Even The Liberal...
Jeffrey Rosen expressed shock today that conservatives have glommed on to his gossip piece calling into question the intelligence of Judge Sotomayor. Surely he was blindsided by such a turn of events. Why, Rosen was just allowing anonymous clerks to smear the nominee for the benefit of his friends in Washington. He could never have anticipated in a million years that anyone would use such materail against her.
Conservatives are already citing my initial piece on Sotomayor as a basis for opposing her. This willfully misreads both my piece and the follow-up response. My concern was that she might not make the most effective liberal voice on the Court--not that she didn't have the potential to be a fine justice. Questions of temperament are often overlooked, but history suggests that they are the most relevant in predicting judicial success.
See, Rosen was making a narrow point, as exemplified by referring to Sotomayor as "not that smart," "domineering during oral arguments," and "her questions aren't penetrating." How anyone could have characterized from such a collection of quotes that she wasn't qualified for the Court is just beyond him.
Indeed, every single conservative I've seen talking about this pick today, all of them, not only cited Rosen's article, but when challenged on it as composed of a collection of unsourced quotes, screamed "But Jeff Rosen is a liberal and he's writing for The New Republic and he said all this!" Which is how this ALWAYS works. Rosen is playing dumb here; surely he knew this would be the outcome. To his credit, the President ignored this character assassination. But it's patently ridiculous for Rosen to suggest that everyone else would.