Digby on the beltway mentality. Cookie Cutters
Chris Matthews, speaking for oppressed white male millionaires everywhere says:
Will he go to the usual cookie cutter. He’s supposed to pick a latina, a hispanic woman, would be a woman. Would he do that just because that’s sort of the unfilled void in his patronage plan so far?
Robinson: I don’t know. I doubt it.
Matthews: Sonya Sotomayor from New York.
Simon: He wouldn’t do it just because, but if you;’re asking if there was a qualified latina out there would he …
Matthews: Well, there is one.
Simon: would he recognize the symbolism of it and would he say, this would be a good move both for the country and the court…
Matthews: Even if she was involved in a case which involved firefighters and the old question of the white firefighters fighting for their position and holding to what they have against the new breed guys, the people of color coming along? That’s the kind of fight that goes on all the time.
This meme of the poor oppressed wealthy white males has been picked up by everyone from Halperin at Time to Matt Lauer on the Today Show and Jeffrey Rosenat TNR. So the balanced option would be to specifically seek out another rich white male, because the SCOTUS has only been 96% rich white male.The Supreme Court nomination process isn’t about finding the “best” candidate — it’s about finding the right fit.
For all the talk of ideal candidates, Supreme Court nominations are generally grubby and instrumental things. Members of both parties live in fear of an Earl Warren or a David Souter: a qualified nominee who unexpectedly pursues an ideologically independent course. They cast about for nominees with enough of a paper trail to assure predictability (no more Souters!) but not enough of a paper trail to guarantee controversy (no more Borks!). They search out young candidates — the average age in recent years has been 53 — because the typical length of a justice’s tenure has shot from its pre-1970 average of 14.9 years to 25.6 years, and no president wants to risk exerting only two decades of influence on the Court.
In comparison to all this, the case for including gender diversity in the search process is downright high-minded. The United States Supreme Court is 88 percent male and 77 percent white male. And this is actually a fairly diverse moment in the Court’s history. As Adam Serwer pointed out, "There have been 110 Justices on the Supreme Court. Of those, two have been women, and two have been black. The other 106 have been white men. That means that around 96 percent of Supreme Court Justices have been white men."
Sure we all expect that despite the Right’s brazen ideological purity tests that got Joseph Alito and Chief Justice Roberts on the court, they would start attacking anyone even slightly centrist much less liberal. That doesn’t make their attacks on the latest name on the speculation list any less tiresome.
Someone named Jack Kelly writes a strange column at Real Clear Politics,The CIA’s Fight With Obama
Has Barack Obama made an enemy who can sabotage his presidency?
The presidency of George W. Bush began to unravel when some in high positions at the Central Intelligence Agency began waging a covert campaign against him.
It began in the summer of 2003 when officials at the CIA asked the Justice department to open a criminal investigation into who had disclosed to columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, wife of controversial former diplomat Joseph Wilson, worked at the CIA.
The officials knew at the time the Intelligence Identities Protection Act did not apply to Ms. Plame, who’d been out of the field for more than five years.
The problem with Kelly’s lurid tale is that Plame was a NOC agent and Novak’s revelation ended any career path she had in undercover work (she was a specialist in WMD). She testified under oath, the CIA affirmed the correctness of her assertion she was undercover( one is not required not have to have been in the field for “more then five years”, that was and still is a commonly repeated rightwing myth.) and that revealing her name had collateral damage.