Sotomayor’s Salsa

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the supposedly wise LatinaSince Judge Sotomayor a “wise Latina” we can’t fairly say that she is tap dancing before the Senate; that would be showing a streak of racial insensitivity. No, Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee to the SCOTUS,  is “treating” the Senate to a show of Salsa dancing. 😉

With the Democrats’ majority assuring her confirmation, it’ a stint of theatrics, if little else.

Sotomayor, of course, started her dance with a Quick Back Step Movement – A New York Mambo classic – covering her earlier misstep involving the relative merits of the genders and races.

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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.

— Judge Sotomayor
2001 Speech, UC Berkeley, School of Law

With a flick of her hip and that Mambo back-step, Judge Sotomayor responds to this with,

I was trying to inspire (students) to believe their experiences would enrich the legal system. I was also trying to inspire them to believe they could become anything they wanted to become, just as I have.

I want to state upfront, unequivocally and without doubt: I do not believe that any ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in sound judging. I do believe every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge, regardless of their background or life experience.

The words I chose, taking the rhetorical flourish, it was a bad idea I do understand that there are some who have read this differently, and I understand why they might have concern.

Sotomayor Explains “Wise Latina” Comment

…And Cha Cha Cha. 😉

So, Sotomayor didn’t really mean what she said. It was just rhetoric – a poor choice of words that she regrets because some people might have taken them the wrong way. Yeah. Right. Sure.

There’s sadly a whole plethora of White Men who have over the course of time tried that same Quick Back Step Movement when called on a variety of statements quite similar to Sotomayor’s. We call them Racists and we revile them. In fact, we normally revile them even more when they try such smooth moves to deflect such accusations of racism. I’m sure though that Judge Sotomayor will, once again, get the benefits of Affirmative Action and not be held to the same standard as those White Men.

And Sotomayor’s dance before the Senate, alternatively partnered by Democrats and Republicans, continued unabated and consistently graceful in its empty measures and well turned steps.

Obama’s nominee, obviously carefully coached by Obama’s administration and by the Democrats in the Senate, carefully sidestepped and/or spun around any direct questions about her judicial history. She also, being a “Wise Latina,” carefully failed to provide any substantive answers on her views on the law and the role of the SCOTUS.

All in all it has been, to date, a beautiful dance by Sonia Sotomayor.


Yes, a beautiful dance and great theater – but lacking in substance and meaning insofar as the Judicial branch of the US government is concerned. The Democrats rule the US Senate with a filibuster-proof majority; Sotomayor’s confirmation as a SCOTUS Justice is assured, a foregone conclusion.

Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing isn’t about the Judicial; it’s about the Legislative and, to some extent, the Executive and their respective elections in 2010 and 2012. It’s about the minority, especially the Hispanic, vote in those upcoming elections.

The Democrats need to paint the Republicans as racists and sexists. The Republicans also need to paint the Democrats and President Obama as racist, just ones who favor a different set of Races. They also need to show that President Obama prefers judicial activism and racial activism over skill, ability and experience in SCOTUS Justices.

Sotomayor’s sole job during these hearings is to give the Democrats what they want while not saying anything that could be used by the Republicans to get what they want. Whether or not she can accomplish those limited, but still difficult, goals will not be evident until we’re closer to the elections in question.

Until then dance, dance, dance while Death’s clock ticks towards Doom and the nation burns…

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We’re Different

People are different. The genders, tribes, and races of Man are neither homogeneous nor necessarily equal, especially when it comes to cognitive ability and the capacity for decision making.  No matter how often the Liberals scream otherwise, you cannot change the fact that we’re not the same in our ability to think.

I’m an American, an American born of Americans whose family has been in the United States for long time. I obviously would make different, and probably better, decisions concerning anything American than a foreigner or the spawn of foreigners would.

I’m also White and male and so was raised to be an American White Male. That means I was raised to think, to evaluate, to decide things, and to shape the course of my own life and guide the lives of those women and children who are beholden to me for support and protection. That’s a totally different upbringing than that of women, of foreigners from radically different cultures, and of many of the minorities – Blacks and Hispanics – in America who were never raised with the same cultural tools and expectations.

And the above doesn’t even take into account the basic physiological differences between the genders and races of Man. We evolved in different ways due to environmental stresses. It’s just not logical to believe that people of middle or upper class White population would choose mates based upon the same criteria as Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, or Asians would. The natural selection process guarantees that that, over the course of just a comparably few generations, differences would arise based upon those reproductive choices and decisions as to what were survival traits.

One only has to look at the education, employment, and income demographics to see what the various races and the genders evolved towards over time. It is far more likely that decisions made by those who bred for intelligence are going to better than those made by scions of groups who evolved for physical strength and endurance.

These are the fact of our existence. There little reason to discount them and less to abhor them.

At this point many of my regular guests are probably shocked by my diatribe. Others who’ve just found this blog by accident are probably ready to lynch me for being all manners of a bigot.

My apologies to my regular readers. Trust me though; I’m only trying to make a point as you will see below.

To those of you who are readily to vilify me, at the very least, as a sexist, racist, classist, and rabid nationalist I have to say that I would agree with you assessment of whomsoever espoused such villainous and anti-American – Hell! Anti-Human – sentiments in all seriousness

Thankfully for my opinion of my self, they’re not my sentiments. I’ve only interpolated the basis of someone else’s sentiments

The rather vile ideas expressed above were presented in wordy and less than felicitous style. They can be, and have been, so much more eloquently stated by someone who considers herself quite wise.

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.

— Judge Sotomayor
2001 Speech, UC Berkeley, School of Law

All I did was flesh out Sotomayor’s statement in an un-nuanced, though less eloquent, manner while spinning it around 180 degrees from Sotomayor’s perspective of relative values of the races and genders. So, if you have a problem with what I wrote, I would think you would have a similar problem with what Sotomayor said to an auditorium full of attorneys and law students.

Nice pick for the SCOTUS, President Obama. Who’s your fallback nominee, Al Sharpton?

Remember the old adage about detecting prejudice and bigotry? Just replace Black for White? Well it has to work in all pertinent directions or it’s a worthless measurement. Of course I doubt that most Liberals see it that way…

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Fiesta Time

As I’ve commented before, to me it’s obvious that President Obama and the Press Corps, with the more than willing collusion of the MSM, have presented Judge Sotomayor as a nominee for the SCOTUS on the basis of her race and gender not her qualifications. It’s a very obvious ploy to use the Supreme Court nomination as a weapon in the 2010 House and Senate elections.

But a picture is worth a thousand words and the June 2nd editorial cartoon in the Oklahoman depicts the problem far better than my rhetoric:

Fiesta Time. I Dare You.
Now, who wants to be first?

Chip Bok’s cartoon sums up the situation, in all it vileness, very well – better than my mere words could. This is exactly what President Obama has done. He’s metaphorically strung up Judge Sotomayor as pinata and dared the GOP to “beat on her,” knowing the the Liberal Media will paint any argument against Sotomayor’s confirmation as racist and sexist.

Of course the cartoon has offended many people, and many Leftist media outlets and talking heads are already doing their best to fuel the flames of that outrage, and aim it at the Republicans instead of aimed where it belongs, which is at President Obama and his Liberals.

It should be offensive to Hispanics that President Obama, the White House Press Corps, and their MSM preferred to use Identity Politics to push Judge Sotomayor instead of her extensive valid qualifications. It should be offensive to all Americans that President Obama is using a Supreme Court nomination as a political tool in the upcoming 2010 House and Senate elections.

So yes, the cartoon is offensive to Latinos and women. Someone tell me though how anyone can be expected to depict a disgustingly offensive situation without giving offense with its depiction?

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Important Irrelevancies

Judge Sonia SotomayerOn Tuesday, May 26, 2009 President Obama announced his first appointee to the US Supreme Court, US Appellate Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor. As anyone would expect, the debate over Judge Sotomayer’s qualifications followed immediately upon the heels of the announcement.

Sadly, the debate is distinctly lopsided with each side putting forth different points in the argument instead of arguing the merits of the same points.

A lot of the talking points in the debate that are coming from the Liberals and their pet media have much to do with realpolitik and social engineering and very little to with any valid qualification for any job, much less a Supreme Court Justice. None the less, these trivialities or irrelevancies are important because Sotomayer’s appointment is far more about the politics of the Legislature than it is about the law or the SCOTUS.

Sotomayor Grew Up Poor

Sotomayor was born in the South Bronx and grew up the Bronxdale Houses housing project and then to moved to Co-op City. Her father, Juan Sotomayor, who died when Sonia Sotomayor was nine, was a tool-and-die worker with a third-grade education who did not speak English. Her mother, Celina Sotomayor, was a nurse.

Despite her economic woes as a child, Sotomayor managed to graduate from Princeton University (BA) and later from Yale Law School (JD).

That’s a very touching and heartwarming tale. If Horatio Alger had ever written a rags-to-riches story featuring a Latina protagonist, I’m sure that the character would have had much in common with Judge Sotamayor. It also plays very well with the press and fits nicely with President Obama’s politics of class warfare. The poor being rejected and denied an opportunity by the evil rich is always a useful political ploy for the Liberals.

However, Sotomayor’s upbringing has little or nothing to do with her capabilities in- and proclivities towards jurisprudence and Constitutional law.  The last I checked, neither poverty at birth nor wealth at birth were hard and fast prerequisites for knowledge of the law. The phrase, “All Men Are Created Equal” cuts in both directions without discrimination.

Sotomayor Has Battled Diabetes

Sonia Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age eight.  Since then she has been insulin-dependent.

Sotomayer’s perseverance in the face of a debilitating disease is certainly inspirational, especially for other sufferers of the affliction. Much like her upbringing, it’s great fodder for the press and great political capital. It will be easy for the Liberals to spin any attack against Sotomayor’s appointment as being a de facto attack against the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the many children growing up with Type I diabetes.

Appointing a person with diabetes to the SCOTUS is also a useful means for further painting any Republicans who argue against Sotomayor’s appointment as being against healthcare, the socialization of which is a key plank in President Obama’s platform.

With the very remotely possible exception of Asperger’s Syndrome, I cannot think of any positive effect a chronic disease would have on Judge Sotomayer’s ability to understand and interpret US laws and the US Constitution. Inversely, Type I Diabetes is very easily managed with modern medicine and has few serious negative impacts on personality or cognition, so Judge Sotomayor’s affliction has no negative effect upon Judge Sotomayer’s abilities as a SCOTUS Justice.

Sotomayor Is A Woman

Judge Sotomayor was born female. She has chosen to retain her gender throughout her life to date.

Politically speaking this has a lot of value in the appointment process. Women are a slight majority in the US population very large voting block. The GOP has always been somewhat weak in its appeal to female voters, so appointing a woman to the SCOTUS is a decently effective political wedge to drive between the Republican Party and the female voters.

President Obama, after the rampant, virulent, and ongoing  misogyny that was evidenced during his Democratic Primary campaign against Sen. Hillary Clinton, also needs to make visible strides towards gender equality in his administration in general and his political appointments in specific. Judge Sotomayor is very useful in that capacity.

Practically speaking, however, men and women have equal capacities for understanding the law and the US Constitution. Judge Sotomayor’s gender has no impact, despite her own assertion to the contrary,  in her actual ability to be a SCOTUS Justice. If her gender does, due to her own subjective feelings and agenda, have an impact on her abilities it would be, by necessity, a negative impact.

Sotomayer Would Be the 1st Hispanic SCOTUS Justice

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is Hispanic, a Latina in common parlance. In point of fact she is Puerto Rican (Boricua) and English was her second language, one she did not start becoming fluent in until after her father died. While she was born in New York, her mother and father were both born in Puerto Rico – her father in the Santurce area of San Juan and her mother in the Santa Rosa area of Laja.

Appointing a Hispanic to the SCOTUS is politically important for several reasons. It allows President Obama to transcend the divide between the Black and Hispanic worlds of racial politics, thereby increasing the attractiveness of the Democrats to Hispanic voters, a minority group that the Dems have not successfully wooed as of yet. It also makes it easy to paint the GOP as standing in the way of the nomination of The First Latina SCOTUS Justice.  This would, they hope, create a schism between the GOP and the Hispanics, the one minority group that the GOP has previously done well with.

Alright, breaking barriers, especially racial barriers, is a good thing, and the The First Latina SCOTUS Justice certainly makes a compelling and inspirational headline; I’m sure Hispanics appreciate the thought. Race has, however, no bearing on the ability of a person, Sotomayor in this case, to interpret US law and the Constitution in an intelligent and objective fashion.

There is no denying that Judge Sotomayor is a compelling figure. She has media potential that few in politics can equal, possibly second only to President Obama himself. Yet the Liberals’ and their media’s emphasis on her upbringing, illness, gender, and race seems to be nothing but political ploys that are focused more on weakening the GOP in the upcoming 2010 House and Senate elections than on affecting the makeup of the Supreme Court’s bench.

These so-called qualifications and talking points certainly are all irrelevant to Sotomayor’s worthiness to be a US Supreme Court Justice, or a waitress – or to hold any other job I can think of with the exception of actress.

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