As I’m sure more than a few of you are aware, Jeffrey Rosen recently penned a flagrantly sexist hatchet piece on potential Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor (not even the nominee yet!). Rosen’s hit job was riddled with factual error, written by an author who admitted – up front – as to his ignorance of Sotomayor’s work, written by an author with a gross conflict of interest (his brother in law stands to gain by Sotomayor’s failure) and based on the whisperings of anonymous sources only – no on the record statements criticizing her.
Oh, and it was published in that bastion of Useful Idiocy known as The New Republic: where the right shops for “even liberal [insert idiot] thinks [right wing talking point]…”
Which means that, in this fucked up discourse we as a nation are disserved by, Rosen’s half-baked innuendo and vile rumor are treated as bi-partisan, sensible, moderate conventional wisdom. Instantly.
Amongst the particularly noxious smears launched by Rosen’s piece is the notion that Sotomayor is an intellectual lightweight – or as one of his protected sources put it, “not that smart” (which, on the contrary, she obviously is). But truth be damned. The Glenn noted a few days back:
In the last 24 hours alone, Rosen’s article has been used by three different National Review writers — who, I’d be willing to bet lots of money, know virtually nothing about Sotomayor — to declare her to be “dumb and obnoxious.” That’s a phrase they’ve revelled in repeating three times now (and counting), culminating with this: ”I’m sure Mark H. is right about Sotomayor’s being dumb and obnoxious, just as Derb is right about her being female and Hispanic is all the [sic] matters.” The amazing speed with which so many people who know absolutely nothing about her are willing, indeed eager, to assume that she’s stupid and doesn’t deserve her achievements — based on the fact that she’s Puerto Rican and female and Rosen published some trashy, unaccountable gossip feeding that perception — is really remarkable. [emphasis in original]
In today’s Rupert Murdoch Daily, that same conventional wisdom du jour is on full display – neatly wrapped in its bi-partisan trappings, with a racist cherry on top:
The Bronx native looks great on paper and would make perfect politics as the first Hispanic on the high court.
But there’s growing consensus among insiders that President Obama will likely pick someone else.
The first, and possibly most important, reason is the prevailing question among liberal advocates about whether Sotomayor has the judicial guts, smarts and toughness to go up against Antonin Scalia, the famously sharp conservative who anchors the right wing of today’s court.
Sotomayor, 54 and with Puerto Rican roots, certainly has that common touch and real-world experience that tops Obama’s list of qualifications.
But so much early discussion about her nomination has revealed reservations on the left and the right about her judicial and intellectual heft, as well as her courtroom decorum. [emphasis added]
Ah yes, if there’s one thing we can say about the Puerto Ricans, it’s that they have a common touch. A ghetto sensibility if you will. Makes sense that a low-birthed President would choose one then. Amiright?