Affirmative Action my ass

A position has opened up on the Supreme Court and no one has been nominated yet. But that doesn’t stop people from smearing someone and shouting “Affirmative Action™” from the rooftops just in case she might be. I guess if you’re not an old white dude, it must be affirmative action, because everyone knows only old white dudes are qualified.

This reverse discrimination reminds me of something my brother mentioned the other day about the Ivy League and its presidents:

But we all know that the only reason that the leaders of most prestigious academic institutions of this nation are 25% minorities and half women is only because of Affirmative Action™.

It seems to me that the only people out of touch with “regular Americans” are the bigots who still see gender and race as a defining trait. If people are going to attack this person based on her gender and race, they actually make the case on why we need affirmative action—after all isn’t the reason it exists is as a balance to such bigotry?

The Southern Strategy was a loser in the last election and will remain a loser indefinitely. These people need to wake up before they get run over.

5 thoughts on “Affirmative Action my ass

  1. In the first 48 hours of the discussion, whenever qualifications were discussed by the Administration, the first points listed where Obama saying that he wanted another woman on the Court and then the line about the opportunity to appoint the first Hispanic. Obama went so far as to talk about the person’s upbringing as a defining criteria and stating that he wanted someone empathetic. Professional qualifications – if brought up at all – were discussed after that…

    I want all SCOTUS nominees to be experts in the Constitution, have a deep understanding of the law, have a history of applying the law consistently (not the same as fairly), and preferably not be overturned regularly. The rest is – quite literally – window dressing.

  2. @Keith: Whoa! Let’s turn off FOX News and use our brains. I really identify with the words and sentiment with your argument, but I have to take exception with the intent and how the use of it manipulates and distorts the debate..

    I think most people (included the former president of the Harvard Law Review, Barack Obama) would agree that the first criteria should be competence. That criteria is so obvious as not to deserve a response—unless it isn’t because you, in the same position, would nominate an incompetent pandering woman (Harriet Miers) or a misogynist, upwardly-failing African-American man (Clarence Thomas).

    The statement is nice spin, but it has two logical flaws. First, it presupposes that a qualified person cannot be found who is a women and/or “Hispanic”—I use quotes there because the actual term he used was “minority” and this has morphed into “Hispanic” solely based on a right wing guesswork. Second, it’s patently false.

    (From a game theory perspective, the fact that the Right has singled out this woman for a hit piece probably indicates that they believe she’ll be the hardest candidate to stymie a nomination for—in other words that she’s actually among the most qualified for the job!)

    Since being elected, Obama has been characteristically tight-lipped about what he’s looking for. All the reports you’re seeing on TV that he’s looking for a woman or a minority come from one speech given to Planned Parenthood two years ago when he said he’d like someone on the court who had “the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old, and that’s the criteria by which I’ll be selecting my judges.”

    The problem with taking this out of context and time (especially when a later quote I linked has Obama liking two old white dudes on the Supreme Court the best) is it insinuates any candidate who may be a minority or a woman is incompetent simply because they’re a minority or a women. If you don’t believe me, you can now turn on FOX News with that knowledge, or read the analysis to the hit piece in the New Republic I linked above. The whole thing is based on anonymous innuendo and the person doesn’t even look at this Hispanic woman’s record!

    If anyone is playing politics it’s anyone who is bringing up the fact that he might pick a minority or woman based on a speech given two years ago about “empathy.”

    It’s offensive.

    Maybe you should talk to your gay friends in San Francisco who can’t marry, watch people talk to your mom’s collaborators instead of her (because clearly the woman theoretician is too stupid to do mathematical modelling, and it was really done by the male experimentalist), or go through preschool and grade school being called “Chinese-Japanese-DirtyKnees.” before you insinuate that wanting a candidate who can ”empathize” with those conditions immediately implies that this person needs to be an Asian gay female whose qualifications as a justice are treated as secondary.

    It’s because of people get away with this that affirmative action was invented in the first place. If you want to get rid of affirmative action (I do), then stop repeating arguments that try to indict people simply because their race, gender, religion (did you know five of the nine Supremes are Catholic—they comprise the entire conservative wing of the court—maybe I should put the smackdown on my own denomination?), or sexual-orientation.

  3. Actually, I don’t watch television and don’t even have cable, so there’s nothing to turn off. 😉

    “First, it presupposes that a qualified person cannot be found who is a women and/or “Hispanic”” – My problem is the phrasing of this statement. Instead of it being “the most competent person”, this reads as “a competent person who meets these physical criteria”. If there’s some sort of relationship between gender/ethnicity and effectiveness at performing the job, I haven’t seen it.

    “because clearly the woman theoretician is too stupid to do mathematical modelling” – I’ve never said, implied, or believed anything of the sort. If you can list where I’ve done otherwise, please do. You may be thinking of Larry Summers – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Summers

    To be honest, I don’t want empathy in the Supreme Court. I don’t want a Justice basing their decisions on how the “feel” on the matter or about the person presenting to them. I want a Justice that will make decisions based on the merits of the case and the way the laws stand or need to be clarified.

    To do otherwise puts “Equal Protection” in even more risk than we have on a daily basis…

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