Friday, July 17, 2009

The GOP -vs- (Her Honor) Sonia Sotomayor

What was at stake for the Republicans?

They appeared to be tilting (once again!) at windmills of their own making.

But there is always method - be it twisted or perverted - to their madness. I always say, if you want the truth out of any Republicant, the onliest one you can go to is Pat Buchanan.

And Uncle Pat's the guy who Rachel Maddow dialed up last night:

The Good Ol' Party is still mired in 20th Century.

19 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Vigilante said...

Thanks to Fearguth at Bildungblog for the graphic.

7/17/2009 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mac Daddy Tribute Blog said...

So affirmative action is not an attempt to redress years of discrimination against a specific class. It's blacks discriminating against white males.

This country wasn't built by the free labor of black slaves, the cheap labor of the Chinese and the cheap labor of poor whites, women and men. It was built by pot-bellied, rich white males.

I personally would like to thank Pat Buchannan for saying out loud and on tv what a lot of white people believe anyway: that this country was built by white people and white America should do its damnest to keep it that way.

Thanks, Pat, for destroying any illusions I may had had about America as a post-racial society, since Obama became president.

7/17/2009 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

I called MSNBC this morning to express my displeasure that they continue to give that old racist prick a platform for spewing his racist and misogynistic bullshit everyday. He has an entire Murdock empire that would, no doubt, welcome him. Why do I have to watch him? I've had to watch and listen to him for, what, thirty years at least. He and his idiot sister Bay. I threatened to boycott the network. I'm not alone. A lot of pissed off tweeters called too.

But like MacDaddy says, It's now out there that the right thinks the white males should retain power just because they're white. And Pat is certainly making it crystal clear the republican party is the party for the white man's entitlement to the best of everything.

I'm quite sure that time is in the past. God I hope so.

7/17/2009 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger zeppo said...

The one good thing about all this is that no one really can argue that racism is still alive and well in the Republican party. It's been laid out there for all to see. I can't help but think that's a good thing.

Isn't Jeff Sessions just the cutest lil' ol' cracker you have ever laid your eyes on?

7/17/2009 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

LMFAO, Zeppo! A good one! A good one indeed!

7/17/2009 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

MacDaddy is, once again, spot on!

I, too, give Buchanan credit for publicly, and precisely, proclaiming the pervasive, persistent, and poisonous racist beliefs that still infect too many Americans.

"Republi-can'ts" continue to obfuscate, deny, and declaim against racism. Yet, in their entrenched eighteenth century belief system, they devoutly and steadfastly cling to their old shibboleths.

One has to look no further than the Sotomayor hearings. The "Republi-can'ts" attacked and attacked and attacked Judge Sotomayor, attempting to paint her as a radical racist.

The Republi-can't members of the Judiciary Committee took one sentence from a speech she gave nine years ago in which she was encouraging young Latina women to strive academically and professionally, and turned her words into weapons, with which they beat her up for four full days.

Here is that sentence:

"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."

What so inflamed the Republi-can'ts? Was it the adjective preceding "Latina"? Was it the implicit assumption that women bring different and rich experience and perspectives to the table? Was it the assertion that a woman of color could reach a "better conclusion" than that bastion of Republi-can'ts, a white male?

Or was it that they could find nothing substantive in her judicial record to discuss with her? What a sorry lot are today's "Republican'ts".

7/17/2009 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Yeah! Yeah! Whoever laid down their bets that 20th Century Dixiecrats would morph into 21st Century Republicants can collect their winnings and go.

7/17/2009 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Commander Zaius said...

Thank God in Heaven for Pat Buchanan! Sweet old Lindsey and his feather light loafers he keeps hidden in his closet (That's code dammit) tried to dance a ballet around these same sentiments but all he did was seem mildly obnoxious.

Leave it to Pat to go out hunting like Elmer Fudd with his shotgun and leave nothing to question. Hell I'm 44 and I had no idea I was a oppressed white man with the heel of Affirmative Action tyranny on the back of my neck. I'm so choked up I could cry.

I'll think I'll go order a pizza now.

7/17/2009 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Mac Daddy Tribute Blog said...

Beach Bum: You crack me up. Love it!

7/17/2009 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

This was a perfect opportunity for the Republicans to help themselves with Hispanics, and they blew it. I guess that they're just not a fan of the old adadge, "pick your battles".

7/17/2009 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Fearguth said...

Why do you think they call Uncle Pat a 'paleoconservative'? That's the kind which was contemporary with Alley Oop.

7/18/2009 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger zeppo said...

I think that PB gives paleo-cavemen a bad name. Why does Maddow continue to put up with him? She treats him with far more deference than I think is warrented.

I can't get past the concept that, just because someone who was given an assist by Affirmative Action, then nothing else about them matters. It doesn't matter if they GPA was stratospheric, or that they graduated Cum Laude, or that they might have a 19 year sterling performance record. The only thing that matters to PB and his kind is that white guys aren't always on top.

7/18/2009 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Kentucky Rain said...

I am actually a victim of reverse discrimination so if anyone should carp about it then I should be the one to do so. Regardless, it was an isolated incident, rare in its unique application, and not worth discussing.

Pat Buchanan, however, does not reflect my sentiments. He is a red neck in conservative clothing. I see him as no different from my racist, church going, uneducated neighbor, except perhaps for the education, and that makes him worse.

I am with Utah. Why is he such a staple on MSNBC? Well we should know why. People will talk and talk about him just as we are doing. Secondly, people will watch him as we did Rachel Maddow. That interview was as sensational as it was disgusting.

7/18/2009 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Kim Sawyer said...

I just saw this video of this interview on MSNBC and my first thought was, "Pat Buchanan" cannot be serious. But he was! And, the sad thing about it is that he really believes affirmative action means discrimination against White men, not women, just men! What kind of foolishness is that?!

7/18/2009 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Boris said...

A keen observation, Kim. And a telling observation. I had missed that.

7/18/2009 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

If it was just Buchanan, I could more easily understand the outrage. But so, too, has Jonathan Turley (who I think we ALL respect) spoken out HIS concerns. Professor Turley has examined dozens of her opinions and found literally all of them to be pedestrian. He basically said that she lacked "intellectual firepower". Not exactly a ringing endorsement (though he, like me, says she's acceptable).

7/18/2009 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Sandy Banks op-ed piece in today's (07-18-09) LATimes, provided not only Sotomayor's complete "wise Latina" sentence. Banks also quoted the sentence immediately preceding it:

"There can never be a universal definition of wise.",

which Banks interprets as meaning that all of us have something to learn and something to teach to each other. Banks continues:

"I think she (Sotomayor) understands that diversity matters not just for the public message it sends, but (for) the private growth that takes place behind the scenes, when people from different backgrounds and perspectives are forced to work together.

Sessions asked repeatedly this week. "Who are we getting as a nation?"

Answers Banks:

"Someone whose voice and language you, Senator Sessions, have never had to listen to before. And someone who might teach us all something."

Excellent point! Let's hope that Sotomayor is willing, and able, to interact with her fellow "Supremes", assuming she is confirmed, in such a way that the fossilized heads and hearts of the five controlling members of the Court, actually open enough that genuine learning can occur. God forbid that "The Five" might even feel a pang or two of empathy.

7/18/2009 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Here's another thought about the Wise Latina passage, Emily.

You and I have always been respectful of others speaking to us in imperfect English with an accent, because we are aware that they are multilingual. Unlike the two of us, they are more learned than we are, showing mastery more than one language.

Keli Goff takes this idea to another level, talking about How Judge Sotomayor's Second Language Does Make Her More Qualified Than the Average White Guy. In Part:

..... Sotomayor has had to be fluent in multiple languages to make her way in the world. The languages I am referring to are not English and Spanish. I am referring to the additional cultural languages that those of us who are minorities learn to speak at our Ivy-league universities, or in the workplace or at a cocktail reception or on the golf course or at the country club. For some minorities making the transition from their ethnically, racially and economically segregated communities at home, into their predominantly white, predominantly middle and upper class colleges and universities, can feel a lot like heading to a foreign country. (I can imagine that going from a Bronx housing project to Princeton like Judge Sotomayor did, would be enough of a culture shock that one might feel the need for a Frommer's travel guide).

.....In other words these cultural connections help determine what type of personal and professional network you develop for the long haul. If you are a minority, particularly one from a socio-economically disadvantaged background, learning to navigate the culture you are striving to succeed in is often akin to mastering another language. So just as one can confidently say that speaking two languages, as opposed to one, gives you an advantage career wise, being culturally multi-lingual -- as Sotomayor pointed to in her 2001 speech -- gives you just as much of an advantage over your mono-lingual colleagues.

..... younger people, particularly those in Generation Y and those even younger than us, the Millenials, are increasingly being defined by a racially and ethnically diverse culture -- so diverse that some of us have labeled them "Generation Obama" like our multi-ethnic president that they helped elect. As a result, there are plenty of white kids today who raised on hip-hop, The Cosby Show and with biracial parents and friends, are growing up "culturally multilingual." But while not all of our predominant cultural references today are white, historically most of them have been, and a number still are.....

..... Sonia Sotomayor .... was simply acknowledging a lifetime spent living a multilingual existence and how that has imbued her with a more well-rounded perspective than most of her predominantly white and male colleagues.

She was simply speaking truth to power.

Goff has a forthcoming book, The Speech: Race and Barack Obama's A More Perfect Union.

7/19/2009 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Vig! Awesome post!

Keli Goff's point that Sotomayor has grown up "culturally multilingual" is accurate and instructive.

Both Sotomayor and Michele Obama have (separately) spoken of feeling like a stranger, navigating her way through an unfamiliar land called Princeton.

Sotomayor has said that Princeton felt like "an alien land" to her when first she arrived there. And in her senior thesis, Michele Obama wrote that she had never felt more aware of her "blackness" than she did attending Princeton.

Sotomayor has spoken of a comment, that a fellow student made to her on Sonia's first day at Princeton, as she stood with two Hispanic young women, that it was wonderful that Princeton was letting in all these strange people.

The casual thoughtlessness of such a comment underscores the pernicious persistence of racism in America.

Sadly, too often, becoming culturally multilingual isn't just simply learning the rules of pronunciation, grammar and sentence construction of the new language being acquired. Too often, learning to understand the new language means enduring frequent stabs of emotional pain, as insensitive racist remarks are made in the presence of the language learner that wound the hearer's very soul.

7/19/2009 09:46:00 AM  

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