pageok
pageok
pageok
Another Critic of Judge Sotomayor's "Wise Latina" Sentence:

President Obama. Greg Sargent (The Plum Line) reports:

In an interview to air on NBC later tonight, Obama concedes she may have misspoke but that her larger meaning was clear and uncontroversial.

According to the NBC press release, Obama says:

"I'm sure she would have restated it. But if you look in the entire sweep of the essay that she wrote, what's clear is that she was simply saying that her life experiences will give her information about the struggles and hardships that people are going through — that will make her a good judge."

For my thinking on the quote, see this item on politico.com.

levisbaby:
I am sure that Newt and Rush and the other wingnuts appreciate your contributions to the right wing echo chamber on this subject.
5.29.2009 6:48pm
mariner:
"May have misspoke" is code for "let slip what she really thinks, and someone noticed".

If a white man had made a racist and sexist comment like that, there would be no "larger meaning".
5.29.2009 6:50pm
BABH:
Pop Quiz - Who said the following during SCOTUS confirmation hearings:

"When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account."?
5.29.2009 6:56pm
per son:
This is the biggest non-issue ever. For someone who has 3000 opinions on the books - find me something better.

How does it differ from what Alito said in his hearing, or how Bush I introduced Thomas as someone with empathy.
5.29.2009 6:56pm
BABH:
Answer:

Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.

White, male, and yet somehow managed to be confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
5.29.2009 6:58pm
Blue:
Well, looks like the Wise Latina line has some legs if the White House is trying to get out in front of it. I guess the trifecta of talking points:

1) Out of context;
2) Alito said something like it!;
3) There's no such thing as reverse racism;

just isn't cutting it!
5.29.2009 7:01pm
levisbaby:
Yes, this will be another shining moment in the rebirth of the republican party!!!
5.29.2009 7:13pm
ShelbyC:
BABH, you forgot to type that part where he said those experiences allowed him to make better decisions that someone of a different ethnic group.
5.29.2009 7:33pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

Because when a case comes before me involving, let's say, someone who is an immigrant -- and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases -- I can't help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn't that long ago when they were in that position...

There you go.
5.29.2009 7:35pm
levisbaby:
pwned!
5.29.2009 7:41pm
ShelbyC:

There you go.

still not seeing it.
5.29.2009 7:41pm
Tucker (mail):
Prof. Volokh, the statement on Politico is well put, as usual.

ruffles, Alito doesn't compare himself to anyone in that statement, much less say he's better than anyone. Not comparable.
5.29.2009 7:44pm
Cityduck (mail):
You can lead a horse to water ...
5.29.2009 7:44pm
ShelbyC:
levisbaby, you have an incredibly low pwnage threshold.
5.29.2009 7:44pm
Laura(southernxyl) (mail) (www):
"Obama concedes she may have misspoke"

Is it not "may have misspoken"?

Also agree that her statement is not equivalent to Alito's, who did not say that he has rich experiences that a person of another race and socioeconomic status could not possibly have.
5.29.2009 7:55pm
levisbaby:
I not sensing a lot of empathy for Judge Alito and his shabbily-dressed ancestors.
5.29.2009 8:05pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Blue:Well, looks like the Wise Latina line has some legs if the White House is trying to get out in front of it. I guess the trifecta of talking points:

1) Out of context;
2) Alito said something like it!;
3) There's no such thing as reverse racism;

just isn't cutting it!
Well, we see that such reasonable points aren't getting the foaming RWer to shut up. But that's actually not surprising given the participants. So, it's not surprising that someone else should say, "Hey, look, folks, here's what the actual facts are and here's the holes in this vicious attack...." It's called "discourse" (or as close to such as is possible with the foaming RW brigades).

Cheers,
5.29.2009 8:07pm
Laura(southernxyl) (mail) (www):

It's called "discourse" (or as close to such as is possible with the foaming RW brigades).


Wow. How to win friends and influence people, right? How much discourse do you expect to have with someone you refer to as a "foaming RW brigade"? Can you claim, with a straight face, that you've made a good-faith effort at discourse when you've done that?
5.29.2009 8:09pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Laura(southernxyl):
[H]er statement is not equivalent to Alito's, who did not say that he has rich experiences that a person of another race and socioeconomic status could not possibly have.
Why, what a coincidence! Neither did she. What are the odds?....

Cheers,
5.29.2009 8:12pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Her statement appeared in the La Raza law journal, and she had ample time to edit it. If she simply "misspoke" then she could have corrected it, but she didn't.

BTW Sotomayor is a member of La Raza (The Race).
5.29.2009 8:14pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Laura(southernxyl):How much discourse do you expect to have with someone you refer to as a "foaming RW brigade"?How else would you refer to the likes of Limbaugh, Liddy, Barnes, Gingrich, anonanonanonanon....? And that's not even touching the RW blogs....

Cheers,
5.29.2009 8:18pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Sotomayor and here supporters claims that Puerto Ricans in the US have suffered discrimination in America to such an extent that they deserve victim status and AA. My question for them: why did they not return to Puerto Rico if life in the US was so hard for them? If Puerto Rico itself suffers from Yanqui imperialism (as often claimed) why don't they vote to withdraw from their commonwealth status and become a separate republic.
5.29.2009 8:19pm
stombs (mail):
For those of us who don't believe in group rights or heritable guilt, the test of a statement like Sotomayor's is whether it would be acceptable if you reverse the variables. "A wise white male judge will make better decisions than an Hispanic woman, because of his superior upbringing"? Most people would find that statement offensive. But anyone who objects to it and does not also object to Sotomayor's statement forfeits any claim to intellectual honesty.
5.29.2009 8:22pm
Per Son:
What if she said she was part of the chosen few, or chosen people?
5.29.2009 8:23pm
Guest101:
It was a dumb thing to say, and while I suspect she probably didn't meant it literally, she should have known better.

Judged against her body of work and qualifications, does it disqualify her for the Court? Not even close.
5.29.2009 8:25pm
levisbaby:

I was wondering when Mr. Zarkhov would appear. Yesterday he treated us to this insights in the vein of black aren't the target of any special police harassment - they just commit more crimes. Let's see what's on the menu for today:

Sotomayor and here supporters claims that Puerto Ricans in the US have suffered discrimination in America to such an extent that they deserve victim status and AA. My question for them: why did they not return to Puerto Rico if life in the US was so hard for them? If Puerto Rico itself suffers from Yanqui imperialism (as often claimed) why don't they vote to withdraw from their commonwealth status and become a separate republic.

Ooooh, we have the "If they don't like it why don't they just leave" approach. I wonder of Mr. Zarkov would have been standing on street corners in Berlin in 1939 shouting: "If you Jews don't like it, why don't you just leave?"

Priceless, absolutely priceless.
5.29.2009 8:30pm
Derrick (mail):
Sotomayor and here supporters claims that Puerto Ricans in the US have suffered discrimination in America to such an extent that they deserve victim status and AA. My question for them: why did they not return to Puerto Rico if life in the US was so hard for them? If Puerto Rico itself suffers from Yanqui imperialism (as often claimed) why don't they vote to withdraw from their commonwealth status and become a separate republic.


Ah yes, the "go back to Africa" argument. This will surely be productive.
5.29.2009 8:31pm
Per Son:
I read the whole speech. Seems to say the obvious - one's cultural baggage inform one's outlook on the world.

Her statement seems out of context and foolish, but I am just laughing that this is the best her opponents can come up with. Frankly, I don't care what Limbaugh says given that his oft-repeated comment about Powell's motivation for endorsing Obama is racist.

Zarkov: why do you always bring non-sequiters into every freaking post? You really do not seem to have a high opinion of non-whites, as you bring up these things all the time.
5.29.2009 8:33pm
Just an Observer:
It is difficult to see how one could not be critical of Sotomayor's "wise Latina" statement. It was cringeworthy. One can argue mitigation from its context, but it would be too hard to defend the statement absolutely. Obviously, she also will have to walk the statement back in person, too.
5.29.2009 8:35pm
sputnik (mail):
Zarkov

free education for you:

La Raza's website describes their name as follows:


Many people incorrectly translate our name, “La Raza,” as “the race.” While it is true that one meaning of “raza” in Spanish is indeed “race,” in Spanish, as in English and any other language, words can and do have multiple meanings. As noted in several online dictionaries, “La Raza” means “the people” or “the community.” Translating our name as “the race” is not only inaccurate, it is factually incorrect. “Hispanic” is an ethnicity, not a race. As anyone who has ever met a Dominican American, Mexican American, or Spanish American can attest, Hispanics can be and are members of any and all races.
The term “La Raza” has its origins in early 20th century Latin American literature and translates into English most closely as “the people” or, according to some scholars, as “the Hispanic people of the New World.” The term was coined by Mexican scholar José Vasconcelos to reflect the fact that the people of Latin America are a mixture of many of the world’s races, cultures, and religions. Mistranslating “La Raza” to mean “the race” implies that it is a term meant to exclude others. In fact, the full term coined by Vasconcelos, “La Raza Cósmica,” meaning the “cosmic people,” was developed to reflect not purity but the mixture inherent in the Hispanic people. This is an inclusive concept, meaning that Hispanics share with all other peoples of the world a common heritage and destiny.
5.29.2009 8:36pm
Blue:
Guest 101, I don't disagree with you--she is clearly a qualified person for the position and in the absence of something seriously amiss (e.g., a tax or nanny problem) she'll be confirmed.

That said, I'm always going to take a chance to kick someone when they engage in these pernicious appeals to race/ethnicity group identity. Can't let nonsense like this pass without a fight.
5.29.2009 8:38pm
Per Son:
Just an Observer -

I'll give you this - it was a dumb comment. I am too lazy, but I can come up with other stupid comments by very smart and capable people with little effort - such as when Scalia said that Catholic judges who believe the church's teaching that capital punishment is wrong should not be on the bench, stating that "any Catholic jurists (with such concerns) ... would have to resign."
5.29.2009 8:40pm
Per Son:
Blue:

DO you not like it when Americans refer to their group identity of being American - or does it only count for race/ethnic group.
5.29.2009 8:41pm
Blue:
"American" is a completely inclusive identity--don't see what the problem is. I also don't see a problem with individual pride in a specific race/ethnicity group identity. Where it crosses the line is when race/ethnicity becomes a motiviation for group political action. I would think that one only need to examine world history to see why this is a problem.
5.29.2009 8:45pm
Just an Observer:
Per Son,

To be clear, I don't think this is a serious threat to Sotomayor's confirmation. Nor should it be. She is just going to have to grovel a bit to dampen the political damage.

The other off-the bench remark that has got the nominee in hot water -- that Circuit Courts are where "policy" is made -- was another gaffe, but I think not as serious. She apparently meant that such courts set "precedent" or "make law," but used a very wrong word while speaking off-the-cuff.

Because of Sotomayor's long record on the bench, we can and should concentrate on her actual work as a judge.
5.29.2009 8:56pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
sputnik:

Here's a free education for you: my extensive summary of the NCLR. I've been following their activities since 2004 and I've written 147 posts that involve them, so I think I have a good handle on what they're all about and how they can - and should - be an issue.

BHO/SS opponents should carefully note the last paragraph; not telling the truth about them - such as by confusing them with other groups or concepts - is very counter-productive.

The truth about them is bad enough.
5.29.2009 9:02pm
Crimso:

I not sensing a lot of empathy for Judge Alito and his shabbily-dressed ancestors.

And I somehow doubt that her relatives will be reduced to tears at the unfairness and viciousness of the questioning during the hearings.
5.29.2009 9:09pm
Tom952 (mail):
Very well said, Professor. Perhaps the confirmation process will be a learning and growing experience for Judge Sotomayor.
5.29.2009 9:10pm
Constantin:
I keep reading about "the context." The context actually makes it worse, because it eliminates any chance of honestly claiming it was a single inartful sentence. Particularly, the stuff about physiological and reasoning differences is even harder to defend as anything-but-racism than is the more infamous "wise Latina" idiocy.
5.29.2009 9:20pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
The wider wider context makes it even worse: two other Latino judges at the conference disagreed with her.

That's not at all a good sign. While I'd much prefer to make this about the group I linked in the comment above, something like that works too.
5.29.2009 9:42pm
Steve P. (mail):
Sotomayor and here supporters claims that Puerto Ricans in the US have suffered discrimination in America to such an extent that they deserve victim status and AA.

Where exactly do you get the impression that Sotomayor wants Puerto Ricans to have 'victim status' or affirmative action?

As a matter of fact, why do you believe that all of her supporters want either as well?
5.29.2009 9:46pm
Roy Mustang (mail):
Is it a surprise to anyone that Wright's protégée would nominate a bigot to the Supreme Court?
5.29.2009 9:54pm
GatoRat:
The most curious thing here is Obama's statement: "I’m sure she would have restated it."

This sentence is incomplete. It ends abruptly without an "if" and a description of what would have satisfied the conditional. In other words, Obama never answers the question of "why" she would have restated "it".
5.29.2009 10:06pm
corneille1640 (mail):
I'm confused: everyone knows what wisdom is, and all I know is that I know nothing.
5.29.2009 10:31pm
Sarcastro (www):
Whoa, things just got Socratic in here!
5.29.2009 11:05pm
Malvolio:
Many people incorrectly translate our name, “La Raza,” as “the race.” While it is true that one meaning of “raza” in Spanish is indeed “race,” in Spanish, as in English and any other language, words can and do have multiple meanings. As noted in several online dictionaries, “La Raza” means “the people” or “the community.” Translating our name as “the race” is not only inaccurate, it is factually incorrect.
God, is that stupid.

For one thing, "race" is a near-perfect translation of "raza". The only legitimate complaint would be that the English word also includes meanings that in Spanish would be denote by "carrera" or "rio".

The point they are so feebly trying to make -- that "raza" means more than a narrow biological category -- is also true of "race" ("a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock ' a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits, or characteristics").

And it's their own fault if people are associating their name with the somewhat negative connotations of "race". They could have picked "pueblo" or "communidad", perfectly good cognates of what they (now) claim they were trying to say.

I won't even stoop to mock "inaccurate and factually incorrect".
5.29.2009 11:12pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Steve P. writes: Where exactly do you get the impression that Sotomayor wants Puerto Ricans to have 'victim status' or affirmative action?

Perhaps from this 1976 letter she wrote or the fact that she later joined two groups that specialize in 'victim status' and affirmative action, including one just for Puerto Ricans? The first comment I left above links to extensive information on the NCLR; more on the other group is here. Even the slightest bit of research will show both are solidly in the 'victim status' or affirmative action category.
5.29.2009 11:43pm
studentactivism.net (www):
Particularly, the stuff about physiological and reasoning differences is even harder to defend as anything-but-racism than is the more infamous "wise Latina" idiocy.

It wasn't "physiological or reasoning differences," it was "physiological or cultural differences," and she was referring to both gender and ethnicity there. Here's the quote:

"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."

I read that pretty straightforwardly as a suggestion that gender imbues us with physiological differences and national origin imbues us with cultural differences.
5.29.2009 11:58pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Oh goody, another Sotomayor post. This brings out the best legal and analytically skilled commentators --Zarkov, DangerMouse, and, I can only hope geokster.
5.30.2009 12:39am
first history:
Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog has analyzed all of the appellate cases involvimg Judge Sotomayor and race. It sounds like the "Sotomayor is a racist" dog won't hunt.


Of the 96 cases (not counting Ricci), Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions. Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous. (Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.) Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge. In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent’s point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.
.....
....In the roughly 55 cases in which the panel affirmed district court decisions rejecting a claim of employment discrimination or retaliation, the panel published its opinion or order only 5 times.

[Of her dissents,] pnly one case (Gant v. Wallingford Bd. of Educ., 195 F.3d 134 (1999) in that entire eleven years actually involved the question whether race discrimination may have occurred. (In another case (Pappas v. Giuliani, 290 F.3d 143 (2002) she dissented to favor a white bigot.) She particulated in two other panels rejecting district court rulings agreeing with race-based jury-selection claims. Given that record, it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decisionmaking
5.30.2009 1:05am
A. Zarkov (mail):
levisbaby:

Ooooh, we have the "If they don't like it why don't they just leave" approach. I wonder of Mr. Zarkov would have been standing on street corners in Berlin in 1939 shouting: "If you Jews don't like it, why don't you just leave?"

Are you asserting an equivalence between the German treatment of their Jews in 1939 with the American treatment of Puerto Ricans in the Bronx in Bronx? Funny I lived in the Bronx at the same time as Sotomayor and I don't recall seeing Puerto Ricans with arm bans walking around. I don't remember anything like Kristallnacht either. Moreover the German Jews were native to the country. On the other hand, most of the Puerto Ricans in the Bronx in the 1950s were immigrants. It is fair to ask as to why they would not have returned home if they were made to feel unwelcome.

The truth of the matter is they were not made to feel unwelcome and they were better off than in Puerto Rico which is why so many of their countrymen joined them. Trying to cast the Bronx Puerto Ricans as victims is simple opportunism on the part of Sotomayor.
5.30.2009 1:16am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Ah yes, the "go back to Africa" argument. This will surely be productive."

No it is nothing like a "go back to Africa" argument. Puerto Ricans migrated to the Bronx of their own volition in the 1950s. They did not find life the the US insufferable and stayed and raised families. They remained in the US because it gave them a better life than they had before. It is for these reasons they should not be classified as victims.
5.30.2009 1:21am
Burr Deming (mail) (www):
In fairness, we should consider the arguments against the judge.
5.30.2009 1:55am
Rick Prenault (mail):
Folks here might be amused by this Onion-style newspaper piece entitled "Obama’s First Nominee for Supreme Court Justice Dismissed from Jury Duty Under Anti-Bias Rules":

http://www.optoons.blogspot.com/
5.30.2009 2:02am
Nick056:
Zarkov,

If -- for the sake of argument -- their experiences were or are relatively worse than that of other immigrant groups, is it obviously wrong to say they are not "victims" of something? Disparate results, assuming they exist, do involve some factor that renders them understandable. I'm not suggesting that the label of victim is correct or beneficial in any case; I'm suggesting that, according to the information in this thread, there's no reason to accept it or dismiss it out of hand. Too much is unknown. But your simple assertion that because they stayed in the Bronx, they cannot be rightly called victims of anything, does not suffice as analysis.

Incidentally, you and Senator Tancredo appear to be quite incorrect about the motto of La Raza.

ShelbyC,

Alito said he would, in reaching a decision, take into account personal experiences relating to his family's immigrant history. He was responding when asked what was in his heart. Clearly, he said that it's appropriate to "take into account" his family's immigrant stories and the remembrances imprinted in his heart. Probably he feels his decisions would be all the better for doing so, and for having those experiences.

I believe this comes quite close to Sotormayor's statement as I understand it. I understand that Sotormayor's statement seemingly compares the value of her own experiences in a favorable way to the value of others' experiences. But I think she was confining her remarks to cases in which her experiences are conceivably relevant, and therefore have greater force than someone else's. I also believe "hoping" the richness of a given life experience would be reflected in the quality of a certain decisions is not a direct assertion of superiority. It's a wish that people who've "lived that life" glean from it lessons that allow them to render superior judgments in some cases. Perhaps you think I've put the statement through the laundry in parsing it so, but I think that's the sense of it.

It's certainly designed to be controversial rather than innocuous, so I understand the interest in it. She is, after all, departing from a statement attributed to O'Connor, which has the obvious effect of defusing controversy. And, for what it's worth, if a white judge from Nebraska said that he hoped a wise white man from Nebraska would make a better judge when it came to issues parochial to white Nebraskans -- and was then able to point to a case in which a wise Latina judge botched that job -- I wouldn't find it racist or deeply troubling. He would be saying, in effect, someone who's lived this life has a better understanding of the issues and implications at hand, and I hope this would allow him to render a better judgment than an outsider. It's an understandable perspective.

Now, if he was using that an argument for denying a wise Latina judge a chance to sit on a local court or the high Court, I might object. But was Sotormayor advocating that? She was not. She was using that statement as part of an argument for the necessity and probable value of having diversity in the judicial system. If my fictional Nebraskan was simply defending thevalue of voices from his cohort on the national stage, it would be analogous and, on balance, acceptable.

But obviously the fact that my little converse can even be constructed, in which a local Nebraskan presses for the importance of wise white men on the judiciary, indicates that very delicate issues arise from this passage. But in full, I still don't think it's so terrible.

Still, I would've liked Pam Karlan. Maybe some other time.
5.30.2009 2:09am
Nick056:
Representative Tancredo, not Senator.
5.30.2009 2:10am
PlugInMonster:
Ask yourself for a second if it were a white male that you would consider "context" or "mitigation". When you come to the answer, you know what side you should be on.
5.30.2009 2:25am
PlugInMonster:
Oh and trying to distract the American people with blather about "right wing echo chambers" will NOT work.
5.30.2009 2:26am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mariner:

If a white man had made a racist and sexist comment like that


If you consider why the comparison doesn't work.

==================
shelby:

you forgot to type that part where he said those experiences allowed him to make better decisions that someone of a different ethnic group.


You forgot to respond in the other thread after I demonstrated (link, link) that Alito implicitly claimed that "those experiences allowed him to make better decisions that someone of a different ethnic group."
5.30.2009 2:36am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Anyway, it's very entertaining to watch the GOP's Southern strategy turn into a Frankenstein monster that people like Cornyn ("top Republican calls Limbaugh, Gingrich comments 'terrible' ") and Noonan ("some, and they are idiots, look at Judge Sotomayor and say: attack, attack, kill") are now struggling to stifle. They seem to be remembering that the country will be mostly non-white by 2050.

And the same dynamic is playing out here at VC, where Somin, tracking the Cornyn/Noonan line, says "She is No Racist." That quickly leads to a 278-comment shitstorm (closed prematurely after barely ten hours) which includes people like Bill Dyer accusing Somin of saying "the single silliest thing I've ever seen any author at this blog write." This is the best show in town.

Meanwhile, the GOP convention last year had "36 black delegates … fewer than 2% of the total and a sharp drop-off from 2004." But while we drive the blacks out, we might as well get rid of all the colored people:

One prominent Hispanic GOP strategist, who asked not to be identified discussing the topic, said the blistering attacks on Sotomayor were “suicidal” for the party, especially as it attempts to counter the broad support for Obama among Hispanics.

“What’s this going to look like on Telemundo? What’s it going to look like on Univision?” asked this strategist, referring to the nation’s two largest Spanish-language networks. “If we want to compete as a national party in the near future, we cannot be seen taking these kind of cheap shots. We simply cannot actively work to alienate the fastest-growing bloc in the electorate.”


(I notice that for some strange reason WP removed that passage from later versions of the article.) "We simply cannot?" Really? Yes we can. And the GOP death spiral continues.
5.30.2009 2:36am
catchy:
This was a politically dumb move by Obama.

Some Rs were busy overreacting and the party as a whole was infighting. Better to let that play out than partially validate those who criticized Sotomayor and put the spotlight on his remarks.
5.30.2009 3:22am
traveler496:
After initally reacting quite negatively to

“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”

I decided to play devil's advocate and cast about for a sympathetic interpretation, resulting in:

a) A person's judgement tends to be improved by exposure to different worldviews and by confronting and overcoming difficulties; and
b) In this society and era, and in Sotomayor's chosen profession, Latina women are likelier than white males to have had such experiences to any given degree over the course of their lives


..at which point my devil prevailed, for it actually seems quite plausible to me that both a) and b) are true, and that this is more or less what Sotomayor was trying to say (admittedly rather clumsily, but who am I to talk).

So the most I would now feel comfortable accusing Sotomayor of based on the above quote is some sloppiness in the wording, and maybe some political naivete. And I now think that concluding e.g. racism on the strength of that quote is rash at best.
5.30.2009 3:38am
flyerhawk:
Professor Volokh,

Your analysis of Ms. Sotomayor's comment is fair when analyzing the comment in a vacuum. It is fair, in fact, to argue that the comment was poor in general.

However I believe you overreach when you say....


And it strikes me as very much the wrong attitude for a judge to take, and to publicly express. Perhaps this was just inartful wording, and Judge Sotomayor meant to say something else; and of course this is just one sentence out of a long legal and judicial career. Still, I think the sentiments that the statement on its face expresses are not the sorts of sentiments that we would like our Supreme Court Justices to have, whether those sentiments would refer to the allegedly greater wisdom of Latino women or white men.


You admit that this is one statement out of a long legal and judicial career, a statement made at a political event no less. And yet you seem willing to condemn her as unqualified because of this comment.

Judge Sotomayor has one of the lengthier judicial records of recent SCOTUS nominees. It has been known for several weeks, and certainly since Justice Souter announced his retirement, that she was a likely candidate. So why the focus on a comment made at a dinner rather than on her judicial career? Professor Somin has been the only one to speak about her legal opinions, at least from what I have seen.

Although I am a liberal, I count on this blog to provide cogent conservative legal arguments. While I often disagree with the arguments made they are rational and reasonable. However it seems to me that you, in this instance, embracing a single sentence as the culmination of a legal career. I don't believe it is reasonable to judge someone on a single statement that could mean something entirely different if a single adjective is replaced.
5.30.2009 4:12am
Cato The Elder (mail):
Concern trolls, please stop trying to pretend your, uh, sage, advice to the Republicans is anything but self-interested.

If Sotomayor's arguments were so innocuous, why is the political furor over them increasing? Why have there been at least 4 or 5 posts on just Volokh alone examining the statement?

I'll take my "chances" with the Hispanic electorate. (Never mind the intensely collectivist intuition that only non-Hispanics would disagree with the gist of Sotomayor's speech). Let's see how ethnic groups that she doesn't favor feel and vote when they know they have someone who is disinclined to "empathize" with them as she is crafting the Supreme law that governs their freedoms.
5.30.2009 4:58am
sputnik (mail):
Cato, you are correct.
Republicans do not need anybody's help to self destroy, which they were doing for the last few years at least and GOP is quickly becoming irrelevant regional party, deservedly so.
5.30.2009 6:42am
studentactivism.net (www):
“What’s this going to look like on Telemundo? What’s it going to look like on Univision?” asked this strategist, referring to the nation’s two largest Spanish-language networks. “If we want to compete as a national party in the near future, we cannot be seen taking these kind of cheap shots. We simply cannot actively work to alienate the fastest-growing bloc in the electorate.”


Si se puede!
5.30.2009 6:55am
fishbane (mail):
If Sotomayor's arguments were so innocuous, why is the political furor over them increasing? Why have there been at least 4 or 5 posts on just Volokh alone examining the statement?

Perhaps because this weak tea is all partisans have to attack her with? Well, besides deep, heartfelt concern over what she eats and how she pronounces her name.
5.30.2009 8:38am
Cato The Elder (mail):
Hilarious. Were squeaky conservatives running around giving the opposition advice when the idiot punditocracy was going about predicting a "Permanent Republican Majority" in 2002 when Karl Rove was the Man Behind The Throne? Don't forget, there's still the apparent contradiction that more people still describe themselves in polling results as "conservative" even as they trend away from from self-identification of the GOP. How quickly we forget history in a few short months!

Whether or not that sexy leftist dream of permanent majorities and permanent power will occur for the Democrats depends solely on demographics, not on the trifling political rhetoric of judicial confirmation battles. If the Hispanic demographic becomes greater than M% of the population, and socioeconomic disparities between them and the average American still persists at that time, then of course they well vote for liberal politicians and their cheap largesse. I can't believe so many are as stupid to actually believe their own party's spin.
5.30.2009 8:41am
Cato The Elder (mail):
*from self-identification with the GOP.
5.30.2009 8:42am
studentactivism.net (www):
Whether or not that sexy leftist dream of permanent majorities and permanent power will occur for the Democrats depends solely on demographics, not on the trifling political rhetoric of judicial confirmation battles. If the Hispanic demographic becomes greater than M% of the population, and socioeconomic disparities between them and the average American still persists at that time, then of course they well vote for liberal politicians and their cheap largesse.


Poor Latinos, in other words, cast their votes -- now and always -- exclusively on the basis of which party will give them the biggest unearned government handout. So nothing the GOP could do to woo them would draw them closer, and nothing the GOP could do to insult them would drive them away.

Of course this "analysis" is contradicted by even the most cursory glance at polling data, and it assumes without basis that the non-poor members of a mostly-poor demographic group aren't worth cultivating. But neither of those is the fundamental problem with it.

The fundamental problem, of course, is that it's a gross insult, grounded in hoary racial and class caricatures. It's an explicit deployment of exactly the kind of off-putting rhetoric it seeks to excuse.

Well done.
5.30.2009 9:15am
rosetta's stones:
Good to see Obama recognizes that this statement is inappropriate. Of course, you can't be certain he really believes it's inappropriate, as we know historically that he sat through Rev. Wright's hateful racial diatribes for so many years, and only moved when it became politically necessary to do so.

But still, he's at least mouthing opposition to this illiberalism, and that's good. No doubt, Sotomayor will do likewise, and disavow herself of any potential taint of racism. Shouldn't be too hard, as she's been on the bench for so many years that it would have arisen by now were it there.

That's what makes this a safe choice for Obama, all her experience on the bench. I suspect that's why the Left worked so hard to put down that other hispanic judge a while back, so as to keep him from attaining the same judicial experience as Sotomayor, and maybe winding up on the SC some day. Can't have those darkies straying off the plantation, can we?
5.30.2009 9:17am
Per Son:
Rosetta Stone:

The left worked hard to put down Estrada because of his uber-conservative credentials. Guess what, it worked! He was hardly the only nomination the left pushed hard against.

Moreover, why would you expect the left to support Estrada? Just because he is Hispanic?

Lets see if conservatives can stop Sotomayor. Some conservatives feel that she is some sort of affirmative action candidate. Keep repeating that line and see how much traction you get. Maybe I would agree with that line if she had the experience of perhaps, Miers.
5.30.2009 9:24am
sputnik (mail):
Here is the best take on RW idiocy




As more or less everyone has already noted, a lot of people have been claiming that Sonia Sotomayor is a racist, would decide cases based on racial solidarity rather than on the law, and so forth. One natural way to check this would be to examine her actual record. She has, after all, been a judge for quite a while, so it should not be all that hard to see how she actually makes decisions.
Over at SCOTUSBlog, Tom Goldstein decided to do just that. He has been reading through all of Sotomayor's opinions in cases involving race. He promises to write more about them tomorrow, but here is what his analysis shows:

"Other than Ricci, Judge Sotomayor has decided 96 race-related cases while on the court of appeals.

Of the 96 cases, Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions. Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous. (Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.) Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge. In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent’s point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.

Of the roughly 75 panel opinions rejecting claims of discrimination, Judge Sotomayor dissented 2 times. In Neilson v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., 199 F.3d 642 (1999), she dissented from the affirmance of the district court’s order appointing a guardian for the plaintiff, an issue unrelated to race. In Gant v. Wallingford Bd. of Educ., 195 F.3d 134 (1999), she would have allowed a black kindergartner to proceed with the claim that he was discriminated against in a school transfer. A third dissent did not relate to race discrimination: In Pappas v. Giuliani, 290 F.3d 143 (2002), she dissented from the majority’s holding that the NYPD could fire a white employee for distributing racist materials.

As noted in the post below, Judge Sotomayor was twice on panels reversing district court decisions agreeing with race-related claims - i.e., reversing a finding of impermissible race-based decisions. Both were criminal cases involving jury selection. (...)

In sum, in an eleven-year career on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has participated in roughly 100 panel decisions involving questions of race and has disagreed with her colleagues in those cases (a fair measure of whether she is an outlier) a total of 4 times. Only one case (Gant) in that entire eleven years actually involved the question whether race discrimination may have occurred. (In another case (Pappas) she dissented to favor a white bigot.) She particulated in two other panels rejecting district court rulings agreeing with race-based jury-selection claims. Given that record, it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decisionmaking."


I honestly don't know why so many people focus so much attention on their somewhat overwrought interpretations of one line in a speech and so little attention on ascertaining what kind of judge Sonia Sotomayor has been. Her decisions are not classified documents. They are public, and anyone can read them. Moreover, they plainly provide the best evidence of the kind of judge she will be.
I cannot imagine why more journalists have not done the kind of analysis that Tom Goldstein has -- the ratio of reporting on what someone thinks s/he can discern in one line of Sotomayor's speech to reporting on actual cases is just about the reverse of what it ought to be. That makes me all the more grateful to SCOTUSBlog for giving us the kind of analysis we need, but get far too rarely.
One other interesting point: Sotomayor's panel has been criticized for not explaining their reasoning in the Ricci case. Whether this is plausibly construed as an attempt to duck the issues depends in part on how common it is for a panel on the Second Circuit to affirm a district court opinion without explaining why. Goldstein therefore checked this point as he was going through the race-related cases:

"In the roughly 55 cases in which the panel affirmed district court decisions rejecting a claim of employment discrimination or retaliation, the panel published its opinion or order only 5 times."


hilzoy, Obsidian Wings
5.30.2009 9:36am
Per Son:
Many Republicans said that opposition to Estrada was racist. So can Dems call Repubs racist for any opposition to Sotomayor?
5.30.2009 9:40am
sputnik (mail):
Also, on Ricci case, Larison from Eunomia at American Conservative solves the problem of why Sonia Sotomayor’s ruling was not the Worst Decision Ever (his entire post on Sotomayor is excellent):

What this means is that the appeals court ruled against Ricci because it recognized that New Haven had tried to avoid a lawsuit that would have been possible and likely successful because of current law. In other words, the city tried to avoid falling afoul of the law, and the court did not penalize it for doing so. What is to blame in all of this is the law, rather than the judges who seem to have done what they were supposed to do. Indeed, what some people seem to have wanted to see Sotomayor do is to punish New Haven for trying to stay within the limits of the law, and for failing to do so she is declared to be an enemy of the rule of law. I submit that this doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Perhaps I have missed something, but the injustice done to Ricci seems in no small part to be a product of the law as it exists. However, under current law, even granting that the city of New Haven seems to have bungled the handling of the promotion test for its firefighters, it does not necessarily follow that throwing out the test results from the apparently flawed test was a violation of anyone’s legal rights. Presumably had Sotomayor found for the plaintiff, we would now be hearing about how all that infamous “empathy” caused her to side with the dyslexic man against a municipality–oh, the judicial activism!–and to open the latter up to long and costly litigation (which would, of course, demonstrate her abiding love of greedy trial lawyers, her desire to enrich fellow minorities and her hatred of patriotic firefighters, as so many people would be only too happy to tell us).
5.30.2009 9:47am
rosetta's stones:

"Moreover, why would you expect the left to support Estrada?"


Of course. I don't expect the Left would support him, but I do expect they'd put him down because they want to stigmatize any racial minority who strays off the plantation. They yet have a particular rage for Clarence Thomas as we know, not because of his judicial philosophy as we know that large numbers of judges have philosophy similar to his, but because he's black and therefore must have the Left's judicial philosophy.

Skin pigmentation must be accompanied by and only by certain kinds of thought, it appears. This strategy is well in line with their push for Sotomayor, who's an affirmative action candidate if there ever was one. Chromosomes and skin pigmentation were first order discriminators in this selection, as we know, but she does have the required thought, it appears.

Once you make skin pigmentation core to your political philosophy, then either your political philosophy has to expand and adapt to every political segment of a given tone of skin pigmentation, to become broader based politically, or you have to destroy anybody of that given tone of skin pigmentation who doesn't comport with your political philosophy, because political survival requires such, and you risk a depopulated plantation if independent thought is encouraged. I think that's what we've been seeing played out over the years.
5.30.2009 9:55am
Justin (mail):
Isn't Obama saying what everyone else (sans Ilya and the right wing nutjobs) are saying? I don't really think that makes him a critic.
5.30.2009 10:01am
Cato The Elder (mail):
Shut up, sputnik. Too many people have spent too much time on this very blog explaining what the relevant criticisms of Sotomayor's actions in the Ricci case were, for your long-winded cut-and-paste jobs to be more than obstinate ignorance.
5.30.2009 10:03am
Cato The Elder (mail):
Rosetta's Stones,

Maybe it's because I travel in upper-middle class circles now, but the only times in my life I've been called crude racial epithets to my face were all by leftists, purporting to "explain" the secret feelings rightists really harbor about minorities in their fold. No gumption at all calling me a "house n*****" or words of that ilk.
5.30.2009 10:07am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cato:

Concern trolls, please stop trying to pretend your, uh, sage, advice to the Republicans is anything but self-interested.


Please continue to ignore the fact that the "concern trolls" include leading Republicans like Cornyn and Noonan. And Mark McKinnon (former advisor to Bush and McCain), who said this:

The GOP's Suicide Mission - Memo to my party: Blasting targets like Sonia Sotomayor and Colin Powell is a surefire strategy to guarantee our extinction. … going into weeks or months of paroxysms and hysterics about alleged “judicial activism” is just going to make the party look bitter, mean, tone deaf, and out of touch. … No one is suggesting that Dick Cheney or Rush Limbaugh leave the party. So why are they insistent on defining the party as such an exclusive club? Because if they keep it up, they’ll offend enough Republicans so that’s just what the party will be: exclusive. It’s a recipe for permanent minority status.


The important thing to understand about Rush is that he couldn't care less if the GOP has "permanent minority status." That's fine with him, as long as he's in charge. And he is. And the more shrunken and extreme the party gets, the easier it gets for Rush to stay in charge. Rush knows exactly what he's doing. He's a talented clown, and his job is to produce ratings, and he's very good at doing his job, and he loves doing his job. And the radicalization and marginalization of the GOP is very much in his personal best interest. The GOP's death spiral is great for his career.

Meanwhile, Newt is trying to out-Rush Rush, which makes for great theater. And I'm wondering how many nanoseconds will elapse before Cornyn offers Rush a groveling apology.

If Sotomayor's arguments were so innocuous, why is the political furor over them increasing?


Because Rush has a very big drum, and he's beating it very loudly, and everyone loves to watch a clown beating a drum. And it's even more fun to watch when you realize he's at the head of a parade leading the GOP over a cliff. And other than events in Pakistan, N. Korea, and the retirement of Jay Leno, there's nothing else in the news. And those stories are pretty boring, to most people.

Why have there been at least 4 or 5 posts on just Volokh alone examining the statement?


The number is at least 6 (here, here, here, here, here and here). And 4 of those 6 were posted by Somin. And I think it has something to do with the fact that Somin didn't figure out what Cornyn and Noonan figured out until roughly the exact moment when Cornyn and Noonan figured it out. Somin put up his backpedaling post ("She is No Racist") about 4 hours after Cornyn's remark ("terrible") hit Memeorandum. Prior to that moment, he was being a more genteel version of Rush.

Never mind the intensely collectivist intuition that only non-Hispanics would disagree with the gist of Sotomayor's speech


The gist of her speech is that overcoming adversity and discrimination can make you a better judge. And there are definitely people who "would disagree" with that: people who have no experience with overcoming adversity and discrimination. In other words, Republicans.

Let's see how ethnic groups that she doesn't favor feel and vote when they know they have someone who is disinclined to "empathize" with them as she is crafting the Supreme law that governs their freedoms.


The way this is going to play out is very similar to what happened with Obama. With Obama, the GOP spent months describing him as a wild-eyed angry radical. Lots of people heard this and figured it might be true. Then they saw him in the debates, and their lying eyes told them that he was anything but. So this is what they learned: the GOP can't be trusted (as if they didn't already know).

Now, once again, lots of people are hearing the GOP describe SS as a wild-eyed angry radical. Trouble is, in a few weeks they're going to see her in numerous hearing clips on teevee, and she's going to look like anything but. Rather, what they're going to see is an intelligent, personable, thoughtful woman who reminds them of their mom. So this is what they're going to learn, again: the GOP can't be trusted.

So please don't change a thing.
5.30.2009 10:18am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Were squeaky conservatives running around giving the opposition advice when the idiot punditocracy was going about predicting a "Permanent Republican Majority" in 2002 when Karl Rove was the Man Behind The Throne?


Do you remember who first put that phrase together? It's here:

What George Bush did last night was reshape the foreign policy of the most powerful nation in the history of the world… He laid the groundwork for building a permanent Republican majority.


You're pointing out, correctly, that David Brooks said something idiotic. Why should I care? He's your problem, not mine. And here's one reason the statement was idiotic: the statement was made barely a year after Bush lost the popular vote. It was also idiotic because it was said at a time when "the country was evenly divided along partisan lines -- 43 percent of the public identified with the Republican Party or leaned toward it, while the same number said they were Democrats." Compare that to the situation now.

So you can suggest some kind of a symmetry between R strength in 2002 and D strength now only if you're divorced from reality. But you're a Republican, so I repeat myself.

And let's take another quick look at "the idiot punditocracy." This is the Washington Times, 6/03:

Success on this issue could be the turning point to a permanent Republican majority.


And this is Fred Barnes, 11/04:

Republican hegemony in America is now expected to last for years, maybe decades.


So when you remind us how "the idiot punditocracy was going about predicting a 'Permanent Republican Majority,' " you're reminding us of the idiocy of the GOP. It wasn't that "squeaky conservatives [were] running around giving the opposition advice." It's that "squeaky conservatives" were idiotically patting each other on the back.

more people still describe themselves in polling results as "conservative" even as they trend away from from self-identification of the GOP.


Democrats are perfectly happy to accept votes from people who "describe themselves in polling results as 'conservative.' " And that's part of what's been happening. The D tent is growing and the R tent is shrinking.

If the Hispanic demographic becomes greater than M% of the population, and socioeconomic disparities between them and the average American still persists at that time, then of course they well vote for liberal politicians and their cheap largesse.


"The Hispanic population will triple" between now and 2050. So pleae continue to bash SS.

I can't believe so many are as stupid to actually believe their own party's spin.


And calling voters "stupid" is a great way to encourage them to switch parties. Keep up the good work.

Too many people have spent too much time on this very blog explaining what the relevant criticisms of Sotomayor's actions in the Ricci case were, for your long-winded cut-and-paste jobs to be more than obstinate ignorance.


Yes, I am going to greatly enjoy watching the GOP complain about the fact that SS ruled against a Hispanic plaintiff. Time to buy more popcorn.
5.30.2009 10:19am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
traveler:

a) A person's judgement tends to be improved by exposure to different worldviews and by confronting and overcoming difficulties; and
b) In this society and era, and in Sotomayor's chosen profession, Latina women are likelier than white males to have had such experiences to any given degree over the course of their lives


I think this is very well-said, and I think every reasonable person understands this is exactly what she was saying. And Alito was saying something very similar (link, link) with regard to his poor immigrant ancestry. And Bush I was also saying something similar when he mentioned Thomas's small-town background and praised his "great empathy." In all three instances, the idea is that "confronting and overcoming difficulties" can help you become a better judge.

==================
student:

Si se puede!


Perfect. I wish I had thought of that.

==================
justin:

Isn't Obama saying what everyone else (sans Ilya and the right wing nutjobs) are saying?


Yes.
5.30.2009 10:19am
sputnik (mail):
Squirm, Cato, squirm, you irrelevant brain-dead FOXduped RW
tripe....
5.30.2009 10:39am
Cato The Elder (mail):
Does anyone at all faintly remember the liberal angst over conservative 'framing' of the issues, the idea that people tended to talk about neutral political questions using Republican buzzwords, such as the "Death Tax" &"War on Terror", and all that? Good lord, the 2006 Congressional reversal seems to have given many of you both a superiority complex and a fragile memory. Now Democratic policies are just so compelling that every single demographic is hurriedly flocking to them to due their objective goodness. The leftward turn of the nation is going to be a gradual process, not a sudden turn, unlike the delusional notion that all the rules of politics are going to be suddenly tossed out the window. No matter how much Obama manages to elevate amorphous Hispanics and minorities due to feel-good appointments, he will still be tossed out on his ass in 2012 if the economy doesn't improve, and yet still a 'regional' GOP President will replace him. Similarly, explicitly racialist rhetoric doesn't play well to electorally-active whites listening to cable news shows and talking by the water-cooler, even if certain cloistered people in the academe or elsewhere believe it does.
5.30.2009 10:41am
Per Son:
Rosetta:

Please continue to explain how and why the left does what it does. It is funny, because as someone who has been associated with the left my whole life - heck I am a union attorney - I rarely run into any of the folks you discuss. I am referring to the folks who you accuse of saying Estrada must act a certain way - or Thomas must act a certain way (although I have heard more of the Thomas/not black thing which is reprehensible). But mostly the criticism I hear about Thomas is about his jurisprudence, and he is hardly the only target.

The funniest thing about people who believe there is some monolithic Left - is that they are so ignorant. SHow me one time since the Civil Rights Movement that the left can do anything massive and coordinated with discipline.

Goto a anti-WTO march and you see signs for gay rights and Mumia. I think it is funny.
5.30.2009 10:41am
Per Son:
Cato:

Isn't it a tad "racialist" (whatever the f' that means) to assume Obama's appointments are AA appointments or simply feel good appointments.

Does AA appointment cover all non-white mail hires?
5.30.2009 10:44am
ShelbyC:

You forgot to respond in the other thread after I demonstrated that Alito implicitly claimed that "those experiences allowed him to make better decisions that someone of a different ethnic group."



I dont think you even came close to demostrating what you say.
You'rs saying that since he is saying that his decisions are better taking his family members experiences into account than not taking them into account, he's implying that his decisions are better than someone who doesn't have his ancestors. That is incorrect. He is remaining silent on how that person, with different ancestors and experinces to draw on, would make decisions and how those decisions would compare to his.

For example, if someone says "Sometimes in making descrimination decisions I find it helpful to draw upon my experiences as a white man accused of racism", by your reasoning, that is the same as saying, "as a white man, with my experience being falsly accused of racism, I can make better decisions than a black man who has not had that experience". That just isn't true.
5.30.2009 10:50am
rosetta's stones:

...although I have heard more of the Thomas/not black thing...


Hmmmmmm, so on the one hand you're telling me this isn't so, and on the other hand you're telling me that it is so? I'd guess most of the skin pigmentation thought police aren't foolish enough to let slip their racism, but even you confirm that at least some do.
5.30.2009 10:50am
Blue:
Jukeboxgrad, what Sotomayor is advocating is standpoint theory--that the slave knows the system better than the master.

This is of course nothing but specious nonsense.
5.30.2009 10:52am
Cato The Elder (mail):
Are you arguing that there was no political angle to the Sotomayor nomination? On Volokh itself I thought I perceived a distinct preference for Diane Wood's nomination amongst the usual leftists. Rosen came out early against Sotomayor and elucidated her faults in an effort to find the best liberal pick. About the Law's polling to divine its readers' preferences for the nomination was heavily in favor of Wood &Kagan, with Sotomayor running a distinct third. Don't pretend that this is simply an unwarranted presumption by me that she wasn't up to the admittedly high level of the other nominees. Sotomayor is perfectly qualified, but I worry about her kind of thinking and the implications that raises about the quality of her jurisprudence when she is not constrained by precedent and deference (indeed, she would make an excellent politician), and I worry about the kind of triangulating thinking that forms the basis of her nomination.
5.30.2009 10:58am
sbron:
I think a major point about "diversity" is being missed. In California for example it is very hard to find a white anglo saxon protestant. Many whites are themselves first or second generation immigrants and many can point to a history of oppression in their own families. I wager that the majority of Californians, including Armenian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Iranian, Russian, etc. immigrants and their descendants can tell often horrifying stories of their family's suffering. Yet we only hear Latino, Latino, Latino from the media and academic elites. It is an insane system where the children of Latino immigrants are eligible for racial preferences, while the children of Chinese immigrants are openly discriminated against by universities. For one group to claim that their suffering is special, and they have special insights that others do not makes no sense in an ever diverse nation.
5.30.2009 11:01am
Cato The Elder (mail):
Whoa, I meant Above The Law. Embarrassing.
5.30.2009 11:07am
Per Son:
Rosetta:

Keep reading how you want to, but I'll stick with what I actually said. I said that I rarely hear the type of talk you say is the liberal/left dogma, but I conceded that when I do hear it (remember I said it was rare) it has been remarks about Thomas.

So to recap - I rarely hear how the talk you say all libs/left say - but your point is somehow proven because I concede that there are rare occasions that I have heard self-descriobed libs/lefties say something reprehensible.

Weak man, weak.

Spin me around some more, nub.
5.30.2009 11:14am
dmv (www):
Cato:

I'm a "leftist," and before the nomination, I was pulling for Diane Wood.

Now that Obama has made the nomination, I've gone and listened to some speeches of Sotomayor's, read some things she's written, and generally tried to pay attention. I'm convinced that she's a good choice; not only am I satisfied with her nomination, I'm happy about it.

And if you think I feel that way about it because I think Obama can do no wrong, ask me about the recent filing by the DoJ on the Uighurs, or about Obama's reversal on releasing the abuse photographs (which we now know include instances of rape and other abuse of detainees), or about the way his administration has handled the Al-Haramain case, or....
5.30.2009 11:15am
dmv (www):
Oh, and on another point, I meant to add in my "leftist" voice in decrying those who talk about Justice Thomas and "not really being black." That is, as Per Son said, reprehensible.

Now, Justice Thomas is a jurisprudential fruit loop, for sure, don't get me wrong. :)
5.30.2009 11:16am
Per Son:
Sbron:

get the numbers correct:

60.4% White American including White Hispanic
43.0% are White, non-Hispanic or Latino
35.7% are Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
12.2% Asian American
6.3% Black or African American
3.3% Multiracial American
0.7% American Indian

I have heard a lot about horror stories from the press and academia about Asian Americans, poor whites, Indians, blacks . . . and the beat goes on.

I do not know about the racial preference system in California, so I won't comment on that portion. I thought Bakke took care of that.
5.30.2009 11:27am
rosetta's stones:

"...it has been remarks about Thomas."


Precisely. The skin pigmentation thought police are still enraged that this guy stole away from the plantation.

I'm not spinning anything, "nub", I'm commenting on your affirmation of the existence of the above mindset, and yes, you also affirm that only a few are dumb enough to expose themselves as pure racists. The others are as yet unexposed.
5.30.2009 11:28am
Per Son:
You are spinning. Where is the proof that the voice of a few are the actual thoughts and motivations of entire group?

There are none. Watch out for the black choppers - they are coming for you . . .
5.30.2009 11:33am
RPT (mail):
Sbron:

"In California for example it is very hard to find a white anglo saxon protestant."

Who are the members of the CA executive branch? Re Armenian stories, have you been to Glendale? Re Vietnamese stories, have you been to the little Saigon area of Orange County? And so on. Those of us who live here are aware of these compelling and other compelling stories. Do you contend that Asians have been excluded from the California state university systems?

In general, I think that ex-con Gordon Liddy will be the ultimate winner of the Sotomayor debate.
5.30.2009 11:35am
rosetta's stones:
Agreed that group thought is rarely monolithic, particularly pure racist thought as practiced by the skin pigmentation thought police, which you confirm as existing, however it you're now attempting to spin that confirmation.

But political motivation? Oh yes, this we know exists,and political survival is a powerful motivation. Let the plantation begin to depopulate, and political survival is at risk.

Bad Clarence... bad bad BAD!
5.30.2009 11:44am
sbron:

"Re Armenian stories, have you been to Glendale? Re Vietnamese stories, have you been to the little Saigon area of Orange County? And so on.Those of us who live here are aware of these compelling and other compelling stories."



That's exactly my point, I'm aware of these stories because I live here. But in the MSM and from the political elites I only hear about how political parties must pander to Latinos, how universities must admit more Latinos, how we must have a Latino on the SCOTUS, how our children should learn Spanish. Watching CNN or listening to the arguments about the Latino vote its as if the vast number of non-Latino immigrants do not exist.
5.30.2009 11:48am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cato:

No matter how much Obama manages to elevate amorphous Hispanics and minorities due to feel-good appointments, he will still be tossed out on his ass in 2012 if the economy doesn't improve


The Dow dropped 22% during Bush's term (after more than tripling during Clinton's). Since Obama took over, it's up 3%. And here's the news yesterday: "Consumer Sentiment Rose to 8-Month High."

But keep hope alive. That is, the hope that Obama and the economy will both fail. It's the patriotic thing to do.

Are you arguing that there was no political angle to the Sotomayor nomination?


No. When was the last time there was an SC nomination that had "no political angle?" Clarence Thomas? If there is a perfectly qualified person who also offers a nice "political angle," what president is going to choose someone else?

=================
shelbyc:

He is remaining silent on how that person, with different ancestors and experinces to draw on, would make decisions and how those decisions would compare to his.


If someone else with "different ancestors and experinces to draw on" also had, like Alito, a family history of discrimination, then that person (according to the implication of Alito's remark) would have something useful to "take … into account." But the absence of that family history of discrimination would indeed (according to the implication of Alito's remark) represent the absence of something that would be useful to "take … into account."

He was "silent" only to the extent that he didn't say this explicitly. But it's implicit in his remark (link, link). It's nonsense to claim that the thing which he defined as useful, which he possesses, does not represent (in his eyes) a comparative advantage over a person who does not possess that thing.

"Sometimes in making descrimination decisions I find it helpful to draw upon my experiences as a white man accused of racism"


A person who makes that statement is indeed implying that they are in a position to make a better decision than a person who cannot "draw on [such] experiences." The implication is direct and inescapable.

=================
blue:

what Sotomayor is advocating is standpoint theory--that the slave knows the system better than the master


I never heard the term before, but your description ("that the slave knows the system better than the master") is indeed similar to what I said here.

This is of course nothing but specious nonsense.


For a moment let's put aside the fact that you are making an assertion with no evidence. Let's assume that she is "advocating … standpoint theory," and let's assume that standpoint theory is "nothing but specious nonsense." Trouble is, she's not being accused of "advocating … specious nonsense." She's being accused of racism. Is standpoint theory a form of racism?

=================
sbron:

Many whites are themselves first or second generation immigrants and many can point to a history of oppression in their own families. I wager that the majority of Californians, including Armenian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Iranian, Russian, etc. immigrants and their descendants can tell often horrifying stories of their family's suffering.


People who "can point to a history of oppression in their own families" are people who are going to be in a position to identify with SS. In a way that was not possible with, say, Roberts.

Watching CNN or listening to the arguments about the Latino vote its as if the vast number of non-Latino immigrants do not exist.


There's "vast," and there's vaster. It has to do with numbers.

=================
per:

Watch out for the black choppers - they are coming for you . . .


Something to know about rosetta is that he sees things that don't exist.
5.30.2009 11:52am
Joseph Slater (mail):
LOL that somebody FINALLY looked at SS's discrimination CASES as a whole, did an analysis, found no hint of a bias problem with SS's actual JUDGING -- Sputnik posts that, the most useful type of information we can have, and all "Cato" can sputter is "shut up!"
5.30.2009 11:58am
Jmaie (mail):
In general, I think that ex-con Gordon Liddy will be the ultimate winner of the Sotomayor debate.

?? Haven't heard that name for a while, what's the connection?
5.30.2009 11:59am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
all "Cato" can sputter is "shut up!"


Please don't confuse us with the facts.
5.30.2009 12:00pm
Sarcastro (www):
B-But Clarence THOMAS!
5.30.2009 12:03pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Liddy:

Let’s Hope That The Key Conferences Aren’t When She’s Menstruating
5.30.2009 12:06pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
Joseph Slater, you deserve no response for that inanity. I have perfectly explained my views on the troubling issues I sense about her nomination.

To the Collective Leftist Body,

It is not so much that identify with the Republicans. I identify more as a libertarian on most issues, with some conservative leanings, and certainly find many GOP politicians distasteful and cowardly. It is simply the supercilious arrogance of the claim, repeated, over and over, that it was completely unreasonable to find Sotomayor's remarks and worldview troubling - obviously not, according to Obama - and also the disingenuous manner Democrats are imploring conservatives not to relegate themselves to an irrelevant future, all because of the inevitable Hispanic backlash. OK, if the political backlash is so inevitable, let those chips fall where they may, let's see who comes out ahead in the furor, and maybe then you can crow constantly and contently about the right's self-destructive tendencies.
5.30.2009 12:19pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
So many typos...

It is not so much that I identify with the Republicans. I identify more as a libertarian on most issues, with some conservative leanings, and certainly find many GOP politicians distasteful and cowardly. It is simply the supercilious arrogance of the claim, repeated, over and over, that it was completely unreasonable to find Sotomayor's remarks and worldview troubling - obviously not, according to Obama - and also the disingenuous manner by which Democrats are seemingly imploring conservatives not to relegate themselves to an irrelevant future, all because of the inevitable Hispanic backlash. OK, if the political backlash is so inevitable, let those chips fall where they may, let's see who comes out ahead in the furor, and maybe then you can crow constantly and contently about the right's self-destructive tendencies.
5.30.2009 12:26pm
Yossarian:
Judge Sotomayor is not a racist. She said something stupid, which when reprinted remained stupid. Had Alito said white men should be able reach better decisions than Latina women because of the richness of their experiences, then he would not have been nominated for the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor shouldn't be confirmed for what she said as much as she should withdraw for saying something incomparably stupid and, worse, lacking the grace to apologize for it. Isn't an apology what she demanded from the law firm that bungled her recruitment?
5.30.2009 12:29pm
Constantin:
Weren't we all promised that electing Barack would usher in an era of post-racial harmony?

Harumph.
5.30.2009 12:33pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
studentactivism.net talks about "gross insult[s]" above. Apparently two "progressive" groups just "grossly insulted" Hispanics with a study crowing about how the declining number of whites and increasing number of Hispanics is good for the Dems.

Regarding McKinnon, he doesn't realize just how much he's internalized far-left concepts. In general, his advice is horrible not just for the GOP but for the country as a whole.

Regarding those GOP Hispanic strategists, read about one of them here. The GOP would be much better off rejecting someone who, among other things, hoped for money from the Mexican government in order to fund a pro-amnesty ad campaign. That would be akin to wanting money from the Chinese government in order to conduct an ad campaign in the U.S. promoting Chinese steel.
5.30.2009 12:47pm
Blue:
Standpoint theory is actually quite popular among the PoMo identity politics crowd. It is also laughably wrong.

Consider the canonical case of the slave. It is indeed true that the slave has a first-hand level of experience with that status. Standpoint theory priviliges the slave in understanding the institution because of this closeness.

Problem is that the slave has no real insights into economic calculations behind their plight. Those insights--and thus the systemic knowledge of the institution--are contained almost solely at the slaveowners level of the system.

Now consider "racism." It is true that the minority experiences what they percieve as racism personally. But that perception may be flawed (e.g., false bikas claims) and even if it is NOT flawed it certainly provides no deep insights on WHY racism exists.
5.30.2009 12:55pm
rosetta's stones:
Hey box, I just spoke with my structural buddy again, and he says the Brooklyn Bridge is still essentially 2 (two) independently suspended spans, each span supported by 2 (two) suspension cables, the cutting of any 1 (one) of which would cause a catastrophic failure of that 1 (one) span.

Oh, and I did remember to ask him whether he thinks you're a bandwidth gobbling troll, and while noncommital in the specific case, he agrees that anybody constantly posting mindless 1,000 (one thousand) word cut and paste gibberish likely fills the bill.

He also mentioned that any high school shop student would recognize that secondary framing members in the bottom chord of a truss structure act in the horizontal plane only, and certainly are not moment connections designed to support the vertical loading that would result if 1 (one) of the 2 (two) suspension cables were cut, subjecting those secondary members to a sudden cantilever load from the entire bridge span.

So in addition to being an internet troll, you must not have gotten as far as high school shop.
5.30.2009 1:01pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
Blue,

A huge problem is that most of the populace just isn't equipped with that knowledge of a good counter-argument to the "diversity makes a more complete Court" meme that you just refuted. Standpoint theory appeals to a certain intuition, maybe, but it is laughably wrong, and its popular acceptance enables the glib accusations of "racism!" whenever some takes a principled stance and dares criticize or oppose a minority political candidate.
5.30.2009 1:04pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
Cato:

No, you didn't respond to the facts sputnik posted about how SS actually decides cases. Without dealing with those facts, your feelings on the matter don't really amount to much worth addressing.

Of course, we could have guessed that somebody posts addressing the "collective leftist body" wouldn't have much substance to contribute.
5.30.2009 1:55pm
RPT (mail):
It appears that the hostility to SS is all about conservative "feelings" rather than her actual record as a lawyer or judge.
5.30.2009 2:01pm
Commenter ex machina:
Jukeboxgrad, I would like to use your posts as an opportunity to float a couple of thread bylaws:

(1) Criticism of a United States President, and parties associated therewith (an "Administration"), may not be used to deflect or distract from criticism of a different Administration; provided, however, the foregoing shall not apply to restrict or prohibit the discussion of an Administration to the extent such Administration affected the subject matter of the existing discussion;

(2) Posts must contain 1,000 words or less; further, commentors must make a good faith effort to make posts as short as possible.
5.30.2009 2:02pm
klp85 (mail):
[Sorry commenter ex machina if this and the next post violate your second suggestion.]


The skin pigmentation thought police are still enraged that this guy stole away from the plantation.


I've always found the "plantation" talk troublesome.

1. It robs non-conservative Black people of their agency by implying that they are either (a) too stupid to think for themselves and actually conclude that the Democratic party is better (the way that Black conservatives have reached a different conclusion)*, or (b) beholden to the Democrats' promises of welfare checks and food stamps (see, e.g., 2.a, infra). Lots of Black people (not just liberal Whites who have a stereotype of how Black people are "supposed to" think) criticize Thomas and other Black conservatives because they actually believe that Republican policies are generally bad (especially for Black people), and thus consider them complicit in making things worse. Why should this mean that Black Democrats are on a "plantation"? How is this much better than claiming that all opposition to Affirmative Action and Latino/Mexican immigration is really due to Republican racism? It seems like it would be better to simply argue the merits of Democratic policies and that they have failed to deliver than to claim that Black supporters of these policies are stuck on a plantation.

2. It's also not as if the modern GOP, to the extent that it has ideas that could be drawing more Black people to the Party (I suspect that vouchers, for example, are more popular than among the rest of the Democratic coalition), exactly presents itself as "welcoming."

Examples:

(a) Obama Bucks. I suspect that at least 80% of Black people in American would immediately see the racial overtones of the foods used on the food stamp dollar bill, and this sort of thing certainly isn't going to change the perception that the Republican = racist.

(b) Shannon Reeves' Open Letter to the Republicans Party. A few years old, but it still points out that there are some problems of at least racial insensitivity that should be addressed and which affect perceptions of the GOP. It's not that crazy to believe that Republican opposition to Affirmative Action is driven by racism (even if this is false) when the (former?) Secretary of the California Republican Party is assumed to be the valet when he goes to Republican events.

(c) J.C. Watts: (1), (2). Watts is interesting because he has used the "plantation" language himself but also concedes that it's not as if the GOP as it currently exists has shown itself to be a place where Black people would expect themselves to be seen as part of the big tent. And by this I don't mean identity politics pandering or accommodation, I simply mean what Watts conveys: taking the message into communities and interacting with people, rather than claiming that the overwhelming majority of Black people who vote for the Democrats live on a plantation and love their welfare checks, and then acting shocked that they don't vote for the GOP even though they're against gay marriage too!



* This is particularly ironic given how often welfare and Affirmative Action are criticized as paternalistic and implying that poor minorities are unable to solve problems for themselves.
5.30.2009 2:17pm
rosetta's stones:

I've always found the "plantation" talk troublesome.

1. It robs non-conservative Black people of their agency...



How's anybody being "robbed" by pointing out the liberal plantation mentality? If anybody's being "robbed" by that mentality, then they're robbing themselves, aren't they?
5.30.2009 2:28pm
klp85 (mail):
rosetta's stones,

What I mean is that, when one says that Black Democrats are on a "plantation," it implies that those who have left are bold, independent thinkers who are no longer enslaved by the Democrats/liberalism, and that those who haven't are just sheep following the crowd. What I'm saying is that Black Democrats as much as Black Republicans are making decisions about how to vote (although Black Republicans definitely face a bit of social pressure, as Reeves points out above). Those decisions might be bad, but implying that this bad decision = Black Democrats are all slaves on a plantation is no better than claims from the other side that Black Republicans are all self-hating Uncle Toms and sell-outs.

By robbing their agency I meant not that the choice to leave has literally been robbed from them. What I meant is that the plantation claim "robs" them by implying that it's impossible to consciously choose to be Democrats rather than being Democrats because they're unthinking slaves on a plantation, who, like Clarence Thomas et al., need to set themselves free. It's a Republican counterpart to Thomas Frank's thesis in "What's the Matter with Kansas?" that if only working-class Americas would stop being deceived by the Republicans' God, guns, and gays propaganda, they'd realize that the Democratic Party truly has their economic interests at heart. Sure, each side might believe its claim sincerely, but it's not going to help their respective causes long-term.

Which is why I say that it would be better to make the kinds of arguments that Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and other economic conservatives and libertarians of all races make about the effectiveness of liberal policies, and let the chips fall where they may. Some will be convinced, some will not. But those who aren't convinced shouldn't be viewed as stuck on a liberal plantation any more than Republican-voting working class White people should all be painted as bitterly clinging to religion and guns.
5.30.2009 3:29pm
mattski:

How's anybody being "robbed" by pointing out the liberal plantation mentality? If anybody's being "robbed" by that mentality, then they're robbing themselves, aren't they?


IOW, how is anyone being characterized as a mindless automaton? All I implied is that they're mindless automatons.

Thanks for the halitosis, rosetta.
5.30.2009 3:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
yoss:

Had Alito said white men should be able reach better decisions than Latina women because of the richness of their experiences, then he would not have been nominated for the Supreme Court.


The comparison doesn't work.

=================
blue:

even if it is NOT flawed it certainly provides no deep insights on WHY racism exists


I'm noticing that you seem to have not noticed that I asked you a question. Maybe this time you'll answer it. Is standpoint theory a form of racism? Because establishing that standpoint theory is wrong (which you have asserted, but not demonstrated) is not the same thing as establishing that standpoint theory is a form of racism.

=================
cato:

the "diversity makes a more complete Court" meme that you just refuted


With any luck at all, the GOP will loudly promote your premise, that the Court doesn't need diversity.

Somehow I think that if the court consisted of 9 Latina women, you would be shrieking about how "diversity makes a more complete Court."

its popular acceptance enables the glib accusations of "racism!" whenever some takes a principled stance and dares criticize or oppose a minority political candidate.


I guess you must be thinking of the "glib accusations of 'racism!' " that the GOP made when the Dems dared to oppose Estrada.

=================
rosetta:

I just spoke with my structural buddy


You should ask your "structural buddy" if he has a morality buddy you can borrow. You seem to lack one of your own. If you had one, he could explain to you why it's not OK to make things up.

=================
machina:

Criticism of a United States President, and parties associated therewith (an "Administration"), may not be used to deflect or distract from criticism of a different Administration


You mean 'but Clinton (allegedly) did that too' is no longer an acceptable way of making excuses for Bush? I wonder why you didn't think of that about 8 years ago.

Posts must contain 1,000 words or less


This many of my posts in this thread exceed 1,000 words: zero. But I notice that rosetta also mentioned that number, so I guess your relationship with reality is roughly as solid as his.

And I have a suggestion for how you might choose to handle the situation where you run into a post that exceeds your attention span: figure out if your computer is equipped with some kind of scrolling device. Most likely it has some feature along those lines. Unless it's one of the old steam-powered models.
5.30.2009 4:08pm
Blue:
"Is standpoint theory a form of racism? Because establishing that standpoint theory is wrong (which you have asserted, but not demonstrated) is not the same thing as establishing that standpoint theory is a form of racism."

Not necessarily; for instance there is not a racial
component to slavery in general (as practiced across the world).
5.30.2009 4:12pm
klp85 (mail):

Problem is that the slave has no real insights into economic calculations behind their plight. Those insights--and thus the systemic knowledge of the institution--are contained almost solely at the slaveowners level of the system.

Now consider "racism." It is true that the minority experiences what they percieve as racism personally. But that perception may be flawed (e.g., false bikas claims) and even if it is NOT flawed it certainly provides no deep insights on WHY racism exists.


1. As you note, claims of racism on might be overstated by minorities in some cases, but the opposite may also be true. At least some of the opposition here to the criticism of Sotomayor's statement seems to be arguing against the idea that the judiciary would be making objective judgments if only women and minorities weren't taking their experiences into account and tilting the scales of justice (or if only White/male activists weren't empathetically ruling in their favor); rather, the argument goes, the judiciary would be making decisions that trended in the opposite direction. (See, for example, the posts pointing out how male judges' voting changes in sex discrimination cases if a woman is on the panel.)

So while standpoint theory may be false, it doesn't seem better to populate the court with people whose experiences shade their views such that they wrongfully dismiss claims of racism/discrimination. The question then is how to prevent this from happening, and if it has happened, whether putting someone with the opposite perspective on the court would act as a counterweight or lead to worse rulings.

2. Sotomayor is in a different position from the slave. She's also attended some of the more elite institutions in the country and subsequently has done well for herself. She's become peers with many of the people who might be analogized to "slave masters" and she has had the opportunity to socialize with them and hear their opinions, even if she cannot perfectly understand where they're coming from. A freed slave who is now acquainted with slave owners and associates with them would not exactly know what it's like to be a slave owner, but would have a better idea than a slave, and would know more about being a slave than a slave master who never was a slave. I don't think that it's crazy to hope that such experiences would cause such a person to be better at assessing slavery than a person who only knows one side of the equation.

Similarly, it would seem that having come from a humbler background and going on to an elite life, one might hope that a person in Sotomayor's (Alito's, Thomas') position would make better decisions, given the additional information, than someone lacking such knowledge. This isn't a categorical claim about ability, as Sotomayor admits that it may not hold true (since it's a hope and not a fact) and she points out that none of the judges in Brown had the experience of being Black. If Tom Goldstein's analysis is correct, her overall record doesn't seem to indicate a knee-jerk tendency to rule in favor of plaintiffs/minorities in racial discrimination cases. It doesn't seem then that her experiences have made her biased in favor of plaintiffs in this area, or that she's arguing for bias on the part of female and minority (and fellow-traveling White/male liberal) judges.

So while standpoint theory might be false, in the context of the Court, we're not talking about appointing a random female minority of low socioeconomic status, whose assessments of whether discrimination existed in a certain case should be above reproach and treated as dispositive, but someone who has had that life, but has also lived an elite life and thus has knowledge of both worlds, and wouldn't be analyzing issues in a manner analogous to the slave who has no insights into the economic decisions that a slave master faces.
5.30.2009 4:23pm
Blue:
A well-reasoned response, and one I don't disagree with. I do see, and appreciate the value of differing perspectives and I think Sotomayor's Hispanic experience is a useful, and different lens. Where I absolutely draw the line is when people suggest it is BETTER than alternative perspectives. There is no a priori way to know whether any specific lens of analysis is closer to the Truth than any other.
5.30.2009 4:30pm
klp85 (mail):
Blue,

I can go with that, and I think that to the extent that one reads her statement as privileging one perspective to another, the criticism of her statement should be made be assessing the empirical underpinnings of the statement (i.e., by pointing out evidence indicating that while Whites/males might sometimes downplay racism/sexism against minorities/women, there may be times when minorities/women make claims of discrimination that are not legally sound, and thus conclude that it may be problematic not to subject the latter tendency to the same scrutiny as the former).
5.30.2009 5:03pm
dmv (www):
Here is another take on the Sotomayor comment. More thorough and rigorous than most of what we have seen so far.
5.30.2009 5:17pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
Klp85,

I would just like to commend you on your two thoughtful posts, which I think are the exemplar of what proper debate on the nomination should be, not the typical endless castigation of conservative motives and armchair political analysis. Unfortunately I don't have time to respond at length at the moment, but I would say the true refutation of standpoint theory is that typical minorities are systematically biased in their assessment of racism, and Sotomayor's thinking on the subject hasn't shown any nuance or evolution from the theory of various very diffuse and ill-defined "racisms" the left claims holds minorities back. Sotomayor cannot make grand claims of judicial competence or insight based on her diversity of background, because not only do different cultures have unique insights to share, most also have expansive myths to overcome. I read some of her old published editorials at the Daily Princetonian, and much of it contained the stupid "proportionality" arguments I especially hate, and I listened to her oral remarks in the Ricci case which highlight the typical misunderstanding of test bias as psychometricians and psychologists understand it, a very specific example of her lack of insight possibly strengthened by her Latina heritage. I see little evidence that she would apply the same force of reasoning that she might apply in a highly technical statutory issue to racial discrimination cases, because her statement belies her belief in the same highly flawed theory that Blue articulated well.
5.30.2009 5:17pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
One more thing - it is not that reasonable people cannot disagree about the amount of extant discrimination, which is what Sotomayor may have been alluding to when she referred to Cardozo and Holmes and their putative failures, as they could only reason without the appreciation of the emotional realities of race and sex discrimination that someone of a different ethnic background who directly experiences these things might enjoy. It is that the justification for Sotomayor's statement is so horribly weak, when she implies that it is solely life experience and not say, also rational interrogation &the careful application of law, which would enable her to come to a better decision than a white male - that shows an unwillingness to apply, in my opinion, the rudimentary critical thinking required of an appellate judge in a contentious area that will demand it.
5.30.2009 5:45pm
SamW:
Professor:

Your analysis on Politico is rather weak when Sotomajor's point is that a diverse bench makes for better judging, in the aggregate:


However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Others simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.
5.30.2009 5:46pm
mattski:

Sotomayor cannot make grand claims of judicial competence or insight based on her diversity of background, because not only do different cultures have unique insights to share, most also have expansive myths to overcome.

I don't think she made any such kind of claim. I think she made a comment about the specific question of understanding discrimination. It is clear to me that many here are grasping for a straw based upon a preconceived idea of who Sotomayor is or what "liberals" are like, etc. I recommend this Balkanization thread.

I also think this statement from JS Mill is germane to the wider discussion (I found it at Scott Horton's blog):

It is hardly possible to overstate the value, in the present low state of human improvement, of placing human beings in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar…. Such communication has always been, and is particularly in the present age, one of the primary sources of progress.

–John Stuart Mill, The Principles of Political Economy
5.30.2009 5:55pm
GatoRat:
It appears that the hostility to support for SS is all about conservative "feelings" a liberal knee-jerk reaction rather than her actual record as a lawyer or judge.

There, fixed it for you.

(I have a hard time getting worked up about this nomination, but the media has their collective heads so far up Obama's ass on this, it's nauseating. NPR can't kiss his ass fast enough. I'm not asking for hit pieces--those are offensive--but some critical analysis would be welcome.)
5.30.2009 6:01pm
SamW:

"when she implies that it is solely life experience and not say, also rational interrogation &the careful application of law, which would enable her to come to a better decision than a white male"


She would HOPE that a wise Latina woman would come to a better conclusion because she accepts the proposition "that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color are on the bench." She does "not know what difference will be" but she HOPES it is better judging.
5.30.2009 6:29pm
rosetta's stones:
klp85,

The liberal plantation mentality is a statement of the Left's actions, and constant drive for racial identity sorta politics. I take no notice of skin pigmentation, other than to point out the Left's obsession with skin pigmentation. Your concern with my comments effects on the "feelings" of people of one particular tone of skin pigmentation, based solely on their tone of skin pigmentation, may be important to you... but it isn't to me. We simply disagree here, and I don't share your concern.

Once you make skin pigmentation part of your core political philosophy, you're gonna run into trouble... it is inevitable. No sense blaming others for that trouble, if you yourself believe in that core political philosophy. We who do not share that core political philosophy will take notice, and hold up a mirror. If you're comfortable with where you're at, then you'll likely have no problem with that, and you shouldn't. However, if you're squirming when the mirror's held up...
5.30.2009 6:40pm
Barbra:
Exactly right Sam. From Sotomajor's speech:


Each day on the bench I learn something new about the judicial process and about being a professional Latina woman in a world that sometimes looks at me with suspicion. I am reminded each day that... I owe [the parties before me] constant and complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives; and ensuring that, to the extent that my limited abilities and capabilities permit me, that I reevaluate [my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives] and change [them] as circumstances and cases before me require. I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences, but I accept my limitations.... [W]e who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but [must] attempt... to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.
5.30.2009 6:51pm
klp85 (mail):

Your concern with my comments effects on the "feelings" of people of one particular tone of skin pigmentation, based solely on their tone of skin pigmentation, may be important to you... but it isn't to me.

Where did I say anything about "feelings"? I did say that (1) claims that individuals are on a Democratic "plantation" (a) aren't helpful if you think that these policies are bad and want to actually convince people and (b) imply that these individuals don't think for themselves, whereas individuals such as Justice Thomas are paragons of "independent thought," and (2) that some Republicans do things that undermine the claim that that Republicans have no concern for people's skin pigmentation (e.g., Obama Bucks and assuming that Shannon Reeves is in the "wrong place" when he's at Republican events because of his skin color).

I made no mention of anyone's "feelings," or being concerned about their "feelings" in the context of their skin color. I did say that there are better ways of making one's case that liberal policies are bad, and therefore that individuals such as Thomas shouldn't be vilified (e.g., by interacting with individuals and making the case, rather than claiming that they're not independent thinkers, but rather slaves on a plantation, for voting for the Democrats).

PS Unless you deny that there's been a Southern Strategy in the Republican Party, it seems odd to accuse only one side of using racial/identity politics.
5.30.2009 7:36pm
rosetta's stones:
When you claim that somebody's being "robbed", you're claiming that they "feel" they're being robbed, because clearly, nobody's "robbing" anybody. You're claiming title to take offense to my comments, in the name of a group consisting of certain tones of skin pigmentation, based solely on skin pigmentation. Somewhat presumptuous, but there you go.

I'm not implying anything about anybody due to the tone of their skin pigmentation. You are.

The liberal plantation mentality is an equal opportunity enterprise. It's about political power, through the use of discrimination based upon tones of skin pigmentation.

Additionally, your reference and interest to "Republicans", much like your interest in various tones of skin pigmentation, may be of interest to you, but neither has any interest to me.

Again, perhaps you're uncomfortable with what you see in the mirror. That's something you'd need to look at, not sure there's much I can help you with there.
5.30.2009 7:53pm
rosetta's stones:
And with that said, I gotta go watch the Red Wings open up a can of whoopass on the hapless Pittsburghanians.
5.30.2009 8:00pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
Go Wings!
5.30.2009 8:51pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Once you make skin pigmentation part of your core political philosophy, you're gonna run into trouble... it is inevitable


Indeed. Where did the race consciousness of the Latina come from? Might it not have started when Kipling referred to them as "half-devil/half child" in the poem he wrote to commemorate the US's acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam, Cuba, and the Philippines, a poem memorably titled, "The White Man's Burden"?

Take up the White Man’s burden—

Send forth the best ye breed—

Go send your sons to exile

To serve your captives' need

To wait in heavy harness

On fluttered folk and wild—

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half devil and half child
5.30.2009 9:24pm
dmv (www):
Here's a post on the Sotomayor controversy from someone the VCers should appreciate. Former editor for Reason magazine, staff writer for Cato Institute, etc.

But hey, keep thinking that this is all just liberal identity politics. Works for me.
5.30.2009 9:39pm
klp85 (mail):
I apologize if I was unclear. My point isn't about the feelings of the people about whom the accusation is made, although I admittedly noted that it's probably not that great a rhetorical device. Rather, it's about what the implications of the statement are with respect to the speaker's opinions of the people on the "plantation."

I'll try to clarify what I meant without using the word "rob":

Many people accuse individuals such a Justice Thomas of being a sell-out, an Uncle Tom, or other awful things for rejecting liberalism. These slurs are based on the idea that because Justice Thomas has a certain skin color, he should have certain political and cultural beliefs. Some individuals who praise people Justice Thomas and others for rejecting liberalism speak of it in terms of him (and others) abandoning the (liberal) plantation. Some have even spoke of their own rejection of liberalism in the same terms. I object to this terminology because it implies that those who have the same skin color as Thomas but subscribe to liberalism are slaves subservient to their liberal/Democratic masters, and that if only they thought for themselves, they too would be like Thomas and reject liberalism. For example:

White liberals refuse to allow blacks to be individuals. They look at them only as a group. They have put them on their liberal white plantation where their hand-picked black taskmasters such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton rule the roost.

Does this characterization allow that those who are liberals/Democrats be individuals when it claims that they're simply slaves being overseen by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Because the plantation characterization downplays the possibility that individuals' decision to support Democrats derives not from manipulation but from their independent thought (like Thomas' decision to reject liberalism derives from his own independent thought), the plantation comparison is no better than the slurs hurled at Thomas. It's not a charitable interpretation of the actions and motives of the individuals who are or remain liberals/Democrats, and it would be better to abandon the characterization and simply argue about the merits and consequences of liberal policies (as Juan Williams does in the book that Michael Reagan is reviewing when making the above statement).

As far as mentioning the Republicans is concerned, if you don't identify with them I apologize, but it tends to be Republicans (like Watts) who talk about the liberal/Democratic plantation, and I assumed (apparently incorrectly) that you identified with or at least favored the Republicans in electoral politics. But the point still stands that it's not just liberals/the Left who have used identity/racial politics, as noted by Mehlman's admission of as much.

Have fun watching the game!
5.30.2009 9:44pm
Blue:

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"


No, clearly that has no relevance today, Tony.
5.30.2009 9:49pm
Cobra (mail) (www):
Cato the Elder writes:

"Unfortunately I don't have time to respond at length at the moment, but I would say the true refutation of standpoint theory is that typical minorities are systematically biased in their assessment of racism, and Sotomayor's thinking on the subject hasn't shown any nuance or evolution from the theory of various very diffuse and ill-defined "racisms" the left claims holds minorities back."



I suppose you'd call me a "typical minority". So when I read that the last Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist, on the bench as late as 2005, not only participated in Operation Eagle Eye, a program designed to suppress minority voters, but wrote a memo entitled "A Random thought the on Segregation Cases:"

"Plessy vs. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed...

...Rehnquist's memo concluded that the court should uphold segregation and refuse to protect "special claims" merely "because its members individually are 'liberals' and dislike segregation."


So when I, as a "typical minority" see charges of racism leveled at Judge Sotomayor for her statements, yet heard crickets from these same people about Rehnquist all these years, I have no choice but to challenge people like Cato and their theories of "systematically biased racism assessments."


--Cobra
5.30.2009 10:41pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
Two can play that game, Cobra. I suppose you'd call me a "typical minority" too. Well I bet I've got more less privilege than you so I win.
5.30.2009 11:36pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
Goodness golly gee whiz, Cobra, I expect more of liberals to put statements in context, like Rehnquist's:

"I realize that it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position, for which I have been excoriated by 'liberal' colleague..."

I am frankly shocked at the dishonesty here. Why do you demean our political discourse so? I would guess that Rehnquist was explaining interpreting the law as he saw he proper, and not constructing his "emanations of penumbras" to rectify an unjust situation as someone with no trust in our legislative branch might decide instead.

Anyway, I don't even want to go there. We are not arguing about Rehnquist, we are not arguing about "coding", we are not arguing about specific people, keep your anecdotes and emotionalisms to yourself and address my abstract arguments in that same fashion. I don't want self-flagellate in front of obscure histories and documentaries of racism that many leftists so enjoy. If that is too 'removed' for you, I'm very sorry.
5.30.2009 11:49pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
sputnik:

[quoting from the La Raza website] As noted in several online dictionaries, “La Raza” means “the people” or “the community.” Translating our name as “the race” is not only inaccurate, it is factually incorrect.


The first Spanish-English dictionary that comes up using a Google search (I'm not cherry picking) is here. Typing in "raza" it responds with "(human) race," not "the community. Even better is to enter "la raza" in the sentence translation box and the translator responds with "race." Now let's translate "the community" into Spanish and we get "la comunidad." How about "the people?" We get "el pueblo." How is the translation of "la raza" to "race" inaccurate?

What's important is what the phrase "la raza" evokes in Spanish speaking Americans? In my opinion the website is not being honest. Now that they are getting more and more publicity, they need to clean up their tribal invective.
5.31.2009 1:36am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Nick056:

"If -- for the sake of argument -- their experiences were or are relatively worse than that of other immigrant groups, is it obviously wrong to say they are not "victims" of something?"

I don't agree with your assumption that Puerto Ricans living in the Bronx in the 1950s and 1960s (when Sotomayor lived there) were relatively worse off than other immigrant groups. What is the evidence for that? Before the large influx of Puerto Ricans to the Bronx that borough was mostly poor and working class Jews and Italians. If anything these groups were worse off as they did enjoy the level of city services the Puerto Ricans got. However there was one big exception: crime. After the Puerto Ricans largely replaced the Jews and Italians the crime rate soared. Would you like me to give a block-by-block synopsis how much more dangerous the streets became. If Bronx Puerto Ricans were victimized, it was largely other Puerto Ricans that did it.

Don't try to bullshit me on this. I lived there. I had Puerto Rican friends who hated what was going on. For example, my good friend Jose, who was a pro-Castro Puerto Rican nationalist, could not wait to get away from the New York Puerto Rican community. He moved to Sweden.
5.31.2009 1:50am
Barbra:
Cato: It does not appear to me that you are speaking abstractly or impersonally about any of this, as you continually remind readers of your minority status and how it has shaped your views. I don't suppose you see why this matters but it is clearly instructive.
5.31.2009 6:55am
Barbra:
Zarkov: Your views based on your expereince (in this case in the Bronx) are relevant to you somehow?
5.31.2009 6:57am
Cato The Elder (mail):
Barbra,

"So when I...", "so when I...." These are personal arguments used to appeal to concepts of privilege, the idea that you can't have a valid opinion on some issue because you're not the right skin color or born into the correct socioeconomic positions. I only bring "that" up to quickly toss aside those claims. Should it affect the quality of my questions?
5.31.2009 8:43am
Barbra:
Cato, I don't think any honest question is dumb, so it should not affect the quality of your questions. However, it clearly effects the assumptions, presumptions, and perspectives that cause one to formulate the particular question in the first place.
5.31.2009 9:15am
rosetta's stones:

I object to this terminology because it implies that those who have the same skin color...


klp85,

No need to apologize for being "unclear". In fact, you're very clear, as per your statement above, that you use various tones of skin pigmentation to discriminate amongst people, and in imagining what's "implied" by statements concerning the liberal plantation mentality, and their "implied" effects on whichever segments of the skin pigmentation spectrum you've decided to identify as offended at the given moment.

It'll get easier for you to see if you take your eyes off skin pigmentation, believe me. I'm not discriminating on skin pigmentation... you are.

I don't think we're getting anywhere, and you seem to be struggling to find a way to explain the unexplainable... that you use skin pigmentation as a way to discriminate amongst people. We simply disagree on that point, and unless you move away from it, and disavow that from your core political philosophy, we'll continue to disagree.

You might spare yourself the trouble of the long explanations, because my only response can be to hold up the mirror.
5.31.2009 9:38am
studentactivism.net (www):
Wow. Even Scalia concedes that a white-dominated judiciary may not take racial issues seriously, and that the mere presence of a justice who's a wise person of color can be transformative in deliberations:
"[Thurgood] Marshall could be a persuasive force just by sitting there,” Justice Antonin Scalia told Juan Williams in an interview for a biography of Justice Marshall, recalling the justices’ private conferences about cases. “He wouldn’t have to open his mouth to affect the nature of the conference and how seriously the conference would take matters of race.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/31/weekinreview/31liptak.html
5.31.2009 10:32am
Tony Tutins (mail):

the mere presence of a justice who's a wise person of color

I just recalled a humbler example of the benefit of bringing on board someone with a different perspective from the majority:

Our lone Republican county supervisor spoke about the transformative effect of his election. The eight (or so) Democrats had routinely approved certain ordinances and expenditures with little or no discussion. When the Republican came on board, he started questioning such groupthink-motivated decisions. Having to account to a skeptical peer reined in some of their worst excesses.
5.31.2009 10:46am
klp85 (mail):
The reason why I apologized and have given the "long explanations" is that I think that there's been a genuine mis-communication, and perhaps someone else can tell me if my posts have given the impression that you've taken from them.

1. Look at the context of the statement that you quoted. My point was that when people insult Thomas and call him a "sell-out" for having his views, it's disrespectful because it's an insult based on his skin color and assumptions about he should therefore believe. All I've been trying to say is that when one uses plantation language, it makes equally problematic assumptions about those who have not made the same decision as Thomas.

Why else call it a plantation? On a real slave plantation, there were overseers who would make sure slaves wouldn't leave. There were also slave catchers and government-backed laws to minimize slave escapes. In other words, the slaves who either remained on or were brought back to the plantation were kept in place by the threat of force. So, when one speaks of a "plantation," it implies that those who remain on the plantation are somehow being compelled to stay there. I'm saying that this is false in the case of adherents of liberal ideology (who's forcing anyone to remain a liberal?), or at least it's no more true than of adherents to conservative or libertarian views, and therefore that the plantation language should be abandoned. Do you mean something else by the plantation language?

As I pointed out in my second response, I believe that plantation language is the equivalent of liberals' claims that working-class people are being deceived by the Republicans/conservatives into voting against their economic interests by being distracted by God/guns/gays issues. Heaven forbid that these individuals actually believe in conservative principles and economics, rather than being simply duped. Likewise for those who, unlike Justice Thomas, remain liberals/Democrats.

The point has nothing to do with race per se, except that most of the time when people describe liberalism/the Democratic party as a plantation, they are using it in a racial context.

Is anybody else finding my point that hard to follow?

2. As far as "my core philosophy" is concerned, what here have I posted that indicates my substantive political views/philosophy (liberal, conservative, libertarian), rather than simply being an (apparently failed) attempt to explain why I think that the "plantation" language doesn't make sense?
5.31.2009 10:50am
SamW:
You have made your point and it is a logical critique of the "plantation" figure of speech.

Rossetta has told you he has no response, so it is perhaps best to just drop it.
5.31.2009 11:08am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
blue:

I do see, and appreciate the value of differing perspectives and I think Sotomayor's Hispanic experience is a useful, and different lens. Where I absolutely draw the line is when people suggest it is BETTER than alternative perspectives.


Then you should "draw the line" at Alito, because his remark embodied that concept of "BETTER."

that has no relevance today


History is always relevant.

===================
cato:

she implies that it is solely life experience and not say, also rational interrogation &the careful application of law, which would enable her to come to a better decision than a white male


Her record demonstrates that she places a high priority on "rational interrogation &the careful application of law." So her view of the importance of "rational interrogation &the careful application of law" is a given, and to imply that she would ever imply the non-importance of those things is to ignore her record.

===================
gatorat:

some critical analysis would be welcome


mattski and dmv have provided some terrific references (here, here and here). Also indispensable is this.

===================
tony:

"The White Man's Burden"


Along similar lines, I think most people don't realize what a racist Churchill was.

===================
klp85:

Thanks for your extremely intelligent comments.

I assumed (apparently incorrectly) that you [rosetta] identified with or at least favored the Republicans in electoral politics


rosetta's shtick (aside from making things up) is to repeatedly promote GOP talking points while insisting that he doesn't support the GOP. As Just an Observer said, "Cui Bono."

perhaps someone else can tell me if my posts have given the impression that you've taken from them


No, your posts haven't "given the impression that [rosetta has] taken from them."

Is anybody else finding my point that hard to follow?


No.

what here have I posted that indicates my substantive political views/philosophy (liberal, conservative, libertarian), rather than simply being an (apparently failed) attempt to explain why I think that the "plantation" language doesn't make sense?


If you have "failed," it's only in the sense of failing to realize that rosetta is a waste of time. It is sufficient to notice that he has made false claims and then refused to take responsibility for doing so.

===================
cobra:

Rehnquist


Thanks for that excellent post.
5.31.2009 11:50am
Celia:
That post by the Cato institute/Reason guy is worth quoting:


"I’ll cop to sharing some of Yglesias’ irritation at the treatment of Sonia Sotomayor, and if Republicans are managing to get a rise out of my pallid ass, I can only imagine the kind of damage they’re doing to their brand among, you know, real Latinos. For one, it is basically impossible for me to believe that anyone with two functioning brain cells could read the “wise Latina” speech in full and find the notion that it’s “racist” anything but laughable. . . .

Look, it’s not racist to oppose a Latina judicial nominee, or to oppose affirmative action, or to point out genuine evidence of ethnic bias on the part of minorities. What we’re seeing here, though, is people clinging to the belief that Sotomayor has to be some mediocrity who struck the ethnic jackpot, that whatever benefit she got from affirmative action must be vastly more significant than her own qualities, that she’s got to be a harpy boiling with hatred for whitey, however overwhelming the evidence against all these propositions is. This is really profoundly ugly. Like Yglesias, I don’t think I’m especially sensitive to stuff like this, or particularly easily moved to anger, but I’m angry. I don’t think Republican pundits really appreciate the kind of damage they’re probably doing, for no reason I can discern given the slim odds of actually blocking the nomination. Which, perhaps, goes to Sotomayor’s point: They really have no idea how they sound to anyone else.
5.31.2009 12:23pm
Cobra (mail) (www):
Cato the Elder writes:

"Two can play that game, Cobra. I suppose you'd call me a "typical minority" too. Well I bet I've got more less privilege than you so I win."




Cato, you first used the phrase "typical minority", with italics, no less, in your 5.30.2009 5:17pm post. If there's any "game" involving that phrase, you kicked it off.


Cato the Elder writes at 5.31.2009 8:43am:


""So when I...", "so when I...." These are personal arguments used to appeal to concepts of privilege, the idea that you can't have a valid opinion on some issue because you're not the right skin color or born into the correct socioeconomic positions. I only bring "that" up to quickly toss aside those claims. Should it affect the quality of my questions?




But Cato the Elder wrote on 5.30.2009 5:17pm:

I read some of her old published editorials at the Daily Princetonian, and much of it contained the stupid "proportionality" arguments I especially hate, and I listened to her oral remarks in the Ricci case which highlight the typical misunderstanding of test bias as psychometricians and psychologists understand it, a very specific example of her lack of insight possibly strengthened by her Latina heritage. I see little evidence that she would apply the same force of reasoning that she might apply in a highly technical statutory issue to racial discrimination cases, because her statement belies her belief in the same highly flawed theory that Blue articulated well."

Pot...Kettle?

Cato the Elder writes:

"I would guess that Rehnquist was explaining interpreting the law as he saw he proper, and not constructing his "emanations of penumbras" to rectify an unjust situation as someone with no trust in our legislative branch might decide instead."



By Rehnquist's own words, he supported SEGREGATION. If you SUPPORT something, you're not seeking to "rectify" it, because you wouldn't consider it "unjust." In fact, Rehnquist by supporting the Plessy decision was "justifying" segregation. As far as "trusting the legislative branch", Rehnquist surely did not, because he PERSONALLY and PURPOSELY tried to prevent minorities, "typical" or otherwise, from actively participating in the legislative process via VOTER SUPPRESSION.

Death prevented the reality of having Judge Sotomayor and Judge Rehnquist on the same court, but...

"“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 (like William Rehnquist,) who hasn't lived that life”



Doesn't seem as controversial in that interpretation, huh?

Studentactivism,

Excellent point on Scalia.

Jukeboxgrad,

Thank you, and you have a great skill of boiling down really long posts, cutting through the rhetoric, and exposing the real meat of arguments.




--Cobra
5.31.2009 1:28pm
ShelbyC:
jukeboxgrad:

He was "silent" only to the extent that he didn't say this explicitly. But it's implicit in his remark.


Well, I disagree that it's implicit. But it was explicit in Judge Sonyia's comments. And if I'm wrong and you're correct that Alito said the same thing implicitly, then he deserves criticism as well.


It's nonsense to claim that the thing which he defined as useful, which he possesses, does not represent (in his eyes) a comparative advantage over a person who does not possess that thing.


That's just flat wrong. If someone says that thinking back to their experience working on a beet farm in Salinas, CA in 1992 helps him make certain decisions, he is making a personal comment about how he makes decisions. He is not saying he would make a better decision than someone who worked on a hog farm in Iowa in 1989, or even a better decision than someone who has never worked on a farm at all. Judge Alitio was making an introspective comment. Judge Sotomayer was comparing her decision making ability to members of a different race. It's just not comparable.
5.31.2009 2:20pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

Judge Sotomayer was comparing her decision making ability to members of a different race. It's just not comparable.

Indeed. The experience of a Hispanic woman who has succeeded in a white male dominated world is just not comparable to that of a white male who has managed to succeed in a white male world. For some reason, this fact threatens white males, who finally are confronted with the realization that there are some experiences that they simply cannot have.

Perhaps these white men could have gender reassignment surgery, and then be parachuted into a non-English speaking country where the white male does not dominate. This could help them develop their empathy.
5.31.2009 3:00pm
Barbra:
Tony, It is clealy not a threat to some white men.

But this Hispanic woman was not comparing such abilities, she was noting that someone of a different gender and race would make a difference on the bench, and she was hoping that this difference would be better.
5.31.2009 3:47pm
ShelbyC:

For some reason, this fact threatens white males, who finally are confronted with the realization that there are some experiences that they simply cannot have.



Yeah, my knees are knocking together. Hey, your comment almost seems to be admitting that Sotomayer said what she said. How refreshing.
5.31.2009 4:17pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Sputniks post on Sotomayor's record with regard to cases involving race is the most informative one on this thread. If we want to evaluate her then her actual record is a good place to start. The "Latina" statement while somewhat troubling is hardly definitive, and I think this subject has now become exhausted.

If Sotomayor wanted to end the chatter, she should simply own up to statement, say it was an obvious mistake, and even admit she was pandering to La Raza. Then apologize, and say she's grown out of those ideas. This would end the matter.

The Republicans should carefully consider the alternatives to Sotomayor. From their point of view, she might be the best of a bad lot. It's even possible that she's a thowaway-- nominated to draw fire and exhaust the opposition to clear the way for a far more radical candidate.
5.31.2009 4:22pm
Barbra:
It would seem that Justice O'Conner would agree with Judge Sotomayor. From Justice O'Conner's speech on the retirement of Justice Marshall:


But as I listened that day to Justice Marshall talk eloquently to the media about the social stigmas and lost opportunities suffered by African American children in state-imposed segregated school, my awareness of race-based disparities deepened. I did not, could not, know it then, but the man who would, as a lawyer and jurist, captivate the nation would also, as colleague and friend, profoundly influence me.

Although all of us come to the Court with our own personal histories and experiences, Justice Marshall brought a special perspective. His was the eye of a lawyer who saw the deepest wounds in the social fabric and used law to help heal them. His was the ear of a counselor who understood the vulnerabilities of the accused and established safeguards for their protection. His was the mouth of a man who knew the anguish of the silenced and gave them a voice.

At oral arguments and conference meetings, in opinions and dissents, Justice Marshall imparted not only his legal acumen but also his life experiences, constantly pushing and prodding us to respond not only to the persuasiveness of legal argument but also to the power of moral truth.
5.31.2009 5:30pm
rosetta's stones:

"So, when one speaks of a "plantation," it implies that those who remain on the plantation are somehow being compelled to stay there."


Well no, plantations existed long after anybody was compelled by law to stay there, as we know historically. But, they were "persuaded" to stay there as we know... illegitimately persuaded... by those seeking personal gain, and who set up the means to achieve that personal gain. Sounds familiar, eh?

The plantation metaphor works fine, klp85, but you seem to have strong feelings about it, and again, that's something you'll have to look at. I can only hold up the mirror.

I take it from the end of your post that you do not believe in the use of skin pigmentation as a discriminator? That's admirable, and certainly sets you apart from the liberal plantation mentality.
5.31.2009 6:27pm
rosetta's stones:
Oh, and best to ignore box, who is an internet troll, and was caught attempting to play structural engineer, and is now trapped in the internet addict's endless nightmare of attacking those who did the catching.
5.31.2009 6:35pm
Cobra (mail) (www):
rosetta's stones writes:

"The liberal plantation mentality is an equal opportunity enterprise. It's about political power, through the use of discrimination based upon tones of skin pigmentation...

...I take it from the end of your post that you do not believe in the use of skin pigmentation as a discriminator? That's admirable, and certainly sets you apart from the liberal plantation mentality."




You see, klp85, as an African-American liberal Democrat who wants to keep winning elections, not only do I defend the right of rosetta's stones to use this metaphor, but I encourage it. Disregarding the American historical absurdity of implying that conservatives did NOT discriminate based upon skin color, and the oh-so-convenient "slavery-allusions" when discussing Blacks, I think it's a great thing for many of these conservatives and Republicans to stand up and be counted on race and ethnicity topics.

Whether it's Rush Limbaugh playing "Barack the Magic Negro" song parodies &comparing Sotomayor to David Duke, Tom Tancredo calling La Raza the KKK, or G. Gordon Liddy maligning pre-menopausal women...

Whether it's various Republican groups making "colorful" flyers...
emails...buttons or food products, far be it from me to hinder or impede some of their unfiltered political opinions.

Oh no. Keep up the good work, folks. President Obama only took 96% of the African-American, 67% of the Latino-American, 63% of the Asian-American, and 46% of the White Woman Vote in 2008, not to mention 68% of all voters under age 30.

We have room to grow.

--Cobra
6.1.2009 12:53am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rosetta:

was caught attempting to play structural engineer


The interesting thing about these photos is that one does not need to be a "structural engineer" to realize that the things you claimed were "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation" are definitely not "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation."

But why should we believe our lying eyes when instead we can choose to believe some guy on the internet who makes transparently counterfactual claims and then refuses to take responsibility for doing so? Tough choice.

the internet addict's endless nightmare of attacking those who did the catching.


It's nice to see that you have that much self-awareness.
6.1.2009 1:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
shelbyc:

I disagree that it's implicit


And some people "disagree" that the planet is round. I explained how there's no other way to read Alito's words, and you haven't explained what's wrong with my explanation. You've simply asserted that it's wrong, which is not the same thing as showing that it's wrong.

if I'm wrong and you're correct that Alito said the same thing implicitly, then he deserves criticism as well


Surely you must agree that it's at least plausible to interpret Alito the way I interpret Alito (since I've shown that there's no other way to read his words, and since you haven't shown how I'm wrong). Therefore the important thing to notice is that with Alito, no one even asked the question, at the time. No one suggested a need for clarification. No one raised the issue, even as a possibility, that he had said something that "deserves criticism." And still, even now, it's impossible to find a Republican leader who can admit even the possibility that someone should have asked him what he meant, or that there might be something wrong with what he said. Why? Because IOKIYAR.

Note what Jeff Sessions said today on MTP: "I think that she is a person who believes that her background can influence her decision. That's what troubles me."

Hmm, let's see. That's what Alito said, that his family history of discrimination is something he chooses to "take … into account." So it's not just that "[his] background can influence [his] decision." It's that he consciously chooses to "take … into account" his background. And David Gregory played that clip for Sessions. How did Sessions respond? By ducking the issue. In other words, IOKIYAR. Read the transcript.

If someone says that thinking back to their experience working on a beet farm in Salinas, CA in 1992 helps him make certain decisions, he is making a personal comment about how he makes decisions. He is not saying he would make a better decision than someone who worked on a hog farm in Iowa in 1989, or even a better decision than someone who has never worked on a farm at all.


When the hypothetical ex-farmer is talking about the value of his farming experience, he is saying, by definition, that the absence of the experience would embody the absence of something valuable. And it's up to him to explain where the value lies. Is it in the "Salinas" part? The "1992" part? The "beet" part? Or just the "farm" part? Or just the "work" part? All of the above, combined? We don't know, and the answer could theoretically be any of those things, and it's up to him to tell us. But whatever answer he gives, he's claiming implicit superiority over someone. If the answer is "farm," he's claiming a kind of superiority over people who haven't farmed. If the answer is "work," he's claiming a kind of superiority over people who haven't worked. But regardless of his answer, he is claiming to possess something valuable that some set of other people do not possess.

And that's what both Alito and SS did. And there's nothing wrong with making such a claim; it's what we all do when we're looking for a job, or a date, or a vote. We say why our qualifications are superior to someone else's. And we can do that without explicitly mentioning the someone else (either as an individual or as a category).

And the claims by Alito and SS were not racial, because they were not saying that the racial aspect itself is inherently valuable. Rather, they were both talking about how their ethnic identity led to a certain experience. They were both talking about the value of that experience, not something inherent in the ethnicity itself.

Judge Alitio was making an introspective comment. Judge Sotomayer was comparing her decision making ability to members of a different race.


They were both talking about how their ethnic background can help them be a better judge. SS was not talking about her race itself, but rather the experience she had as result of being that race.

All three people we're talking about (SS, Alito, and your hypothetical ex-farmer) would acknowledge that other people can be qualified, and that other people have their own valuable experiences. When I tout my own experience (as those three did), I'm only saying that if other factors are equal, this factor would put me ahead of someone else (in other words, if I imagine someone exactly like me, except that they lack this particular experience). And that's precisely what SS said. She didn't say a Latina is stronger than a white male. She said that a Latina with certain experiences would (hopefully) be stronger than a white male who lacked those experiences ("who hasn't lived that life").

And as Tony explained so clearly, it's possible for a white man to have the same experience. It's just that most don't.

your comment almost seems to be admitting that Sotomayer said what she said


Everyone agrees that "Sotomayer said what she said," so your tautological remark adds nothing.
6.1.2009 1:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
tony:

For some reason, this fact threatens white males, who finally are confronted with the realization that there are some experiences that they simply cannot have.


True, but the impact of her statement goes beyond that.

Her statement is truly offensive to true racists because she's pointing out that oppression can lead to strength. When we oppress people, the result (often but certainly not always) is that they become stronger. For a vivid example, look at the history of the Jews.

SS does come from a background of oppression, and it has indeed made her stronger. So the statement she has made to racists is this: I have become stronger as a result of you oppressing me. And not just stronger than I would have been if I hadn't been oppressed. Stronger than you.

That's true. And from the perspective of a racist, it's a bitter truth. Hence all the shrieking and howling. From true racists, and from people whose career success depends (at least in part) on the support of true racists.

Today Lindsay Graham did a nice job of getting to the heart of the matter:

What she said is that based on her life experiences, that she felt a Latina woman, somebody with her background, would be a better judge than a guy like me, a white guy from South Carolina.


Yes, that's what she said (except that he left out the "hope" part, which is not OK, and he also didn't mention that she was talking specifically about discrimination cases; that's also not OK, but let's put all that aside). And Graham finds this offensive, which is a perfect illustration of how white males are accustomed to being on top. He is deeply rattled, because it's not just about accepting that a non-white non-male could be stronger than he is. It's about something much more difficult to accept: that the person did not just overcome their minority status, but that the minority status itself is something that contributes to their strength. From the perspective that Graham represents, such an idea is deeply subversive and disconcerting. And it's bad enough that she embodies this disturbing reality, but she made matters worse by talking about it honestly.

Chris Wallace (Fox News Sunday) played the same Alito clip that was played on MTP, and Graham didn't totally sidestep it like Sessions did. Graham provided the same answer that shelby has been giving: that Alito didn't explicitly name the counterpart to which he was comparing himself. But as I've explained, that distinction is superficial.

Obama made a smart move which is bound to accelerate the GOP's self-destruction (while also giving the country a chance to have an adult conversation about race). The real battle here is not between Democrats and Republicans. The real battle is for the leadership of the GOP. Rush has everything to gain and nothing to lose by turning up the heat. And who is really feeling that heat? People like McConnell, Sessions and Graham. Because they can't afford to alienate Rush's audience, but they also can't afford to alienate Hispanics and women. Along with lots of other people who will notice and abhor the double standard, where Alito's very similar remark is considered just fine. If MTP and Fox were both savvy enough to have that clip ready today, we can expect to hear a lot more of it.

In a few weeks, lots of people will be watching clips from the hearings. There will be a big audience, because there is so much news right now about her famous remark. There is natural suspense as people wonder how she will handle it. And chances are she'll do fine. The GOP senators will be gentle with her, because they know they can't afford to be seen as bullying misogynistic racists. On the other hand, she has plenty of time to prepare, and she knows exactly what to expect. And she's extremely smart and articulate. So she'll probably handle herself well, and the clips of her on the evening news are going to make people feel warm fuzzy feelings. And people are going to shake their heads at the fact that so many Republicans shot from the hip and accused her of racism.

Rush wins no matter what. His power and influence grows. Who's the big loser? The GOP. And guess what: that's fine with Rush. Because Rush cares about Rush.
6.1.2009 1:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
We hear a lot of people asking this question: what would happen if a white guy had made the corresponding statement? The answer is this: nothing. Because to closely match what she said (and assuming that we're not going to imagine a parallel universe where whites are a minority), the white guy's corresponding statement would be something like this:

I would hope that a wise white man, with the richness of my experiences (which included all the possible privileges of white life, such as access to the best possible education, like, say, Justice Roberts) would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a black guy who hasn’t lived that life (i.e., a black guy who was generally deprived of a good education and ended up spending more time in prison than he did in college).


Sure, a political enemy could try to distort that statement, but anyone who looked at it honestly would see it's both true and non-racist. If I make that statement, I'm not saying that I'm better because I'm white. I'm saying that by virtue of being white, I've had the benefit of certain valuable experiences that are often not available to non-whites. I'm also acknowledging that a non-white who somehow managed to have those valuable experiences would be just as qualified as me.

One of the reasons we would never hear such a statement is that it's a statement of the obvious. It's a description of the pervading reality that has led to 96% of SC justices being white males. Both Obama and SS personify the death of that reality. This process is scary to certain people, and SS's remark is especially terrifying to them. Because they are not just being confronted with the idea that the Other can be as good as them (they've been getting used to that idea for a while, even though it irks them). Now they have to face the idea that the Other might be better than them. But it's even worse than that. They have to face the idea that the very Otherness of the Other is a source of the Other's strength. Where will this end? The Hispanic population is expected to triple between now and 2050. Along with other minorities, they will outnumber whites. So some people who are now relatively powerless are scared of becoming even more powerless. (And this all fits with what Cobra said about who voted for Obama.)

SS has become stronger than her white male counterpart, and she has used oppression as a source of her strength, and she has said this out loud. This is very much a reversal of the way things used to be, so some people find her remark very threatening. Not because it's racist. Because it's true.
6.1.2009 1:05am
rosetta's stones:

"...one does not need to be a "structural engineer" to realize that the things you claimed were "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation" are definitely not "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation."


box, you're too ignorant to even know what it is you're looking at, nor to have followed the original discussion in the first place. That's because you're not an engineer, you merely masqueraded as one on the internet, in the midst of one of your frothing partisan rants.

What's funny is that you were exposed playing structural engineer, and now are trapped with a bayonet in your teeth, screeching and looking to cover up your original overeach. It'd be so simple to just say, "I was mistaken", but your rabidity won't allow it.

Let us know if you ever get anybody to confirm your crazed rantings. It will take an engineer, not an internet addicted poseur.
6.1.2009 2:01am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
you're too ignorant to even know what it is you're looking at


Then I'm darn lucky to have run into you, because I bet you (and your "structural buddy") are exactly the right people to explain why the things you claimed were "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation" are not "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation."

I have a feeling it has to do with some special technical definitions of the terms "easily," "ground level," and "observation." So could you have your "structural buddy" pass along those definitions? Since you've been spending lots of time with him anyway.

It'd be so simple to just say, "I was mistaken", but your rabidity won't allow it.


I hope you'll help me figure out where my mistake is. OK, I think I might know. I've been counting on the authenticity of the google streetview photos which clearly show that the things which you said were "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation" are not "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation." What you seem to be hinting is that those photos were Photoshopped by the Islamofascists, specifically for the purpose of tricking us into thinking that the things which are actually "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation" are not "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation."

Pretty clever plot. How did you figure it out? And did you figure it out before or after you spotted the black choppers?
6.1.2009 3:37am
mattski:
As usual, jukeboxgrad does the heavy lifting. Thanks, juke!

I just want to add some background for putting rosetta's stones comments in proper context. rosetta is quick to accuse others of "trolling" although what he means by "trolling" is entirely unclear. For myself, I would guess that trolling is pretty much deliberately wasting people's time by goading them while not making any good faith effort to exchange ideas &information. And yet, that is exactly what rosetta seems to specialize in.

Here is a pretty good sample. In this exchange rosetta hits a two-fer by both saying things he doesn't mean (making Obama/Nazi associations) and refusing to say what he does mean (by his previously volunteered opinion that it was a mistake to fight WWII.) Writing bullshit that one does not believe while refusing to share what one truly believes is first class evidence of chain-jerking. rosetta has a talent for that but little else.
6.1.2009 7:31am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Good point, I forgot that. Yes, I'm still waiting for him to explain why he said WWII "was unnecessary." Maybe before he answers he needs to check with some kind of a "buddy."
6.1.2009 8:34am
Cato The Elder (mail):


SS has become stronger than her white male counterpart, and she has used oppression as a source of her strength, and she has said this out loud.



God, how I hope the Democrats argue this. I hope some liberal writes this down in some official forum somewhere and it is promulgated widely. "Fear", "strength", "privilege"...amazing.
6.1.2009 9:51am
rosetta's stones:
Well no, box, linking to your previous crazed rantings, wherein you masqueraded as a structural engineer, then screeched liar liar to an engineer pointing out your masquerade, is proof of nothing other than your status as an internet troll. And I see you seem to have attracted trollski to your cause as well... you trolls tend to stick together as we know.

Like I say, you're ignorant of what you're looking at, and too rabid to admit that you illegitimately postured yourself as a structural engineer. Tsk tsk.

However, there is a way forward for you, and that is for you to find an engineer to confirm your fantastical rants. But remember, you'll have to spit the bayonet out of your clenched teeth in order to do the asking, bud. Good luck.
6.1.2009 12:24pm
rosetta's stones:
And trollski, you still haven't completed your assignment. You were tasked to find the exact post you had questions about, and produce it in total, but your assignment is currently incomplete. You want to learn, hop to it. This is directed study, remember, and you've received your direction.
6.1.2009 12:30pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cato:

I hope the Democrats argue this


The people who are upset by what she said already understand the meaning of what she said (that 'she has become stronger than her white male counterpart, and she has used oppression as a source of her strength'). And that's why they're upset. So it doesn't matter whether or not "the Democrats argue this," because all the people who are going to join Rush's parade have already joined, because they already understand what she said.

I said it even more plainly than she did, but she has already said it plainly enough.

And when she points out that the people who tried to hold her back just made her stronger, the petulant self-pitying pseudo-victimized bigots are terrified, because her statement reminds them that there are plenty more where she came from, and therefore it's only going to get worse. They know she's going to get her way, and they know this means that her kind is only going to get more and more uppity (link, link). That's why we're hearing lots of shrieking and howling from people who are used to being on top, but know they aren't anymore.

=================
rosetta:

you're ignorant of what you're looking at


That's why I'm so glad I ran into you, because I figure that you and your "structural buddy" would be able to explain the mystery of the google streetview photos which clearly show that the things which you said were "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation" are not "easily accessible at ground level [and] away from observation."

find an engineer


I already did. That's you. You've said you're an engineer. That's why I'm so glad I found you. Because I figure that an engineer like would be able to explain the mystery of the google streetview photos that portray a reality contrary to the statements you made.

You were tasked to find the exact post you had questions about, and produce it in total


The post where you said WWII "was unnecessary" is here. You can "produce it in total" by clicking on that little link. You know how links work, right? Hmm, maybe not. You said you were an engineer, but you didn't say you were a computer engineer. Then again, maybe you're having some kind of mysterious problem with that one particular link, since I already presented it to you, weeks ago. Or maybe it's just taking you a long time to figure out how you want to answer this particular question. It's one of many that you've been ducking.
6.1.2009 4:01pm
mattski:

And trollski, you still haven't completed your assignment.

I asked you a straightforward, good faith question based upon genuine curiosity about statements you made previously. Why do you need me to show you what you said?

Do you deny saying you thought it was a mistake to fight WWII? If you deny it, then maybe I'll go looking for an additional reference to the one juke provided. I'm quite sure you repeated the sentiment on more than one occasion.

And in addition to being a lazy, confused fool with a loose tongue (your comments to klp85 about race are completely incoherent) you're a king-sized waste of time. If you want to show I'm wrong why don't you man-up and spit out your pet theory about WWII?
6.1.2009 4:33pm
rosetta's stones:
box, I'm sorta having fun working you. I get a kick out of you fantasizing yourself a structural engineer, and cutting and pasting your crazed rhapsodies, referencing your past crazed rhapsodies, referencing your past... etc.

Find an engineer to support your kookiness, box. 'til then, you're just another internet addicted troll, who got nailed as a poseur.
6.1.2009 5:50pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
rosetta:

I get a kick out of you fantasizing yourself a structural engineer


I probably should have made myself more clear. I'm definitely not "a structural engineer." But since you are, I'm hoping you'll be able to help solve the mystery of the photos.

=================
matt:

maybe I'll go looking for an additional reference to the one juke provided


Rosetta has made a number of interesting comments about WWII. Like this:

I'm one of those who thinks that that war was unnecessary


And this:

It's funny to read the Pacific War being bandied about ahistorically in here, a war wherein the US government sanctioned firebombings that killed millions. Forget about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Long before that, the US air arm was going up and down the Japanese coastline, burning out cities completely, and overwhelming any possible lifesaving infrastructure.

They built mock ups in Nevada, based upon Japanese architectural methods, and developed the precise napalm formulation to incinerate that architecture.

That would be residential architecture, in case the point's not clear.

Look up that video of one of the pilots, describing the smell of roasting meat, at 20,000 feet of altitude.


And this:

I don't recognize that US involvement in WWII was necessary and inevitable …

WWII cost mucho cash, resulted in a 1/2M US deaths, millions of other deaths worldwide, totalitarian domination of all of Eastern Europe for a 1/2 century (and yet today in many ways), ongoing totalitarian domination of China, a multitude of smaller scale conflicts worldwide (the global shooting never really stopped after Tokyo Bay as we know), a 1/2 century of costly Cold War, the creation of a military welfare system in Europe, and we can go on and on....


I was surprised to learn that in "the Pacific war … the US government sanctioned firebombings that killed millions." The context seems to indicate that this is a claim about civilians. But civilian deaths in Japan were apparently 580,000. And that includes Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even though the claim seems to be exclusive of those events ("forget about Hiroshima and Nagasaki").

So the numbers are a bit mysterious, just like the photos.
6.1.2009 5:55pm
rosetta's stones:
Ha ha ha, I'm a "waste of time", and you're sitting in here posting to me! Do you even realize what an ignorant troll you are?

No, trollski, there's nothing good faith about your trolling for an argument, and it's pretty stupid for you to be trolling for an argument, and blind to the fact that that's what you're doing.

However, as you appear to be (semi) serious about the directed study, you'll need to complete your assignment. Remember, no learning without work, and you (claim to) appear to want to learn something here. Get to work.
6.1.2009 5:55pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
you'll need to complete your assignment


It's obvious that mere mortals like us can't make 580,000 equal "millions," and can't make google streetview photos show something other than what they show.

That's why we need help from you, because you hold the key to these mysteries.
6.1.2009 5:59pm
rosetta's stones:
Cutting and pasting your past diatribes over and over ain't finding an engineer, box. You get to work as well, bud.

I still get a kick out of you playing structural engineer, and you don't even know what you're looking at!
6.1.2009 6:00pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
finding an engineer


I already found one. That would be you. The problem is not finding an engineer. The problem is figuring out why this particular engineer is allergic to answering questions. Have any ideas?
6.1.2009 6:06pm
rosetta's stones:
No, box, I disagree with your disturbed rantings, as does anybody sentient, I suspect.

So, you'll have to find an engineer who does. Good luck.

And when you ask, remember to spit the bayonet out of your teeth!
6.1.2009 6:09pm
mattski:
rosetta,

Part of the reason I'm engaging you despite the fact that you're a waste of time is simply to give you a chance to redeem yourself. Alas, you don't have the courage of your convictions, that's plain to see.

The other reason is to show the other good folks who frequent this blog, liberals and conservatives alike, just what sort of person you are. The thread I linked to above makes it crystal clear that you're a person who says things he doesn't actually believe, and refuses to say what you actually believe. Is that honest? Is it sincere? Is it honorable? The fact that you are retreating at full speed from your previous statements about WWII, without having the character to admit it, kind of makes it easier for sincere folks like klp85 to ignore you in the future instead of, like chewing gum on their sneakers, getting tangled up with your incoherent bullshit.
6.1.2009 6:34pm
mattski:
Just for good measure, when I accuse someone of being "incoherent" I am referring to statements such as these:

there's nothing good faith about your trolling for an argument... However, as you appear to be (semi) serious about the directed study...
6.1.2009 6:50pm
rosetta's stones:
trollski, I'm not retreating from anything, I'm watching you flail about, trolling for an argument, even as you blather on about me being a "waste of time". It's an interesting show.

And I'm certain the blog is grateful for your contributions in exposing me as the evil presence that I am. I for one welcome you as our evil-presence exposing overlord.

However, since your post again appears to be appealing for some sorta education from me, the directed study process is still open to you. Get to work.
6.1.2009 7:09pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I'm not retreating from anything


Then you should probably have a chat with the other fellow who's posting as 'rosetta.' Because someone using that name made a bunch of false claims and has refused to take responsibility for doing so.

the evil presence that I am


Don't be too hard on yourself. You're overlooking the inadvertent public service you provide by vividly demonstrating the GOP's relationship with truth and reality.
6.1.2009 8:41pm
rosetta's stones:
Ya' know, box, some might find your rabid, frothing partisanship in all matters as strange and disturbing, but I for one welcome you as our evil-GOP exposing overlord.

You find an engineer to confirm your kookiness yet, bud?
6.1.2009 10:48pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Funny that you should mention "kookiness." That's a good word for someone who spends their energy promoting new false claims instead of cleaning up their old ones.
6.1.2009 11:08pm

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Account:
Password:
Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.