Hey! I've got an idea! Why not be as careful as the Donks were when they were interviewing Robert Bork or Clarence Thomas?
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs issued a pointed warning to opponents of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination Wednesday, urging critics to measure their words carefully during a politically charged confirmation debate. “I think it is probably important for anybody involved in this debate to be exceedingly careful with the way in which they’ve decided to describe different aspects of this impending confirmation,” Gibbs said.
He was replying to a question from CBS’s Chip Reid about a blog post by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accusing Sotomayor of imposing identity politics on the bench and declaring: “A white man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. A Latina woman racist should also withdraw.” “I think we're satisfied that, when the people of America and the people of the Senate get a chance to look at more than just the blog of a former lawmaker… they'll come to the same conclusion that the president did” about Sotomayor’s qualifications, Gibbs replied.
The White House also took shots at politicians and commentators who have questioned whether Sotomayor has the intellectual capacity for the Supreme Court. In a statement Tuesday, Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.) said he planned “to thoroughly review Judge Sotomayor’s record to make sure she has the right intellect and understands the proper role of a judge.” “A lot of people in the last couple of days…they've mentioned ‘intellect,” Gibbs said. “I'm not sure what number they graduated in their class at Princeton, but my sense is it's not second.”
Latino activists were up in arms over what one called “innuendo” challenging the smarts of Sotomayor, who graduated with highest honors from Princeton and was editor of the law review at Yale Law School. [We know what Clarence Thomas thought his Yale degree was worth] “Her intelligence is apparent. It is outrageous that she is being attacked on those grounds,” said Ramona Romero, president of the Hispanic National Bar Association. “I’m assuming these folks are grasping at straws….I wonder if she were a white male we would be hearing that about somebody with the same credentials.”
Gingrich and other commentators leveling the charge that Sotomayor is racist have seized on her comments in a 2001 lecture about how her Hispanic background contributed to her judicial work. “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” Sotomayor said.
Gibbs said critics had taken out of context Sotomayor’s attempt to declare that “she has lived a different life than some people have, based on her upbringing—that she understands that.” He said Sotomayor was simply acknowledging that a different background “could certainly lead to different conclusions.” Journalists at the White House briefing were dubious about the press secretary’s explanation, with several shouting back in unison: “She said ‘better.’” “Look at the totality of it,” Gibbs replied....
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