Monday, June 01, 2009

Sister Sonia Moment?

Color me confused.

I'm reading a lot of commentary on both sides of the aisle about Sotomayor. On one side, I see people bringing up relevant facts that are cause for concern, and I see the other side talking a lot about race and negativity and meanness that anyone would oppose their candidate.

I read things like this from Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post:
"The 'activists' -- the ones who want unelected judges to step in and enforce their personal views -- are those who believe that reverse discrimination in any form violates the 14th Amendment and the various civil rights laws."
I guess it's completely irrelevant that those "personal views" happen to line up perfectly with "equal protection". I have to wonder how discrimination based on race and gender does not violate the equal protection clause in 14th amendment? I mean, it's not like nobody's right here. Completely glossed over. It's just one "personal view" vs another, equally valid "personal view" in their eyes.

Only theirs is more valid. Because. It is. Cause yours is mean. And stuff.

But that's the out Lefties tend to take when presented with such dilemmas.... "well, both sides do it" -- and true as that might be it ducks the issue at hand altogether. Yes, both sides oppose each others candidates, but what is the substance of their respective arguments?

"Listening, via the media, to the debate inside the Republican Party, you also have to wonder about the party's commitment to a colorblind society."
Really? How so? Tell me something a Republican has said that suggests the party isn't committed to a colorblind society. I think Judge Roberts said it quite well:

"the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race" - Justice Roberts
And what you get in rebuttal is self contradictory "logic" like this:

"I suspect that it would be impossible to arrange an affirmative-action program in a racially neutral way and have it successful. To ask that this be so is to demand the impossible. In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently."- Justice Blackmun
There's the rub, I suppose. Kinsley thinks the government should be shaping a colorblind society. It should not. It should be a color-blind government. It's not the government's job to shape society. It may be yours and mine, by persuasive argument and deed and example. But it's not the government's job. We shape government, not the other way around. Give the government the power to shape society, and watch the abuses flow and Liberty fall by the wayside.

Basically, Justice Blackmun was arguing for affirmative action and his own argument acknowledged why it is such a bad idea for the government to get involved in trying to shape society even if it is to compensate for sins of the past.

When one side starts talking about how the other is "playing politics" or is "racist" the other side is without addressing how and why, you know they don't have an argument. The Democrats' argument is, essentially, "we're in power, we'll do whatever we want regardless of your silly "Constitutional" [spit] arguments." Which is certainly not the Change™ that moderates voted for.

And today I see the same kind of thing in Bloomberg of all places, which looks like a hatchet-job on Cheney ("negative narrowness", "brooding", "throwback", "exclusionary", "scaring people") and saying, basically, that Republicans need a Clintonesque "Sister Souldjah" moment where they denounce some unspecified "wilder rhetoric" over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Today it’s the Republicans who are subsidiaries of a narrow base. They could start broadening their appeal by rejecting some of the wilder rhetoric over President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic selected for the high court.
Could someone point me to this "wilder rhetoric"? Because I, frankly, haven't seen or heard anything but concern over statements about Latino women making better judges than white men and appeals courts making policy. If those aren't cause for concern for anyone who cares about the Constitution and equal protection, then we obviously speak different languages.

And as to his final statement:

As painful as this may be for many Republicans, the Clinton and Obama models are better for them today than those of Cheney and Gingrich.
Again, what has Cheney or Gingrich said that wasn't well reasoned, and calmly argued on its merits? Explain your answer.

Yeah, remember those questions on the tests? The ones where they expected you to back up your answers?

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