Green Room

NYT: Political considerations, life experience only good if we like the results

posted at 9:31 am on May 27, 2009 by

The New York Times editorial board has nothing but praise for Judge Sonia Sotomayor today, plus a frank acknowledgment of the politics at play:

If Judge Sotomayor joins the court, it will be a special point of pride for Hispanic-Americans — as it was for Jews, blacks and women before them to see one of their own take a seat on the highest tribunal in the land. It will also bring the paltry number of female justices back to two. And as Democratic Party strategists have no doubt calculated, the selection could give Mr. Obama and his party a boost with a key voting group.

In October of 1991, the editorial board had a much different opinion of such political considerations:

The fault, in the end, is not that of the nominee but of the man who nominated him, the patron of little-known, untested or inflammatory appointments for offices reaching up to the Vice Presidency. By nominating this black conservative, President Bush serves a narrow partisan interest when the public has a right to expect him to nominate a lawyer or judge of proven distinction.

The Sotomayor editorial has great praise for how Sotomayor’s life experience has shaped her judicial rulings. The day after Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court, the Times dismissed his life experience because they didn’t like how it influenced his judicial philosophy:

As the nation waits to learn more about Clarence Thomas, the questions will concern not so much his talent but his character. Even his rise from poverty and racial isolation will be less interesting than how that experience has affected his regard for other Americans and whether he understands how their lives and rights are affected by law and official action.

The Times editorial board does display a double standard, but at the same time an appalling consistency to the belief that one cannot be a member of a historically aggrieved class and hold conservative viewpoints. To do so, in the minds of too many on the left, means you are fair game for invasions of your privacy, hate mail and in the case of Thomas, death wishes.

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To the libtards anyone that is opposed to them is evil and must be destroyed. If that person happens to be from a group that they had firmly under their control, he is not only evil, he is also a dangerous example that must be discredited, as well as destroyed.

darktood on May 27, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Good work Slublog.

One would think the NYT,, would be slightly embarassed at this blatant display of hypocrisy. They are shameless. Complete groupthink.

conservative pilgrim on May 27, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Growing up Puerto Rican in the Bronx in the 1950s was not that bad. Even the public housing projects in the Bronx were pretty nice places to live back then. There was no KKK chapter in the Bronx and no segregated theaters or water fountains for “coloreds only.”

Growing up black in the rural Jim Crow South in the 1950s, on the other hand, was brutal. My dad grew up Jewish in Savannah and has a lot of scars from it. Jews were treated just as badly as blacks in many ways. He tells the story that there used to be a large billboard out by Pin Point that said “Jews read this and walk fast…N*****s read this and haul ass!” This was the environment Clarence Thomas grew up in. Yet he has never sought revenge or reparations from the bench; he has judged fairly and objectively based on the law.

I would love to be a fly on the wall the first time Sotomayor brings up her poor disadvantaged upbringing in a deliberation. Thomas will blast her into the Potomac.

rockmom on May 27, 2009 at 11:00 AM

It would be nice for a change if someone in the msm would be a journalist and report this constant hypocrisy. I can’t hardly tolerate watching anything newsworthy on tv unless it’s local news and when they get on with national news and use the msm anchor talking points on NBC,CBS etc. I just tune out. I have no idea what’s going on in the world, I have to tune out all the time, LOL……. sometimes ignorance is bliss!

kthomas8268 on May 27, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Justice Thomas is black but he fails to disregard the Constitution sufficiently for the NYT to find him black enough.

mchristian on May 27, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Miguel Estrada had a Compelling Life Story, too.

Kid from Brooklyn on May 27, 2009 at 2:13 PM

I can’t read newspapers or watch TV anymore, I get so angry at the double standard. I actually cancelled my local newspaper in October because they had a grandma who usually writes about local fairs, etc. that wrote a nasty, nasty editorial about President Bush and how we should all vote for Obama. I then looked for the other editorial that would counter balance this…… nothing. I have no problem reading or watching opinions, but they have to be balanced, that is gone now.

momof2 on May 27, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Well done.

WisCon on May 27, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Bravo, Slublog. As I said over in Headlines, have been waiting since she was nominated for better writers than to compare the very different treatment of these two “compelling life stories”.

inviolet on May 27, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Slublog makes good.

Well done!

seejanemom on May 27, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Well done, Slu. Wow. There’s usually some nuance for a news outlet to hang their hat on, but this is flat-out hyporcrisy. Great, great work.

Matticus Finch on May 27, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Touché, Slublog.

maverick muse on May 27, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Linked to you.

Pundette on May 27, 2009 at 6:21 PM