Ego and Ambition: Privileges That Only White Men Are Allowed To Enjoy (Recycled Meme Edition)

by matttbastard

Shorter George Will:

“Uppity. N*gger.”

Yeah, um, 2008 called — it wants its racist dogwhistle back. For fuck’s sakes, George, put down the thesarus, stop wasting our time and Katharine Weymouth’s money and just say what you *really* mean. Oh, and you can choke on that goddamn bow-tie, too (sorry, MHL — your uncle is still tres cool).

Background:

Race Bait and Dogwhistles

Arrogant: The New Uppity

Ego and Ambition 1

Ego and Ambition 2

Ego and Ambition 3

Ego and Ambition 4

(image originally uploaded by Barack Obama, posted under a Creative Commons license.)

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Beckian, Burkean — It’s All Semantics, Anyway.

by matttbastard

You are forgiven if, upon first reading the following passage from this recent Sunday Outlook op-ed about the ongoing contemporary struggle between conservative populism and heady intellectualism, you too thought that AEI glue-sniffer scholar Steven F. Hayward was taking the piss.

Alas, it appears Hayward is indeed opining with earnest (if extraordinarily absurd) resolve:

About the only recent successful title that harkens back to the older intellectual style is Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism,” which argues that modern liberalism has much more in common with European fascism than conservatism has ever had. But because it deployed the incendiary f-word, the book was perceived as a mood-of-the-moment populist work, even though I predict that it will have a long shelf life as a serious work. Had Goldberg called the book “Aspects of Illiberal Policymaking: 1914 to the Present,” it might have been received differently by its critics. And sold about 200 copies.

Now, there’s a novel line of spin — the razor-thin line between brilliance and buffoonery is merely semantic. Yeah, um, anyone who doesn’t recognize that Goldberg’s remainder bin magnum opus is the literary analogue to I Can Has Cheezburger really has no business taking up the tattered flag of intellectual [sic] conservatism.

Oh, and I won’t even touch the sloppy handjob Hayward delivers to Weepin’ Glenn Beck, or his bold contention that Rush Limbaugh’s “keen sense of satire makes him deserving of comparison to Will Rogers.” Up is down, black is white and Beck is apparently “on to something with his interest in serious analysis of liberalism’s patrimony.” Of course, this charitably assumes Beck can even spell patrimony.

Somewhere, David Frum’s face is getting better acquainted with his palm

Make no mistake: this is pure, undistilled wingnut propaganda masquerading as opinion journalism — articulately baffling bullshit, carefully buffed for high-brow consumption. And it’s all being excreted onto the WaPo opinion page, which is starting to rival The Weekly Standard as the go-to Beltway source for droning Wurlitzer recitals.

h/t Henry Farrell

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Obama, Chicago 2016 and “Stunning Humiliation”: Parody Joins Irony in the Afterlife

by matttbastard

Quick: who published the following headline: The Onion, or The Murdoch Times?

‘Obama’s Olympic failure will only add to doubts about his presidency’

Congrats if you picked the latter. Behold the advent of a new post-parody era:

There has been a growing narrative taking hold about Barack Obama’s presidency in recent weeks: that he is loved by many, but feared by none; that he is full of lofty vision, but is actually achieving nothing with his grandiloquence.

Chicago’s dismal showing yesterday, after Mr Obama’s personal, impassioned last-minute pitch, is a stunning humiliation for this President. It cannot be emphasised enough how this will feed the perception that on the world stage he looks good — but carries no heft.

“[L]oved by many, but feared by none.” Yeah, if only Obama had threatened the IOC with a first-strike scenario. Chicago might be cheering today.

Oh well — at least the failure-is-the-only-option crowd finally has a low-rent Waterloo analogue to (briefly) satiate their thirst for blood (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Hey, remember when criticizing the POTUS was tantamount to treason?

Now that Outer Wingnuttia has been exiled to the margins, cheerleading against America’s success is apparently the new flag pin.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Anything, Anything

by matttbastard

As extremism’s transition from vice to virtue seemingly reaches its apotheosis, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint upped the ante yesterday in the GOP Tourette’s strategy to fight Democratic health reform legislation:

DEMINT: The problem is, the war in Afghanistan and our economy are our two biggest issues. But he’s working on other issues such as health care and he’s putting off the decision on Afghanistan which I think puts our troops at risk. So he needs to focus on priorities right now and not try to ram so many things down our throat here in Congress. He needs to address the issue of Afghanistan quickly.

Easily distracted House Minority Whip Eric Cantor also picked up the new talking point:

“With Afghanistan now becoming such a very troublesome issue, we should be making progress on health care so it doesn’t get in the way of a very, very important national security issue… . Central Asia is the Persian Gulf of the 21st century. We are foolish to be ignoring that threat right now.

“Health care in this building has made it so that it seems we can’t get anything else done. We have burning issues out there is this country… .”

Yeah, um, so, exactly what vital legislation sitting on the back burner has the GOP proposed this session, besides endless birther amendments? Anyone? Bueller?

Besides, as Steve Benen charitably notes:

All available evidence suggests Afghanistan is a major topic of discussion in the West Wing, and Obama is overseeing a deliberate, thorough review of the future of U.S. policy. If there was no debate over health care reform, the exact same thing would be happening.

Jim DeMint thinks deliberation “puts our troops at risk.” Jim DeMint isn’t very bright.

Perhaps not, but DeMint’s dimbulb assertion is not offered without purpose. Mike Stickings bluntly cuts through the bullshit:

Obviously, DeMint is trying to score political points by pitting Obama against the troops (i.e., by making shit up) — a lame but typically Republican smear — but he’s also trying to derail health-care reform by putting up any and all obstructions he can find, however ridiculous.

“[P]utting up any and all obstructions he can find, however ridiculous” — an apt summation of the GOP’s overall legislative agenda since the inauguration. Yes, kids, these are indeed the wingnut discourse-vandals with whom the USian ‘left’ is expected to chart common ground, else the Villagers collectively weep, gnash teeth, clutch pearls, demonstratively collapse upon fainting couches, etc. Now, call me a raging partisan, but isn’t it kinda sorta hard for progressives to converge with a catch-as-catch-can right-wing ideological perspective that appears to have been warped by too many tuna fish bag lunch policy seminars at the American Enterprise Institute (or from a lifetime spent huffing airplane glue — thin line, natch)?

Let’s be honest: the only ‘burning issue’ on the Republican boiler plate is causing President Obama and Democrats in Congress to fail in the effort to reform health insurance, no matter what is proposed.

It seems all-too-apparent that GOP partisans will say and do anything in their crusade to “break” the Democratic Party prior to 2010.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

“Oh, you know, we’re heading into nut country today.”

by matttbastard

Glenn Greenwald sees something all-too-familiar in the vicious, reality-averse wingnut invective directed towards President Obama:

In 1994, Jesse Helms, then-Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, claimed that “just about every military man” believes Clinton is unqualified to be Commander-in-Chief and then warned/threatened him not to venture onto military bases in the South:  “Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He better have a bodyguard.”  The Wall St. Journal called for a Special Prosecutor to investigate the possible “murder” of Vince Foster.  Clinton was relentlessly accused by leading right-wing voices of being a murderer, a serial rapist, and a drug trafficker.  Tens of millions of dollars and barrels of media ink were expended investigating “Whitewater,” a “scandal” which, to this day, virtually nobody can even define.  When Clinton tried to kill Osama bin Laden, they accused him of “wagging the dog” — trying to distract the country from the truly important matters at hand (his sex scandal).  And, of course, the GOP ultimately impeached him over that sex scandal — in the process issuing a lengthy legal brief with footnotes detailing his sex acts (cigars and sex talk), publicly speculating about (and demanding examinations of) the unique “distinguishing” spots on his penis, and using leading right-wing organs to disseminate innuendo that he had an abandoned, out-of-wedlock child.  More intense and constant attacks on a President’s “legitimacy” are difficult to imagine.This is why I have very mixed feelings about the protests of conservatives such as David Frum or Andrew Sullivan that the conservative movement has been supposedly “hijacked” by extremists and crazies.  On the one hand, this is true.  But when was it different?  Rush Limbaugh didn’t just magically appear in the last twelve months.  He — along with people like James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Bill Kristol and Jesse Helms — have been leaders of that party for decades.  Republicans spent the 1990s wallowing in Ken Starr’s sex report, “Angry White Male” militias, black U.N. helicopters, Vince Foster’s murder, Clinton’s Mena drug runway, Monica’s semen-stained dress, Hillary’s lesbianism, “wag the dog” theories, and all sorts of efforts to personally humiliate Clinton and destroy the legitimacy of his presidency using the most paranoid, reality-detached, and scurrilous attacks.  And the crazed conspiracy-mongers in that movement became even more prominent during the Bush years.  Frum himself — now parading around as the Serious Adult conservative — wrote, along with uber-extremist Richard Perle, one of the most deranged and reality-detached books of the last two decades, and before that, celebrated George W. Bush, his former boss, as “The Right Man.”

Ah, the ’90s — good times. But I would look even further back for historical antecedants than Greenwald does, to a far darker period in US politics. Sam Kashner, from a profile of William Manchester, author of Death of a President:

“In that third year of the Kennedy presidency,” Manchester wrote, “a kind of fever lay over Dallas country. Mad things happened. Huge billboards screamed, ‘Impeach Earl Warren.’ Jewish stores were smeared with crude swastikas.…Radical Right polemics were distributed in public schools; Kennedy’s name was booed in classrooms; corporate junior executives were required to attend radical seminars.” A retired major general ran the American flag upside down, deriding it as “the Democrat flag.” A wanted poster with J.F.K.’s face on it was circulated, announcing “this man is Wanted” for—among other things—“turning the sovereignty of the US over to the Communist controlled United Nations” and appointing “anti-Christians … aliens and known Communists” to federal offices. And a full-page advertisement had appeared the day of the assassination in The Dallas Morning News accusing Kennedy of making a secret deal with the Communist Party; when it was shown to the president, he was appalled. He turned to Jacqueline, who was visibly upset, and said, “Oh, you know, we’re heading into nut country today.”

This past weekend’s 9/12 rally — and the unremittingly paranoid iconography of right-wing backlash politics on display once more — should give pause to any student of American history, whether academic or lay. Hofstadter would certainly recognize the (lily-white) kid wearing a t-shirt pining for a “new era of McCarthyism.” I don’t pray (because I don’t believe there’s anyone up there to receive any spiritual SOS), but I truly hope (hope) the historical parallels ultimately turn out to be limited in scope and scale.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Red Red Meat (Or, Why Are Democrats Afraid of Getting Their Hands Bloody?)

by matttbastard

Following a long summer recess spent navigating heavily astro-turfed town halls and trying to bring yappy Blue Dogs to heel, President Obama finds himself  barely clinging to a piss-poor public option on health insurance (after preemptively tossing single-payer aside) and his once-formidible public approval rating.  More ominously, the GOP (and its once seemingly irrevelvant wingnut media proxies) has regained control of the malleable DC media narrative, with usefully idiotic outlets like Politico dutifully playing stenographer while chronicling the (as-yet-unfulfilled) Republican ascendancy. With what Michael Tomasky calls “a high-stakes address” on health care reform from Obama only hours away, one must reflect on why, after decisively winning what many at the time called a ‘transformative’ general election, the Democratic Party is now fighting for its political life.

Conventional beltway wisdom on how to survive as a mainstream political entity is as follows: Appeal to the centre, courting noble independents and so-called ‘moderates’; electoral success hinges on support from the unaligned mushy middle.

Sounds exactly like what the old white blowhards on Hardball are constantly yammering on about, right?

Well, don’t buy it.

In a TNR piece published in 2006, Thomas B. Edsall debunked the myth of the centrist swing voter as nonpartisan kingmaker, noting that most so-called independents are actually rather, well, partisan:

In late 2000, even as the result of the presidential election was still being contested in court, George W. Bush’s chief pollster Matt Dowd was writing a memo for Rove that would reach a surprising conclusion. Based on a detailed examination of poll data from the previous two decades, Dowd’s memo argued that the percentage of swing voters had shrunk to a tiny fraction of the electorate. Most self-described “independent” voters “are independent in name only,” Dowd told me in an interview describing his memo. “Seventy-five percent of independents vote straight ticket” for one party or the other. Once such independents are reclassified as Democrats or Republicans, a key trend emerges: Between 1980 and 2000, the percentage of true swing voters fell from a very substantial 24 percent of the electorate to just 6 percent. In other words, the center was literally disappearing. Which meant that, instead of having every incentive to govern as “a uniter, not a divider,” Bush now had every reason to govern via polarization. This ran counter to Rove’s previous thinking. In 2000, he had dismissed the tactic of running on divisive issues like patriotism, crime, and welfare as “an old paradigm.” And Bush had followed his advice by explicitly reaching out to the center-left. For instance, during the campaign, he held a press conference with a dozen gay Republicans and sharply criticized the GOP Congress for a plan to save money by slowing distribution of tax credits for the working poor. But Dowd’s memo changed all that.

Republicans know that investing in polarization, not aisle-crossing bipartisan capitulation, pays dividends  — it’s why they haven’t been afraid to break out barely-muted racist dog whistles and fall back on appeals to naked fear of all-powerful government intervention (Death panels! FEMA camps! ACORN!) Rather than moving to the (constantly shifting) centre, which some talking heads have suggested is key to a return from the wilderness, the GOP has instead gone hard right, doing its goddamndest to engage/fire up its conservative base, especially those wayward souls who last year stopped publicly identifying as Republicans and, in some cases, voted for Obama or, more often than not, simply stayed home (and, most importantly, didn’t donate to the RNC). What the GOP is trying to do with their seemingly self-destructive obstruction uber alles strategy is simple: work the base into a free-spending fever pitch while simultaneously demoralizing Democrats and disengaging skeptical independents (an effort aided quite handily by ineffectual leadership in both Congress and the White House, both deeply in thrall with the oracular advice imparted by those self-appointed soothsayers of Byzantine Washington protocol, the DC punditocracy and press).

The GOP aren’t concerned if ill-defined centrists/independents are (purportedly) turned off by gauche appeals to right-wing base impulse. If centrists/indies are dispelled from participation in the political process (ie, by not voting for/donating to ANYONE) and the GOP’s white, red state evangelical base does show up (angry, inspired and with checkbooks in hand) the Republicans stand to gain in 2010 (and, hopefully, 2012). Republicans don’t give a rat’s ass if centrists/indies swing to the GOP or not, as long as they don’t vote for the Democrats.

Furthermore, by discarding the strong change mandate voters handed them last November, the current Democratic leadership has done absolutely nothing to give the general public–especially left-leaning Democratic partisans–a reason to renew their current lease on Congress (much less the White House).

I’ll give the GOP one thing: they know when to throw hunks of bloody red meat to the more voracious animals that reside under the increasingly constrained boundaries of the Republican “big tent.” By comparison, the treatment progressives receive from the Democratic Party (perfectly encapsulated by the ritual purge of one of the few actual progressives in the White House, “Green Czar” Van Jones) is largely based on thinly-veiled top-down contempt. Recent rumblings from certain progressive circles about sitting on their check-scrawling hands  and staying home in 2010 perfectly illustrate why you don’t brazenly and repeatedly spit in the faces of the ones who brought you to the goddamn dance in the first place.

When will the Democratic Party give its long-forsaken liberal partisans something to chew on (even if it risks staining its collective hands bright crimson)?

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Wafergate II? Not So Much (Or, Manufacturing Outrage Will Not Stimulate The Economy)

by matttbastard

Regular readers know that I rarely pay much attention to the more wing-nutty residents of the blogosphere, much less the Canuckosphere. I leave that to stout-hearted compatriots with stronger constitutions for regular bullshit consumption than yours truly.  Still, occasionally something from the outer fringe will catch my attention that immediately triggers my ‘dude, WTF?!’ nerve.

In this instance, the flying monkeys are circling over Teresa Wright.

I know, at this point most of you are asking: Who’s Teresa Wright? Well, dear readers, Wright is a reporter with the  Charlottetown Guardian who wrote about a recent speech given by Conservative Senator (and, formerly, CTV’s longtime top Tory sycophant) Mike Duffy.

Ok, with me so far?

Good.

Anyway, the headline to Wright’s piece:

Duffy’s speech hints at looming federal election.’

Pretty innocuous, right?

Well, for whatever reason, Duffy decided to break out Grandma’s pearls, clutch away,  and, in an interview with talk radio blowhard/columnist Michael Harris, stir up a teapot tempest over what Duffy contends is a gross mischaracterization of the speech:

I gave a speech  yesterday to the Rotary Club of Charlottetown, in  which I never used the word  election, and frankly, never mentioned the Prime  Minister, I gave a very dry,  because as you know, Rotary is a  non-political body, I gave a very dry report  card on the more than 200 million additional dollars this government has poured  into Prince Edward Island.

[…]

I was never asked  about an election. I never used the word election. I never mentioned the Prime  Minister by name in my speech or by his office. And yet the headline comes out  this morning, Duffy refuses to dampen speculation of an election and sings the  praises of the Prime Minister in a speech laden with rhetoric.

[…]

I didn’t mention  the Prime Minister. I didn’t ever use the word
election or make any reference to  it because I didn’t want to hurt the neutral ears of the Rotarians, who do so  much great work. And I thought, don’t drag that dirty political thing in  here.

Those poor, delicate, Rotarians–why, the mere mention of anything as jejune as *gasp* politics might cause their pacemakers to short out! Kee-rist. The faux-grievance and feigned innocence is so thick that ol’ Iron Ass himself,  Dick Nixon, must be enjoying an appreciative, jowly cackle from the bowels of Hell.

But wait — it gets even better:

[T]he newspaper reporter never  asked me about an election or about anything else related to the Prime Minister.  She had no, repeat, no questions, so, at least not of the national scene. She  asked something about a local community college. But that was it. And then I  wake up this morning and here they’ve got me singing the praises, great  rhetoric. Well, let me tell you, as much as I like to think that every speech is  a good one, they’ve obviously never heard me when I’ve gotten going as we have.  And so, they put it, all this great rhetoric. I was reading a grocery list of,  of projects for the island. So anyway, this whole thing is manufactured. And I  was thinking so much about you today as I read the paper and the brilliant  column you wrote in last week’s Sun about wafergate in New Brunswick, where the  editors made it up. It had nothing to do with what the reporter said. And so,  I’m saying to myself, my God, this is like the virus or something. It’s creeping  across provincial borders. Now all of a sudden the Charlottetown paper can’t  just report the news. They’ve got to make it up.

[…]

I saw [Wright] yesterday. And, well, in fact I was at an event this  morning. And by the time it was finished and I went over, she had jumped in her  car and fled. So, I didn’t get a chance. But you know, never get in a fight with  people who buy ink by the, by the barrel. I mean, it’s another example. Here it  is in the quiet summertime and everybody’s bound and determined to try and  create something.

So, Duffy disingenuously blows the ‘Wafergate‘ dogwhistle as a means to deflect legitimate speculation generated by what anyone with any sense (even the hothouse flowers of the Charlottetown Rotary Club) could reasonably interpret as a fairly partisan speech that, indeed, does nothing to stem election speculation (who exactly is “we”, Duff?)

Yeah, there’s definitely something that’s been manufactured here, and it ain’t a headline.

That’s right, kiddies: cue the slack-beaked vultures of the far-right, hungry as always to gorge on ‘liberal’ media carrion, as they swoop down with typically measured reserve and sharp insight (snerk):

  • This is not new…too many examples to mention. However they are now being exposed. The game has gone on too long. The snakes can no longer hide in the grass. The serious journalists are starting to do some real journalism. I so appreciate Duffy being free to talk about the ‘old club’….especially the part about Toronto..”the thought control center”.
  • Maritimers have the energy of an old sloth and will believe all the crap that is fed them by these lying urinalists,because they are to [sic] lazy from years of Alberta’s transfers and welfare to seek out the truth. They hate the Conservatives because like the old proverb goes, “you always bite the hand that feeds you”, and the Conservatives to these folks, represent Alberta, where most of the good hard working ones from these parts, have long moved to. For years the slimey liberals stole from the west and handed it out to these ungrateful people, here is the result.
  • The MSM with its socialist statist legions are now running into reality. This is the response to the dike blowing. Trying to paper over the cracks in the artificail [sic] Universe the entitled elitists created in defiance of the Human condition. Including all known laws of physics. The dogma crafted so painstakingly turns out to be a steaming pile of lies.  The world they imagined is collapsing from bowing to fairy tales, while natural Law comes back like a lion with issues. To rend the tale barrers[sic].  In the world of the MSM all must be the same in ideas as well politics. Every Women I meet always told me if you wash all the cloths together you get a grey. The brilliance goes away. So with us they want a collective of hive minds not individuals to speak down to. People with reality based ideas scare the MSM.

Yes, am sure the socialist-statists at CanWest, TorStar and CTVGlobemedia are positively quaking in their wingtips at the sudden imposition of such cold, hard reality (as always, irony is a leftist plot).

Kady O’Malley bends the laws of physics as only a lion(ess) with issues can:

There’s nothing remotely wrong with a senator delivering a partisan speech, notwithstanding the response it incites in certain PEI Liberals. That said, there is also nothing wrong with the Guardian having described it as such, no matter how vociferously the senator in question might dispute that interpretation. What is, frankly, ridiculous is to suggest that this is in any way similar to what may or may not have gone on behind the scenes at the Telegraph Journal, which, as far as ITQ can see, is a rather shameless attempt to feed the “biased media” meme that launched a thousand Finley-penned fundraising letters — not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that, either.

Apples, oranges — hey, it’s all fruit right?

Low. Hanging. Fruit.

Look, it seems obvious to anyone with half a brain (ie, those who don’t hang out in comments at SDA) that the leading luminaries of the partisan Canuckistanian right graduated with honours from the Humpty Dumpty School of Fallacious Argumentation (in this instance, showing off their degrees in false dichotomy). Yes, it may come as a surprise to the residents of KKKate’s bizzaro world, but some of us deluded consumers of MSM ‘bias’ (BIAS!!!1) actually demand something slightly more convincing than boisterous online agit-prop or half-baked assertions based on disingenuous denials from someone who, as a former journalist, knows what bullshit smells like. That Duffy now gleefully shovels it (and the base rewards him and his Conservative cronies with fauxtrage and hefty cheques) proves that Prime Minister Stephen Harper knew what he was doing when he called The Duff up to the big leagues.

The fact remains that the primary goal of these erstwhile right-wing media critics isn’t to improve the reporting of professional journalists. Rather, it’s to silence and, ultimately, destroy them — by any means necessary. In other words, the end game isn’t to garner a retraction or correct the record; they simply want another MSM head on a pike to (temporarily) satiate their collective blood lust (while the Conservative Party of Canada reaps the subsequent financial windfall).

But hey, if Duff wants to play footsie with a crowd that thinks his constituents “have the energy of an old sloth” and are “lazy from years of Alberta’s transfers and welfare” more power to him. It’s not like he has any actual accountability to the “ungrateful” people of Prince Edward Island, what being an unelected Senator and all (hey, remember when the Harpercons wanted to reform the ‘undemocratic’ Senate? Good times.)

See, that’s the difference between the so-called ‘liberal media’ and the knuckle-dragging, junior-league propagandists of the wingnutosphere: accountability. Sure, sometimes it takes some poking, but if Teresa Wright and her editors believe an error was made, they will duly issue a correction. Imagine that.

Oh, wait, I forgot: ethics are a Liberal plot, too — likely imported from overseas by that brie-scarfing Ignatieff interloper (just visiting!)

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Backlash to the Future

by matttbastard

In which right-wing propaganda merchants double down on the ZOMG POTUS = SCARY NEGRO!!!1 strategy:

Yep, as far as the wingnuts are concerned, it’s 1968 to infinity, kids — the permanent campaign perverted in a manner designed to shatter post-racial dreams that would make Tricky Dick proud.

Let’s just hope the consequences of this cynical ploy don’t prove deadly.

h/t Campus Progress, video courtesy Media Matters for America

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

QOTD: Sonia Sotomayor and the Unbearable Whiteness of Being a Republican

by matttbastard

[Ranking Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama] pre-emptively declared that he would not vote for a judge who uses the “empathy standard” in deciding cases—a reference to the sensitivity toward average people that President Obama said he looked for in nominees, and which has been transformed by the political right into code for favoring blacks or other ethnic minorities over whites. Sessions seemed to predict nothing short of the collapse of American law as we know it if Sotomayor is confirmed: “Down one path is the traditional American legal system, so admired around the world, where judges impartially apply the law to the facts without regard to their own personal views,” Sessions declared. “This is the compassionate system because it is the fair system.”

Undeterred by his gross historical error—had every court in American history applied the law in this manner, schools would still be legally segregated, a woman’s right to earn a living and obtain credit would still be denied, and so on—Sessions went on to attack even Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In an unusual broadside against a sitting justice, he accused Ginsburg of being “one of the most activist judges in history” even though a glancing look at her record shows she has been part of an almost powerless, left-of-center bloc on the court that included three men, two of them appointed by Republican presidents.

Ginsburg’s affliction, then, is apparently the same as Sotomayor’s: She sees the world differently than does Sessions. This is the key to understanding the unhinged argument about “empathy.”

It presumes that the white male experience is the only authentically American experience, and therefore the only one that could possibly be unbiased. Whatever predispositions or inclinations these men bring to the law are the valid ones. After all, they are not hampered by some silly notions they may have picked up along the way had they lived their lives as women or as members of minority groups.

– Marie Cocco, Closet Racism in the Age of Obama

h/t EileenLeft

Related: Cory Doctorow points to an extensive Flickr gallery commemorating Sessions’ longstanding tenure as a dumbasstastic racist fuckateer. On a more serious note, U.S. News runs down ‘Sonia Sotomayor’s 13 Most Notable Decisions’.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Fox News: Stayin’ KKKlassy After All These Years

by matttbastard

Wow. So, um, THAT’S what Brian KKKilmeade is like when he’s not flouncing off the Fox & Friends set. (“Other species?”  Buh?!)

h/t Patti Digh (via  The War Room)

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