In her Wednesday column, the offensively titled "White Man's Last Stand ," Maureen Dowd bemoaned the self-silencing of Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor during her Senate confirmation hearings. Sotomayor wascautious to the point of being robotic, displaying none of Obama's sought-after "empathy."Dowd blamed Bush and white men in general.
You can't judge a judge by her cover.
Despite the best efforts of Republicans to root out any sign that Sonia Sotomayor has emotions that color her views on the law, the Bronx Bomber kept a robotic mask in place.
A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not know that a gaggle of white Republican men afraid of extinction are out to trip her up.
After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They've had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.
This was just bizarre:
President Obama wants Sotomayor, naturally, to bring a fresh perspective to the court. It was a disgrace that W. appointed two white men to a court stocked with white men. And Sotomayor made it clear that she provides some spicy seasoning to a bench when she said in a speech: "I simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging, but I accept there will be some based on gender and my Latina heritage."
Dowd is forgetting Bush's initial choice for the Supreme Courtvacancy eventually won by Samuel Alito: Harriet Miers, female. There's hypocrisy there, given that Dowd was less than supportive  of Mier, who quickly stepped downin the teeth ofquestions from both left and right about her lack of qualification. Dowd wrote of Miers in an October 5, 2005 column:
There are only so many supremely powerful jobs to give to women who are not qualified to get them.
If Dowd cared so much about keeping white men off the court, then why did dismiss Miers so abruptly?
And one can't have a Supreme Court column without reliving Bush v. Gore:
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.
Faced with that warped case of supreme empathy, no wonder Sotomayor is so eager to follow the law.
Is Dowd saying it would have been "fair" to throw the election to Gore instead? The vote in Florida was certainly a nail-biter, but it was won by Bush. The Times own research in November 2001 showed Bush would have won in Florida even if the Court had allowed the manual statewide recount to go forward. The headline: "Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote."