Saturday, May 30, 2009

That tired old race card

The more I read about Sonia Sotomayor, the more I like her. I don't really care why the President chose her -- she's a good choice and, for me, at least, she was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting someone a lot more, ahem, shall we say moderate?

Nobody expected the Republicans to embrace any candidate put forward by Obama, given their current propensity to apply the Nancy Reagan approach ("Just say NO") to anything Democrats propose. On the other hand, I suppose I'm a little surprised that even the few brighter bulbs on the GOP Christmas tree are falling back on that tired old Republican standby, playing the race card. You would think that somebody smart -- Orrin Hatch, for example -- might have figured out that the party will be permanently moribund unless it can peel off some segment of the Latino vote.

But no -- they are out there accusing Sotomayor of "reverse discrimination," many even going so far as to call her a "racist." Sigh.

Their evidence seems to be one line from a 2001 speech and a history of support for affirmative action. Personally, I've always thought affirmative action should be class based rather than race based -- I don't suppose Stanley O'Neal's granddaughter will have any problem getting into a top college -- but calling affirmative action "racist" is the worst kind of backwards reasoning, no matter what John Roberts may have to say on the matter.

The real racist on the court, of course, is Clarence Thomas. He is so insistent on denying the fact that affirmative action might have advanced his own career that he votes against the interests of minorities every chance he gets.

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