Sarah is smart, Sonia is stupid … am I missing something?


The self-immolation of the right continues, as haughty, white (and in the case of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, arguably racist) Southern Senators berate the Ivy League-educated, up by her bootstraps Latina judge who aspires to the Supreme Court, having even challenged her intellect, and demand from the dais that she make a public declaration of the wisdom of white men. Meanwhile, the same denizens of right wingery that are demanding the Senators’ interrogation be harsher, try to convince us … and themselves … that the flaky lady who just quit her governorship in Alaska, and who went through five colleges and still speaks English like it’s her second language, is smart enough to be president of the United States??? Maybe I’m confused…

And so is Maureen Dowd:

Like the president who picked her, Sotomayor has been a model of professorial rationality. Besides, it’s delicious watching Republicans go after Democrats for being too emotional and irrational given the G.O.P. shame spiral.

W. and Dick Cheney made all their bad decisions about Iraq, W.M.D.’s, domestic surveillance, torture, rendition and secret hit squads from the gut, based on false intuitions, fear, paranoia and revenge.

Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music. Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.

Senator Graham said Sotomayor would be confirmed unless she had “a meltdown” — a word applied mostly to women and toddlers until Mark Sanford proudly took ownership of it when he was judged about the wisdom of his Latina woman.

And then there’s the Supreme Court, of course, which gave up its claim to rational neutrality when the justices appointed by Republican presidents — including Bush Sr. — ignored what was fair to make a sentimental choice and throw the 2000 election to W.

And so is former Ms. Magazine chieftan Elaine Lafferty:

Both endured more than their share of life’s challenges, from Sotomayor’s childhood diabetes to Palin’s midlife pregnancy with a special-needs child. No silver spoons anywhere near them, no rich Daddies or easy roads. Scrappy Sonia and scrappy Sarah made it on their own.

But from the graffitied projects of the East Bronx, Sotomayor also made her way to the Ivy League, scooping up the academic credentials and degrees that are supposed to insulate you forever from haughty insinuations of inferior intelligence. Sarah Palin did no such thing, barely graduating college, and heading into the intellectually feeble field of television sportcasting before entering politics. …

Back in the Bronx years before, perhaps instinctively, Sonia began the process, familiar to women, of working twice as hard as everyone else. By the time she got to Princeton, she knew she lacked the prep-school education of her peers, and she dove into grammar books. Aside from her degrees from Princeton and Yale, Sotomayor become known for her exceedingly detailed and dreary judicial briefs. Too thorough! Way too detailed. Now we know she won Princeton’s highest undergraduate award; we know she wrote her way onto the Yale Law Review; we know she wrote 380 majority opinions in 3,000 appeals cases. Are we simply cranky feminists to expect that the woman should, if nothing else, be above reproach on the intelligence front?

The Globe and Mail’s American ex-pat, Margaret Wente, sums it up:

The Democrats have Sonia Sotomayor. The Republicans have Sarah Palin. That’s all you really need to know. Between them, these two women explain why the Republicans are doomed.

Meanwhile, from Alternet: the 10 dumbest things Republicans have said during the Sotomayor hearings.


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