What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Conservative Insanity and Sotomayor

Back in late 2005, George W Bush appointed John Roberts to the Supreme Court to replace Chief Justice Rehnquist.  We liberals grumbled internally, but there has been this unwritten presidential political truce... 

The first SCOTUS pick is a gimme for the opposition party, after that, all bets are off...  

So following the general rule and looking back, these are the president's first picks, all nominated:

Johnson:  Abe Fortas
Nixon:  Warren Burger
Reagan:  Sandra Day O'Conner
Bush:  John Roberts (note, the opposition party didn't end the Miers nomination, quite to the Dems surprise, the president's own party did...)

You have to go back to Hoover to find a first nominee rejected by Congress... and that's too far back to apply to my point today.  ;)

So for 79 years there has been this unspoken agreement between the parties that the first pick is a freebee.  Then comes President Obama who not only picked a highly qualified (although pretty moderate for my taste :) and highly experienced justice to nominate to the court in Sonia Sotomayor.

What happens?  Conservatives go ballistic.  We liberals waited.  Bush won the election, was president and he got the first pick without much ado.  In fact, I've searched my blog several different ways and I couldn't find one reference to the Roberts nomination.  If you find a post, let me know...  We went ballistic over Alito (and my blog history shows that blow back), but the first pick we respectfully declined comment on. 

The key word here is "respect".  A certain deferrence to the president, but more importantly a deferrence to the voters who elected him.

That said, "respect" doesn't seem to be the GOP talking head's best subject lately.  

Conservatives on Sotomayor this week:
Limbaugh:  "reverse racist" and a comparison to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke
Gingrich:  "new racism is no better than old racism." and a "Latina woman racist"
Tancredo:  When speaking about her called the National council of La Raza "Latino KKK without the hoods and nooses"
Coulter is on the "racist" rant as well, but she's irrelevant as her insanity is well documented
And my personal favorite insane quip of the week was by G. Gordon Liddy:
LIDDY: Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.

Another choice comment by Liddy is that she "speaks illegal alien".

Makes me wanna show him a real PMSing woman...

Cornyn and Hatch have sort of freaked out and realized that losing the female and the latino vote entirely wouldn't be good for the GOP's attempts to rebuild the party and have condemned these types of attacks to their credit both politically and personally, but the insanity rages.

Info from stories here and here and here

Where is the decency of these men? 

The simple answer is that they do not have any decency.

The GOP needs to give up these attacks immediately.  They are not substantive, not in any way.  They are so revealing to the ugly nature of these men as to be truly nauseating and disgusting.  These comments are horrible on their face loaded with blatant racism, sexism and hatred and underneath are just inhuman.

As the false veil of the now clearly dead compassionate conservatism and outreach to women, Latinos and African Americans has been raised, the ugliness underneath is truly stunningly awful and a place more than 57% of Americans never want to return to again...

Just keep digging that enormous hole back to political relevance deeper conservatives...


patrick said...

Ms. Crawford:

I think a reasonable person might agree that the nominee's comments could be seen as prejudiced--the idea that her experience as a hispanic woman might lead her to better conclusions that a white man. I think it is obvious that were the same type of thinking to come from a white man--tha he could reach a better conclusion than a hispanic woman--you would turn twelve shades of red. So be honest and admit that she, not the republican critics, might be providing the ammunition here. Why not just reject her comment?

What is really disturbing is the intellectual incapacity of your friends over at TP who, like much of the left, cries out the wolf of racism at every chance. This woman is going to be on the court for a long time and deserves hard scrutiny--especially since such a large number of he decisions were overturned by the supreme court.

Consider how she ruled against the New Haven firefighters who passed the civil service test for promotion. Perhaps the reason few minorities passed the test was because they didn't prepare for it. Yet, the test was not so difficut that a candidate with dyslexia actually received one of the highest scores. Diversity yes! but not at the cost of promoting unqualified individuals. This is where her empathy goes wrong; empathy can only serve a favored class of individual, but blind justice should serve all equally.

Think about it.

Crawford's Take said...

She has rejected her comment, it was taken out of context and it's one comment in a long prestigious career that is being used to distract from the long career.

As for the anti-affirmative action case that's being given so much play, the courts have consistently ruled in favor of the municipality so far (although I suspect from previous decisions and comments the SCOTUS chances slim) and what the public, the media, the analysts, etc do not know because it has been sealed by the courts is the actual content of the test and what in it may have been considered unfair.

NO ONE but the courts and attorneys and parties to the lawsuit knows what's on that test.

So for ANYONE including myself to speculate that the test is or is not fair except the experts who have seen and reviewed the test is ludicrous!

What can be said is that the municipality took a second look at the test (first given in this case) after seeing racial issues with the results and threw it out to determine a more well rounded way of evaluating how to promote people. Also, the test was weighted more heavily than nearly every other fire department in the country in the promotion process primarily because other municipalities have recognized that the ability to take a test is a small piece of what it takes to be a good supervisor and review a more extensive set of criteria.

The real issue is that the anti-affirmative action groups from the very beginning are using this case as an attempt to throw out affirmative action as an employment tool nationwide and drumming up the "poor white guy" talking points to do so... Patrick, if you really want to impress me on this issue, take some time to learn both sides of the issue (I listen to Sykes too, read the Heritage Foundation website and keep up to date with Ward Connerly) admittedly reluctantly and to get my blood boiling, but I DO listen and learn why he thinks the way he does because I always want to know everything I can learn about any issue I'm interested in before I decide what position I'm taking on it...).

Tim Wise (white southerner) is a guru of the pro-AA point of view on white privilege.

Any of the following will do:

His scholarly book, Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White (Routledge: 2005) has received praise from academics and is also taught in dozens of educational institutions.[2]

His memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son (Soft Skull Press) is taught at hundreds of colleges and high schools across the nation.[3]

His essay collection, Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male (Soft Skull Press).[4] was released in fall 2008.

In February 2009, City Lights Publishers released his latest book, Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama, which explores how Barack Obama's emergence as a political force is taking the race debate to new levels. [5]

[edit] Other releases

In addition to his books and essays, there is also a DVD called On White Privilege: Racism, White Denial & the Costs of Inequality and a Double-CD entitled The Audacity of Truth: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama

The fact is that affirmative action has, is and does work and more than ever, this case and especially the racial hatred rearing it's ugly head in coded language deliberately meant to incense poor and middle class white men, ie the rhetoric around it, is showing how critical it still is to have AA in place in our society...

Crawford's Take said...

We also don't know by the way if there was some consistency in the missed questions the minorities who didn't get the highest grades all missed.

Were there 10 questions that they ALL missed and therefore was there some inconsistency in how they were told to prepare for the test? Was there some language in the test that has a meaning that is culturally based; for a simple example, in Milwaukee, the wide community calls the North side a rough district between the river and about 60th street and Good Hope Rd downtown to State Street, but the in general the black community has a much smaller historic definition of that community that that is from Holton Street to about Sherman Blvd East/West and Capitol Drive to Highland St/Vliet St; Was there some cultural difference in definitions that made the test more difficult?

Again, we can't speculate, because we don't KNOW what was more difficult about the test for people of color.

To just ASSUME (or insinuate as Sykes does) the black people were "too lazy or unmotivated to study" or weren't "smart enough" is dismissive and offensive, and goes back to the standard stereotyping and race baiting techniques of the last 100 years of racial strife in this country...

What the municipality did right was to take another look at the test and their promotion procedures. Unfortunately, this guy has cost them $100,000's in legal fees before giving them a chance to review and rectify their procedures, so we will never know if in the end he would have gotten that promotion...

patrick said...

Look, I'm not interested in debating the nature of Affirmative Action or its few merits. To me it seems dubious to say to a group of candidates: here are the criterion for promotion and then change those criterion once the results are in. Why not just change them for next year, saying we'll promote "x" number of minorities regardless of their abilities or scores on this test or any assessment. If you want quotas, fine. Just don't change the rules once the game is in motion.

Personally, I'd have to note that knowing minorities got promoted because of their minority status would not instill much confidence in their leadership ability. So much for 'content of their character.'

John Thacker said...

We liberals grumbled internally, but there has been this unwritten presidential political truce...

The first SCOTUS pick is a gimme for the opposition party, after that, all bets are off...

This would be more persuasive if the current POTUS hadn't voted against that "gimme," no?

What does it meant that the current President violated that "truce?" Yes, his party let Roberts be confirmed, but he broke the truce.

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