The Right: Still Racist After All These Years

Ruth Marcus writes that the reactions to President Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court are “racially tinged.” Tinged my ass; the Right’s reaction is reeking with racism. The dog whistles have become megaphones.

Marcus provides several examples and also notes that past presidents have explicitly announced that they intended to nominate a woman (Reagan, who then nominated Sandra Day O’Connor) or a Black (Bush I, who then nominated Clarence Thomas to “replace,” or at least sit in the chair of, Thurgood Marshall).

Paul Waldman also describes The race-baiting response to Biden’s Supreme Court pledge.

Conservative legal scholar Ilya Shapiro tweeted that rather than picking a male candidate Shapiro judged to be the “objectively best pick,” Biden would succumb to the “latest intersectional hierarchy” and choose a “lesser black woman.” (He later deleted the tweet and apologized.)

Do tell.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal editorial page said choosing a Black woman “elevates skin color over qualifications,” as though it would be impossible to find a Black woman who is also qualified. “I mean, what kind of qualification is that, being a Black woman?” asked Fox’s Maria Bartiromo.

“They can overtly discriminate against people,” lamented Ben Shapiro. Tucker Carlson issued a ten-minute rant about the injustice of it all, concluding with the suggestion that George Floyd’s sister should be the nominee.

“She is not a judge or a lawyer or whatever, but in this case, who cares?” Carlson said. “Clearly, that’s not the point anymore.”

The point, of course, is that diversity has value, and quality won’t be compromised. If you want to see an example of quality being compromised, review the Clarence Thomas or Brett Kavanaugh nominations. Or Amy Coney Barrett’s, for that matter.

Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern:

Biden has many extraordinary candidates on his short list. But for reasons that should surprise nobody who’s been paying attention to recent history, these early commenters do not appear to see these candidates’ impeccable credentials and extraordinary accomplishments. Instead, they have opted to prejudge any Black woman, and indeed all Black women nominees, as inherently inferior and underqualified.

Conservative critics—not content with a 6–3 supermajority achieved by holding one seat open for almost a year, then filling another in a matter of weeks—aren’t willing to graciously take their win while Biden confirms a new justice, which in no way affects the balance on the court. They aren’t even willing to wait for a name. And in a neat bit of gaslighting, they also claim that Biden and his defenders are the real racists. And in the event that you believe this is just a little confirmation-game bluster, consider that they are laying the groundwork to single out whoever this next justice will be as unqualified and inferior for decades to come. Think we’re imagining things? Just ask Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Lithwick and Stern document that whenever a Democrat nominates someone other than a White man for the Supreme Court, the opposition declares “that nominee is inherently suspect—a presumptive unqualified beneficiary of affirmative action until proven otherwise.”

This toxic ideology emerged when President Barack Obama put forward Justice Sonia Sotomayor in 2009. Ilya Shapiro, a conservative lawyer and commentator who will soon teach at Georgetown University Law Center, smeared her as a blatant affirmative action pick. In a notorious CNN article published at the time of her nomination, he wrote that Sotomayor “would not have even been on the short list if she were not Hispanic. She is not one of the leading lights of the federal judiciary.” Obama never said he wanted a Latina for the spot, but Shapiro nevertheless deduced that she was selected on the basis of her race and gender. He could not believe Obama would nominate a Latina due to her accomplishments alone.

(Yeah, that’s the same Ilya Shapiro who tweeted that Biden would succumb to the “latest intersectional hierarchy” and choose a “lesser black woman.” Shapiro, a fellow at the Cato Institute, recently was hired to lecture at Georgetown University law school. But the Georgetown law dean called Shapiro’s “lesser black woman” remark “appalling.” We’ll see if Shapiro keeps his new job.)

The smear did not end with her confirmation. For the entire time she has been on the bench, Sotomayor—who graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton—has been derided as a dim bulb affirmative action pick. Conservative commentators accuse her of stupidity and ignorance for making uncontroversial points that could only upset a bad faith pedant. She exists in a space that has no equivalent for a white man on the Supreme Court. She must earn the respect of conservative commentators every single day on the job.

There have also been suggestions that Biden’s decision to choose the next SCOTUS justice from among the pool of excellent and qualified Black women judges is against the law. Tucker Carlson suggested that, in fact. Elura Nanos at Law & Crime explains why that’s wrong.

The problem with righties is that they are not a self-reflecting crew. In a 2009 post about the Sotomayor confirmation hearings, I wrote,

Generally being “fair” is not losing one’s biases, but perceiving one’s biases as biases. If you recognize your biases as biases, you are in a position to overrule them as the facts dictate. But if you are so unconscious of yourself that you don’t recognize your biases as biases, then your “thinking” generally amounts to casting around for support for your biases. Then you put the biases and the cobbled-together “support” together and call it “reason.”

These people honestly don’t hear the blatant racism in what they say. And apparently, as Ilya Shapiro demonstrates, they don’t learn.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is under consideration for the nomination

10 thoughts on “The Right: Still Racist After All These Years

  1. We've been getting more and more evidence that election fraud did take place with this last election.  And, all the fraud has proven to be by trump and his lackeys and other Republicans.  I think it's time for them to own up to their failures to be law abiding Americans as most of us are.

    • Its practically guaranteed: anytime the republicans accuse the democrats of something, rest assured its what they are guilty of.  Or of what they are planning to do.  And the extent of whatever they've done or are planning to do is directly proportional to the volume and persistence of their accusation of the democrats.

  2. Thurgood Marshall's physical court chair probably killed itself by collapsing upon itself once it learned that Clarence Thomas' fat ass would be replacing Marshall's noble one.

    Marshall's ass, by itself, was better and smarter than Thomas' entire being!  Clarence Thomas is, after all, a big asshole who makes an ass of himself regularly.

    I think it was last week when POTUS Joe Biden asked what RepubliKKKLANS "stand for?"

    The one thing I think every non-conservative would agree on, is that whatever short-list we might be able to come up with of what RepubliKKKLANS are for, at the very top of that list, the universal response, would be "racism."

    Followed closely, by "misogyny!"

    If Biden gets another SC pick, I hope he settles on a non-lawyer.

    It would be refreshing to have someone on the SCOTUS who's not an attorney.  Some non-legal-eagle common sense individual would be someone who could give hope to kids who could dream of being on the SCOTUS, but know they could do so without having to get a law degree.

    Also too:  Let's get away from Ivy League law school graduates.  Can we?  PLEASE?!?

    Also three:  How about adding non-Christian justices?  An Atheist would be great.  But if people want a religious person on the SC, then how about a Muslim, or Buddhist?

    And certainly an "out" LGBTQ individual would also bring a new perspective.

    BTW, but OT: We're supposed to get a "snow-mageddon" here in the NE.  AKA:  "A Bomb Cyclone!"  NYC might get more than a foot, and Boston might get more than two feet.  

    The way snowstorms get covered here in the NE nowadays is rediculous!  We got more than a foot of snow fairly routinely back in the old days.  But now!  Calls for than a few inches?  ZOINKS!!!  "SNOWMAGEDDONS!!!"  "BOMB CYCLONES!!!"  "NAMED" winter storms, like hurricanes get! 


    And oy…

    "Enough is too much already!"

  3. On one point, I nearly agree with Republicans. This appointment will be political, not based on statesmanship. The calculation is that the nomination and firestorm may inspire turnout in 2022 by black women. The previous three nominations were also political, selected to protect big money. Despite that, the heiress to Justice Breyer may be brilliant despite the political calculation that went into her nomination. 

    The GOP is opposing the candidate regardless of who she may be for political, not racial reasons. They want the selection to drive discontent and outrage. If they were not 100% reactionary, they'd have waited before declaring her to be unqualified because the ONLY basis for that assertion is race and gender because – that's ALL they got! 

    Please note that McConnell was smart enough NOT to pre-judge the nominee before she's named. Call him Moscow Mitch or the Grim Reaper, but he's not stupid. He's in the distinct minority as high-profile idiots will line up to make bigoted denunciations in advance of Biden's announcement.

    I don't think that Sinema or Manchin will oppose whoever Biden picks. They responded to big money in opposing BBB. I do not think big money will try to block Biden's nominee for three years. (I've been wrong before, but the risk of riling the voters when packing the court is still a topic of discussion seems to be too great.) 

    The GOP will oppose in the Senate (but not openly because of race and gender.) The pundits will oppose, sometimes without even concealing the racism and misogamy. IMO, the issue for both sides will be voter turnout – both sides trying to get their side to the polls. 

  4. I really wish more people found the joy that diversity can bring to their lives. People like Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo obviously miss some life's great moments due to their narrowness and the narrowness of their audiences.  I am very glad not too many are like them though I fear they think everyone should strive to be like them.  They know not what riches they are missing out on.  The riches one finds accepting to visit the world of someone quite different than themselves and finding another human willing to do the same.  It is amazing what delights one learns in the process and how valuable these memories become with age.  What a great opportunity SCOTUS is getting.  

  5. Maybe a black woman on the Supreme Court would pick up were Clarence fell down. It was hoped that Clarence was supposed to bring with him an understanding of what it means to be black in America and take that understanding to combat the entrenched racism that hides behind the color of law. But noe! Clarence evidently missed out on the experience of prejudice and discrimination against black people in America. He was so eager to embrace his blackness with his high-tech lynching claims during his confirmation hearing but, once confirmed he didn't see the need to uphold parts of the Voting Rights Act to protect fellow people of color.

     Clarence should devote more time to tearing down the things that divide us as a nation than he does watching is porn videos and ogling big breasted women.

  6. If Joe Biden really wanted to make Reich-wingers scream, howl, and jump around as if fireworks were exploding in their pockets, he'd nominate Anita Hill to fill the seat!

    Yes, Anita Hill.

    I'd do anything to be a fly on a wall in the SC justice's chamber when Biden announces that he's filling Breyer's seat with Anita Hill, just to see Clarence's reaction!

    What say you to this idea?

    • Ginny would have a stroke. She'd probably cut Clarence off from the well. Winnie the Poo wouldn't be the only one looking for a honey pot.

  7. In one way I wish Biden hadn't announced that he was going to fill the seat with a black woman, even though he intended, and I certainly believe its way past time for, if for no other reason than to spare us for that much longer the expected racist BS we're having to deal with right now. He could have done like "they" have always done, and that is pick a number of nominees, throw in the one you really want, add a token white man or two that you never intend to select anyway, for laughs, go through the normal interview and vetting process, and then settle on your intended selection. And in this case, contrary to what “they” haven’t always done, all of the black women nominees floated are more than qualified from a legal experience perspective, blunting the phony, racist "affirmative action" charges.

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