As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, May 29, 2009

White Man's Burden

The old crazy uncles that the GOP would rather keep in the basement have all burst to the surface, and the craziest of the crazy if Tom Tancredo. His assertion that the National Council of La Raza is "the Latino KKK" not only offends that organization and all Hispanics, but members of the GOP who have appeared at NCLR events and accepted their awards. We truly are seeing the crackup of the white male conservatives.

African-American and Hispanic conservatives who have questioned her judicial philosophy also note the historic nature of the appointment and praise her triumph over economic hardship. White conservatives, on the other hand, have been far more personal and aggressive in their attacks on Sotomayor's record, repeatedly accusing her of "reverse racism" and questioning her intelligence.

White male conservatives, despite polling showing both the public and GOP insiders disagree, are maintaining that Sotomayor is an unqualified bigot.

Pat Buchanan described Sotomayor in a column Friday as an "anti-white liberal judicial activist" as well as a "lightweight" who "covers up her intellectual inadequacy by bullying from the bench."

John Derbyshire, at National Review Online, took admiration for Sotomayor's life story as an intentional insult to him and all other white people:

I get mighty annoyed by the unspoken implication in a lot of commentary that anyone not a member of a Protected Minority must have grown up in a twelve-bedroom lakeside mansion and been chauffered off to prep school with a silver spoon in his mouth. Judge Sotomayor was raised in public housing? So was I. Her mother was a nurse working late shifts? So was mine. When did white working poor people disappear off the face of the earth? Where are the eager listeners to their "compelling stories"?

There's lots more at the link, including Billo chiming in with how "the left sees the white man as a problem." As a white man, I can say pretty directly that I don't. No, but what does seem to be the case is that the right, in particular the white male conservative right, can't stand that their coded attacks aren't working anymore. They have used this playbook for decades, mostly with success, and now the country has changed, gotten more diverse, more interconnected, more tolerant, and they don't know what the hell to do.

Some people, mainly the ones in charge of electing Republicans, have recognized this. But the loudest members of the party, the media hounds, haven't, and they still think they can call Sotomayor a "reverse racist" or a "twofer" and reap the rewards. And when it falls flat, now that the worm has turned, they figure, this all must be because everyone hates whitey.

Funny, several years ago the Democrats rejecting Miguel Estrada as a circuit court judge was supposed to ruin their relationship with Hispanic voters. But there's a difference between rejecting a conservative judge who happens to be Hispanic and rejecting a Hispanic woman who happens to be a judge. They've foregrounded the race and gender attacks, and this side of the GOP is simply ugly to watch.

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