The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

28 May 2009

Talk Radio At Forefront Of Debate Over Sotomayor's Extreme Views


Sotomayor's Positions Fit Fringe Academia, Not America

As could be expected, talk radio has taken center stage in the debate over controversial US Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Given her history of divisive, if not overtly racist comments, doesn't the medium owe that to its listeners?

Committed Obamists, on the other hand, are determined to make conservative hosts themselves the issue. That represents their best shot at deflecting attention away from her shaky legal record and extreme statements.

Unfortunately for them, this approach may yet fail, as their own support seems more about protecting Obama than real enthusiasm for Sotomayor. In addition, her views on race are decidedly outside of the American mainstream, sounding more like a campus radical than potential US Supreme Court justice:

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," she said October 26, 2001.

While this kind of language might play well at UC-Santa Cruz or another radical left-wing campus, to most Americans, it comes across as overtly racist. That increases the need for an offensive against conservative talk radio.

Writing in today's Boston Herald, for example, WTKK-FM talk host Margery Eagan contributes to the smear effort with this emotional outburst:

It’s been such fun watching the right-wing white boys sputtering over the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, a Hispanic woman nominated by a black man!

“Our world domination’s slip, slip, slipping away,” you can almost hear them whimper. “What to do?”

Well, you can’t dump on the woman thing. That’s more than half the country. Can’t dump on the Hispanic angle. They’ll be more than half the country soon.

What’s left?

But Sotomayor's divisive language and isn't just a concern to right-leaning talkers, it's also an issue for moderates such as Senator John McCain. From yesterday's Hannity:

HANNITY: All right. Let's start with this — the folding record of Judge Sotomayor and what she said. You just heard the quote about Latina women and — versus white males, and her idea that, you know what, we decide policy.

What are your thoughts?

MCCAIN: I think that her record deserves examination. She deserves her days of hearings. I would point out that for Justices Alito and Roberts, there was a very long period of examination, 70 some days and 93 days. And I think that we will examine her record carefully.

I would point out that Jon Kyl and I both voted against her in her nomination for the Court of Appeals. Then-senator, now-President Obama tried to filibuster Justice Alito. If he had 40 colleagues who would have joined him, Justice Alito would not be a member of the Supreme Court today.

But we want to give her every opportunity to make her case and — but we will exercise the Senate's responsibility of advice and consent.

HANNITY: Newt Gingrich made a lot of news today when he said and he put out a Twitter, tweeting, whatever they're called. He said, imagine a judicial nominee who said the following, and he said, "My experience as a white man makes me better than a Latino woman."

He says the new racism is no better than the old racism. And then he said — he went on to say that a white male racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. A Latina woman racist should also withdraw.

MCCAIN: I think that we should be color blind in every way on this issue. The people should be judged on their merits, on their qualifications. The president, because elections have consequences, is exercising his constitutional authority in nominating. We in the Senate will be exercising our obligations for advice and consent.

Another problem for the Obamists is that critical essays are beginning to run in unlikely places, such as the Christian Science Monitor.

Further, there are signs that her position on abortion may be closer to pro-life than their own view. If that turns out to be the case, what then for the left? Will they go to the mat for someone who could potentially overturn Roe vs Wade?

McCain is right: any nominee should expect to face months of scrutiny. No one, not even a pick made by their Dear Leader, can expect a free ride. That's why bashing talk radio hosts isn't a sustainable strategy for a successful Sonia Sotomayor confirmation.

In fact, it has emerged late today that some close to Obama recognize the problem and feel the need to address it. From the Politico:

Some Democrats and political analysts are urging the White House to shift course and concede that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor made an error when she suggested in 2001 that Hispanic women would make better judges than white men.

“She misspoke,” said Lanny Davis, a White House lawyer and spokesman for President Bill Clinton. “Every day that goes by that they don’t say she misspoke and she used the wrong words ... they just feed it and give it life and give Rush [Limbaugh] and [Sean] Hannity more airtime unnecessarily.”

Said Democratic strategist Chris Lehane: “In this day and age, six or seven or eight weeks is a long time to go without addressing an issue that can potentially take on a life of its own and evolve and grow.”

Lehane said the GOP attacks were “probably continuing the long-term self-destruction of the Republican Party.” However, he said allowing talk show hosts, blogs and cable shows to continue to fulminate about Sotomayor’s Berkeley comments was risky.

For his part, Rush Limbaugh said today he won't be cowed into submission:

RUSH: As I was saying Robert Gibbs at the White House yesterday warned people like me to be very careful about what we say about Sonia Sotomayor. So, ladies and gentlemen, I want you to turn your radio up because I'm going to have to whisper this so that they don't hear this at the White House. In fact, those of you who can if you're in your cars, roll up your windows. Those of you who are at home, take your radios to the bathroom, close the doors. Make sure that no one else hears what I'm about to tell you about Sonia Sotomayor. Are you ready? Got the windows up? There we go, three, two, one. In the year 2004, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ruled that ownership of a gun is not a constitutional right. That case is at present being appealed before the US Supreme Court, as are a couple other of her cases. In 2004 Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said owning a gun not a constitutional right. She ruled in this fashion as a judge.

President Obama could have chosen a different Hispanic or a different female, but he chose Sonia Sotomayor because she reflects his own racial attitudes. Let's be honest about this. He's got anger about race in this country; so does she. It cannot be denied. Can I give you a Thomas Jefferson quote? Thomas Jefferson quote in a letter he wrote to Charles Hammond August 18th, 1821. It's 188 years later. "It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression... that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary;... working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped."

Our Founding Fathers were fortunetellers; they were prophets; they were wise beyond measure. It never fails to amaze me when I go back and read their warnings of the future after they had crafted the US Constitution. I'm very much like these people, my friends, in my ability to prognosticate and prophet the future. Thomas Jefferson warned 188 years ago that the federal government and the germ of its dissolution was in the way the federal judiciary was constituted. Ergo, 188 years later, he's right. We have Sonia Sotomayor who thinks that the court is where policy is made. Okay, you can lower the windows now, come out of the bathrooms. I'm through.

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  • Her words, her decisions.

    Thats what the focus should be on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 29 May, 2009 00:45  

  • The real question is if Sotomayor will get a complete examination as the Democrats gave every GOP nominee. Note, I didn't say Sotomayor needed to be "Borked".

    By Blogger PCD, at 29 May, 2009 09:13  

  • Brian, If the media is so Liberal ...

    Why do I overwhelmingly see conservative on the tube ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous One, at 30 May, 2009 03:17  

  • Unless you are delusional, Sotomayer is a racist, as are all members of the treasonous La Raza -by definition- who’s motto is “For our race everything- for others, nothing”.

    Clearly Eric Holder has some racial hangups and agenda too… as does Obama, since his behavior betrays a wierd pro-Kenyan grudge against the British… and he’s the one who nominated all these kooks.

    What happened to the idea of a colorblind society? Team Obama define their world in racial terms all the time- and unlike any white people I know. I wouldn’t want to be judged by any of them after what I’ve heard come out of their own mouths- they sound like Jesse Jackson.

    If Obama is going to go on with his “justice” agenda largely based upon race- the double standards need to stop, and NOW.

    By Anonymous Reaganite Republican Resistance, at 30 May, 2009 12:13  

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