Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love Me, I'm a Moderate

For all I or anyone else knows, Sonia Sotomayor may turn out to be the best Supreme Court Justice going; after all, the competition is not very steep. Her qualifications are outstanding. And, although I’ve never been quite sure what “the American dream” is supposed to be, she surely exemplifies it. Then there is the welcome symbolism of elevating a Latina and a woman to the post. Some knowledgeable people question the intellectual depth of her rulings as an appellate judge; they wonder whether she can be a “liberal” counterweight to Antonin Scalia, the most overrated “conservative” (reactionary) Justice in recent history. Somehow they forget that anyone with the sense they were born with – Judge Judy, for example – could trounce Tony Two Vote (it was that second vote for Bush that unleashed the horrors of the past eight years) in any intellectual contest whatever.

In nominating her, Obama did good for a change. He also did something shrewd. As Republicans mobilize their “base” to oppose her, they will alienate themselves even more than they already have from the growing ranks of Hispanic voters, doing in their electoral prospects for the foreseeable future. They will also reveal themselves as the shallow, ignorant and mean-spirited fools they are; as if it isn’t clear enough already.

Yet, in promoting her nomination, the POP, the Party of Pusillanimity, the party that “won” the last election, stresses how “moderate” she is. Once again, Obama’s “bipartisanship” is running amok. It would be laughable, were it not of a piece with the rest of Obama’s practice of governance: maintaining the rule of law by obstructing the prosecution of the war criminals Cheney, Bush, et. al.; fixing the financial crisis by saving the fortunes of the Wall Street predators who brought it on; fixing the health care crisis by assuring that private insurance companies and Big Pharma will get the lion’s share of the “solution”; fixing George Bush’s wars by continuing the occupation of Iraq and, at great cost to “homeland security” and international order, escalating the war in Afghanistan. Call it “pragmatism” or “centrism” or “moderation.” It is fast becoming the hallmark of the Obama presidency.

Thus, until Sotomayor is confirmed, we will hear her praised endlessly for her “moderation.” New York Senator Charles (Schmucky Chucky) Schumer has been tapped to shepherd her through the confirmation process. The man is nothing if not a moderation freak. With the frequency that the lately loquacious Dick Cheney invokes 9/11, expect him to invoke the m-word. It will be a sickening spectacle for those of us who think that the Right, having lost the last election (which is not the same thing as the Left having won!), should not continue to rule. Meanwhile, we can only hope Sotomayor has the good sense and judicial temperament not to take the Obama-Schumer characterization of her to heart.

No comments: