Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sotomayor Sorta Slimed by Pugnacious Partisan Pundits : Get OFF it and confirm her, already!

The Republican Party is fast becoming irrelevant with each passing day. No other recent event than the nomination of Federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor by President Obama to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court proves this fact.

Barrack Obama was elected President last year by a landslide. He's a Democrat. His opposition, the Republicans, want him to fail. 'Nuff said. You can't possibly get any more to the core of it than that. IF John McCain were the current president and she was nominated by him, not a peep would be coming out of their crooked mouths.

That last statement is not in the least as far out as it may seem on the surface. Ms. Sotomayor was originally appointed to the Federal Courts by then President George H.W. Bush, and none other than Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato was one of her early backers. Later, she stood with then President George W. Bush's Mexico City Policy, which prohibited the US form contributing to entities that promote abortion, writing that "the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds." In the 2002 court case Pappas vs. Giulianni, Sotomayor dissented from her colleagues’ ruling that the New York Police Department could terminate an employee from his desk job who sent racist materials through the mail. As Wikidpedia reports, "She warned the majority about 'gloss[ing] over three decades of jurisprudence and the centrality of First Amendment freedoms in our lives just because it is confronted with speech it does not like.'"

So she was originally appointed and supported by Republican officeholders and has sided with a Republican President on abortion at least once.

And yet Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich have the balls to call her a reverse racist?

This absolutely incoherent, intellectually dishonest, and lacking in any credibility whatsoever move by individuals desperate to bring Obama down is exactly why the GOP should pack it in. Give it up, clean out your desk, call it a day. When we can't depend on an opposition party to tell us the unvarnished truth in it's pursuit of giving us access to a varying opinion and promote democracy, it's time to retire!

IF we were to believe the narrative offered by the President's opponents regarding the state of the economy, and how Obama's spending is simply going to take us further down the road to ruin, then let's focus on that issue, and stop giving up unsubstantiated moonbattery! In other words, people need to Fact Check the claims of our elected and appointed leaders. But more importantly, we need to leaders to spare us the grandstanding.

As has been constantly repeated
ad nauseum by the talking heads who make up our Television news media, the basis of the claim of some that Sotomayor is a racist rests on her "wise Latina woman" comment in her 2001 speech to the University of California, Berkely School of Law. <-- Click that link to get the full text of her speech. I'll leave to your judgment as to whether or not she deserves the caricature that has been foisted on her by certain pundits in love with the sound of their own voices. As far as I'm concerned, such fatheadedness as displayed by these two White Males in particular makes me think she had every damn right to say what she said even if she literally MEANT that a Latina Woman had better judgement than a White Male!

Furthermore, who is Limbaugh, of all people, to go around talking about Racism? The truth is, he's made several unambiguously racist statements. Click here to research verification on these, complete with audio from Youtube to back it up! Furthermore, it is a matter of historical record that the Republican party has been courting verified racists in order to win elections. Check Bob Herbert's column in the NY Times for a breif breakdown on this.

Further into the eye of the storm of controversy over Ms. Sotomayor is her taking part in a decision involving Firefighters seeking promotions in New Haven, Connecticut. From the Wikipedia article on Sonia Sotomayor:

"Sotomayor was a member of a 2008 Second Circuit panel in the high-profile case Ricci v. DeStefano that upheld the right of the City of New Haven to throw out its test for firefighters and start over with a new test, because the City believed the test had a "disparate impact" on minority firefighters. (No black firefighters qualified for promotion under the test, whereas some had qualified under tests used in previous years.) The City was concerned that minority firefighters might sue under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The City chose not to certify the test results and a lower court had previously upheld the City's right to do this. Several white firefighters and one Hispanic firefighter who had passed the test, including the lead plaintiff who has dyslexia and had put much extra effort into studying, sued the City of New Haven, claiming that their rights were violated. After an appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case April 2009, and a ruling has not yet been issued."

Note the following about the above case: 1) A Hispanic was involved in the suit against the city of New Haven, and Sotomayor still went with how she interpreted the law. 2) The city had every reason to believe that they could be liable for a civil rights lawsuit if they didn't throw the test results out. 3) The decision upheld the precedent set by a lower court. 4) NO ONE, Black, White or Hispanic received favoritism by the city's decision, because ALL the test results were thrown out by everyone who took it. 5) It can be seen in and of itself as a case of judicial restraint, since the panel Sotomayor served on refused to override local government authority.

How does any of this amount to "Reverse Discrimination?" Answer: It doesn't!

Taking the larger view of this, one had to see the clown circus we are enduring as politically motivated by the Party Not Currently In the Whitehouse. Am I saying it's wrong to oppose and criticize President Obama? Not at all. But how about following Ralph Nader's example, and criticize the President on actual policies and things he's concretely done since taking office, instead of chasing after ghosts and fairytales?

But then you have to hand it to the Republicans, they perfected ghost stories & fairytales when the got us into the Iraq war. Ouch! Did I say something to step on someone's toes?

Many on the Right will of course, not back down from the character they have tried to paint of Ms. Sotomayor. Worlnetdaily.com, a website never noted for doing a lot of Fact Checking about anything, wallows in the longstanding traditional Conservative tactic of guilt-by-association concerning the new Supreme Court Nominee. They do this by linking her to groups that advocate the Southwestern U.S. be returned to Mexico by virtue of her membership in the National Council of La Raza, the largest Hispanic Civil Rights Advocacy group. It didn't occur to them to ask her if she actually agrees with that idea, did it? Never mind that it's actually not really a policy of La Raza's, so much as it is one held by groups they are connected to.

But according to many pundits, her membership in La Raza makes her Racist, despite the fact that her records as a judge doesn't always side with liberal views on issues such a civil rights.

However, even pundits such as Rush Limbaugh aren't impervious to backlash, as seen in this recent video clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpUY_SmYFyI&feature=player_embedded


And then there's the fact that she has sometimes sided with he Pro-life position. That little fact is starting to dawn on Rush Limbaugh.
Personally, I think it's great that she allowed Pro-life people to have their convictions and I say if that's any indication of how she makes decisions, confirm her now! Gasp! You mean people who aren't favorable to abortion can have their convictions and not be vilified? Can they really be seen as they are, simply people who believe in the sanctity of life, rather than as a cabal with an agenda to restrict women's freedom?

And if she turns out to be a closet Pro-lifer, good on Obama for having the foresight to pick her. And it if wins him re-election buy virtue of mollifying some of his critics, that's life in the big city, Homie!

I haven't yet touched on the issue of empathy vs. rule of law- a side show to all of this clown circus that's been swirling around Sotomayor's nomination.
But I have to say: when it comes to a human being judging another human being as opposed to the concept of "techno judges" opening their books and mechanically making rulings based on a piece of paper, I'm all for empathy! That's why- as I believe- in the Bible we find the Year Of Jubliee implemented by Yahweh partly for the purpose of economic justice - and interpretation of that particular set of laws often being used for debt cancellation.

But the most important underlying issue here is simply that any such critique of elected and unelected leaders needs to be sober, factual, and without partisan agenda. If the Republicans can't help us get there, then I repeat my earlier assertion: pack it in.

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