The Washington Post is warning Republican senators not to be mean to poor Judge Sotomayor. It’s a funny (inadvertently funny) article, because the Post editors acknowledge that Obama was anything but gracious when he was a Senator; then they explain why, even though he wasn’t gracious, he was right; and then they urge Republicans to be totally nice to Sotomayor, presumably because Obama is still right.
Of course, the main reason Republicans are being told to be nice is because Sotomayor is a woman and a Hispanic. If I were a senator, my opening statement, before I began my questions, would be short and sweet:
Welcome, Judge Sotomayor. Before I begin my questions about your qualifications and your understanding of a Supreme Court justice’s role, I’d like to address one thing. My questioning will be rigorous. I will not offend you, and every woman and Hispanic in America, by acting as if either your sex or your ethnic identity have rendered you incapable of standing up to the same brisk scrutiny as any other judicial candidate who has appeared before this body.
Mine is a constitutional role and I take it very seriously. The Supreme Court is the court of last appeal in this land, and it is the court that it is responsible for ensuring that the laws of this land comport with the Constitution. I would therefore be remiss in my duty, and insulting to you, if I treated you as a lesser being by denying you the opportunity fully to explain your views.
UPDATE: More on the race issue. After you’ve what Tom Elia has at his blog, come back and tell me if Jesse Washington’s comments make any sense at all.