No Country for White Men


Karl Rove, among others on the right, is setting up a false equivalence between Democrats’ 2003 opposition to Miguel Estrada, a Bush nominee to the appellate bench, and the GOP’s opposition to Sonia Sotomayor.

Rove says opposing Sotomayor won’t hurt the GOP with Hispanics, just like the Dems’ opposition to Estrada didn’t hurt them.  The problem, Yglesias rightly points out, is that the nature of the opposition in the 2 cases is completely different.  The Dems opposed Estrada on the grounds that he was too far right, too far out of the legal mainstream.  Whether or not that’s accurate or even a valid argument to make, it’s certainly a very different argument from the one the GOP is making against Sotomayor.

The GOP is saying Sotomayor is too liberal, of course, but they’re also going after her on the grounds that she’s too Hispanic: she likes Puerto Rican food; she pronounces her name the same way her parents and grandparents did; she supports the Hispanic civil rights group La Raza (which is equivalent to criticizing an African-American for supporting the NAACP, or a Jewish American for supporting B’nai Brith); since her educational resume is almost identical to Justice Samuel Alito’s — went to Princeton and excelled, went to Yale Law and excelled — she must have been an Affirmative Action token all along the way.

To my knowledge, no Democrat ever made such arguments against Miguel Estrada.

I mean, seriously.  How dumb do you have to be to think opposing a Hispanic nominee because he’s too conservative is equivalent — in the logical, moral, political, or any other sense — to opposing a Hispanic nominee because she’s too Hispanic?

Can Rove seriously think Hispanics will react to the two the same way, or is he just appealing to and propagating the sense of white male grievance that keeps the GOP’s base fired up?

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