it like this:
For those who aren't familiar with it, La Raza is basically a Latino equivalent of B'nai Brith or the NAACP. Garden variety and uncontroversial unless you thinks it's a public safety issue if more than a handful of Mexicans or Puerto Ricans get together in one place at the same time.And I love this "racist" talk - let's look at the sources.
There's that useless gasbag Tom Tancredo, who built an entire presidential campaign on attacking Hispanics (frequently suggesting that every illegal immigrant is a criminal - "They need to be found before it is too late. They're coming here to kill you, and you, and me, and my grandchildren"); he even sang "Dixie" with the white supremacist group "League of the South."
Ann Coulter, who likes to point out that "Slavery... is the only African institution America has ever adopted," and who once wrote an article on immigration with the fascinating title "Bush's America: Roach Motel."
Rush Limbaugh - does everybody remember him saying that Donovan McNabb was overrated because he was black? Or Michelle Wie, the best 16-year-old golfer in the world" "(It's) a marketing tool they're using to build her to up to a level much greater than her actual accomplishments." (I mean, come on! A black or an Asian, actually good at sports?)
Glenn Beck, who links illegal immigrants to everything that's ever gone wrong with the country, probably to include the shooting of Lincoln.
Newt Gingrich, who wants us to believe that the "war here at home" against illegal immigrants is "even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan")
Pat Buchanan - oh, come on! Pat is America's second most famous racist, right after David Duke.
(Oh, and notice how I did that: not only did I give specific examples of these people's racism, but for the most part, it's specifically the racism that NCLR is set up to fight.)
And before you say that these statements are all opposing illegal immigration, let's remember Pat Buchanan on the subject:
(They) are not assimilated into America. Many Hispanics, as a matter of fact, you know what culture they are assimilating to? — the rap culture, the crime culture, anti-cops, all the rest of it.As I mentioned above, the NCLR is a support group. And the difference between a hate group and a support group is pretty obvious to most of us.
Hate groups like the KKK focuses on the loss of power by the white race because of all these brown people and "mongrel races." They use violence to promote their ends, and tend to break a lot of laws: as I'm sure you're aware, thousands of blacks have been killed, and hundreds of thousands attacked, injured or intimidated by the Klan since their inception after the Civil War.
Support groups like the NCLR are completely unrelated. The closest similarity that can be drawn has to do with the fact that they're fighting poverty and discrimination against a specific ethnic group. But, since that particular group does, in fact, suffer discrimination (for example, look at the specific examples up above), they have every right (and perhaps even the obligation) to do so.
They don't use violence to achieve their aims, they use financial assistance, education and mutual support.
(And, incidentally, you can ignore that whole "Reconquista!" argument - that's a conspiracy theory made up by noted lying gasbag Michelle Malkin.)
But in the end, all this talk is just the end result of continued GOP obstruction. It didn't matter who Obama chose as Supreme Court nominee, the GOP had already said that they were going to oppose whoever was chosen.
The new Republican Party motto: "We don't care about the country, just our political agenda."