13 July 2009

Sotomayor: Still a Brilliant Selection

Wisdom deserves repeating.

Recall back when President Obama nominated Sonia Montemayor to fill a soon to be vacated seat on the Supreme Court I wrote that it was a "brilliant selection".

I suggested that his nomination of a Hispanic female with sterling credentials and background would box-in the Republicans and leave them huffing and puffing without any substance for attack.

Well, today the huffing and puffing begins but, believe me, it is all a matter of form. They have to go through the motions. And unless she freaks out and her head spins and she vomits green slime she will be confirmed before the week is out. And, probably a dozen Republicans will vote for her confirmation.

She is canny enough to avoid the traps of becoming overly defensive about her ethnicity. Oh yeah, the Republicans will attempt to bait her with the firefighter reverse discrimination decision or "wise Hispanic woman" comment that sat the "good ole boys" of the Senate hearts to palpitating in high dudgeon. And, the truth is this: those are the only things they have. Otherwise, she is a shining example of the success of affirmative action.

Oh yes, there will be a collision of sorts. Empowered female versus powerful males, southern chauvinism versus Ivy League education and the cultural divide of big city ethnicity versus small town and rural all-whiteness. Of course, those things will all be couched in buzz words and no one will actually, well hopefully no one, speak out loud their hidden biases against women and non-whites. But, it will be there. The thing of it is, Sotomayor has had a lifetime of dealing with it and excelling in the face of it. She will walk away from the collision unscathed.

You can take it to the bank. Sotomayor is in, and Obama made a brilliant selection. Not just because it causes pain to the Republicans (event though that alone is enough for glee) but because she is an incredibly qualified person.

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