OBAMA’S ‘DILEMMA’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

mildly in­ter­est­ing traits among the many she might pos­si­bly pos­sess,” Mr. Brooks said.

“But she hap­pened to at­tend Prince­ton and then Yale Law School in the 1970s. Th­ese were the days when what we now call mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism was just com­ing into its own. Th­ese were the days when the whole race, class and gen­der aca­demic-in­dus­trial com­plex seemed fresh, ex­cit­ing and just.

“There was no way she was go­ing to get out of that un­scarred. And, in fact, in the years since she has given a se­ries of speeches that have made her a poster child for iden­tity pol­i­tics. In th­ese speeches, race and gen­der take cen­ter stage. It’s not only the one com­ment about a wise Latina mak­ing bet­ter de­ci­sions than a white male; it’s the whole litany. If you just read th­ese speeches you might come away with the im­pres­sion that she was a racial ac­tivist who is just us­ing the ju­di­cial sys­tem as a ve­hi­cle for her so­cial cru­sade.

“And yet her his­tory and con­ver­sa­tions with her col­leagues sug­gest this is not the main story. If you look at the whole record, you come away with the im­pres­sion that So­tomayor is a hard­work­ing, care­ful-though-un­spec­tac­u­lar ju­rist whose pri­mary com­mit­ment is to the law.” but a ramp-up in debt fol­lowed by a greater ex­plo­sion in spending and debt,’ he told For­tune, pre­dict­ing a day when Amer­ica’s cred­i­tors will start view­ing the U.S. Trea­sury as a risky bet. ‘The bond mar­kets will come af­ter us with a vengeance. We’re play­ing with fire.’

“Krugman fa­vors far higher taxes, while Ryan wants to curb spending, but for now what’s so big and so danger­ous that it dis­tresses such di­verse types as Krugman and Ryan — and should scare all Amer­i­cans — is the Great Debt Threat.” “Pres­i­dent Obama’s nom­i­na­tion of So­nia So­tomayor for the Supreme Court points to a dilemma that will likely plague his pres­i­dency: How does a ‘pos­tra­cial­ist’ pres­i­dent play iden­tity pol­i­tics?” Shelby Steele writes in the Wall Street Jour­nal.

“What is most no­table about the So­tomayor nom­i­na­tion is its al­most per­fect pre­dictabil­ity. Some­how we all sim­ply know — like it or not — that His­pan­ics are now over­due for the grav­i­tas of high of­fice. And our new pos­tra­cial­ist pres­i­dent is es­pe­cially at­tuned to this chance to have a ‘first’ un­der his belt, not to men­tion the chance to fur­ther se­cure the His­panic vote. And yet it was pre­cisely the Amer­i­can long­ing for post-racial­ism — re­lief from this sort of racial cal­cu­lat­ing — that lifted Mr. Obama into of­fice,” Mr. Steele said.

“The So­tomayor nom­i­na­tion commits the car­di­nal sin of iden­tity pol­i­tics: It seeks to el­e­vate peo­ple more for the po­lit­i­cal cur­rency of their gen­der and eth­nic­ity than for their in­di­vid­ual merit. (Here, too, is the ugly faith­less­ness in mi­nor­ity merit that al­ways un­der­lies such ma­neu­ver­ings.) Mr. Obama is promis­ing one thing and prac­tic­ing an­other, us­ing his in­ter­ra­cial back­ground to sug­gest an Amer­ica de­liv­ered from racial cor­rup­tion even as he prac­tices a crude form of racial pa­tron­age. From Amer­ica’s first black pres­i­dent, and a man promis­ing the ‘new,’ we get a Supreme Court nom­i­na­tion that is both un­o­rig­i­nal and hack­neyed.

“This con­tra­dic­tion has al­ways been at the heart of the Obama story. On the one hand, there was the 2004 Demo­cratic Con­ven­tion speech pro­claim­ing ‘only one Amer­ica.’ And on the other hand, there was the race­bait­ing of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Does this most pow­er­ful man on earth know him­self well enough to re­solve this con­tra­dic­tion and point the way to a gen­uinely pos­tra­cial Amer­ica?

“The So­tomayor nom­i­na­tion sug­gests not. Through­out her ca­reer, Judge So­tomayor has demon­strated a His­panic chau­vin­ism so ex­treme that it some­times crosses into out­right claims of racial supremacy, as in 2001 when she said in a lec­ture at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, ‘a wise Latina woman … would more of­ten than not reach a bet­ter con­clu­sion [as a judge] than a white male.’ “

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@ wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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