Perhaps because pretty much every aspect of society is going off the rails, I haven’t paid enough attention to the hearings to confirm Sonia Sotomayor. Judging by the Times’ coverage today and by a zillion tweets from liberal commentators like the guy behind DailyKos, today’s opening session was a chance for the Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee to set fire to any rickety bridges between the Grand Old Party and Hispanic Americans and for the Democrats on the committee to affirm that she is, in fact, eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.

Though of course I’m eager to see Sotomayor confirmed – for political and sociological reasons as well as judicial and legal ones – I can’t quite decide which is a worse symptom of the Republic’s political health. On the one side, we have powerful white men who belong to a venerable party that was founded, in part, to pursue a form of racial equality now embarrassing themselves with borderline-racist attacks on someone who – but for the color of her skin and maybe her gender – exemplifies every up-by-your-bootstraps story they love to tell. On the other hand, we have powerful white men and women (Feinstein and Klobuchar!) having to assert, with the backing of an Everest of evidence but against shrill cries from the American Falangists, that Sotomayor can, in fact, do the job that her entire professional adult life has led toward.

Sigh. Patrick Leahy, don’t fail me now.

And Jeff Sessions? Here’s my favorite tweet of the day:

RT @KagroX: Hilarious to hear Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of AL decry Sotomayor’s reference to “heritage.” Never happens in Alabama.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *