As I am not a scholar of the law, I do not have much to add to the conversation concerning Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Kevin Drum is almost assuredly correct about the end result following the mandatory political theater; Kieran Healy provides us with the program notes.
So in lieu of analysis, I have for you a mental toy inspired in part by the end of the spring semester and joyful graduation ceremonies everywhere and the rise once again, dissected here, of the zombie affirmative action meme. (It says “GRAAADESSSS! GRAAAAADES!”)
Imagine you’re a political pundit. Your little girl has just graduated from Yale Law School, where she distinguished herself at the Yale Law Journal. Four years earlier you had wept with joy as your little girl, first in her family to go to college, graduated summa cum laude from Princeton. You feel as if you would burst with pride at all she has accomplished. You wish your father had lived to see this day….
…and as you hug her, you whisper in her ear your respica te, hominem te memento, that really, Princeton is nothing, Yale is nothing, and she’s must be an affirmative action student who never really accomplished anything at all. You haven’t bragged to your friends. You haven’t mentioned it. Why would you?
What’s been amusing me in the past few days is the contrast between the hypothetical parent who would be thrilled to tears to have a child with half of those accomplishments, the hypothetical response of the friends and community of those parents, and the rush to paint Sotomayor as someone who isn’t very bright, rather common really, a dime a dozen, part of the new detestable affirmative action policy for the Supreme Court. Whatever the reasons to oppose Sotomayor legitimately, one of them is not that she isn’t qualified.
I swear you could get pundits to declare that salt is sweet if they thought there was an advantage in it.