Quote of the Day – GOP Edition

“The base is plenty excited already, as you know if you’ve ever read a comment thread on a conservative blog. Comment-thread conservatives, like their mirror-image warriors on the left (“Worst person in the woooorrrlllddd!”) are perpetually agitated, permanently enraged. They don’t need to be revved, they’re already revved. Newt Gingrich twitters that Judge Sotomayor is a racist. Does anyone believe that? He should rest his dancing thumbs, stop trying to position himself as the choice and voice of the base in 2012, and think.” – Peggy Noonan, arguing Republican leaders need to start acting like grown-ups.

Incidentally, she doesn’t advocate “rolling over” on Sotomayor for those who oppose her for principled reasons rather than simple partisan grandstanding.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. DavidL says:

    Alas poor Peggy, she omitted that Sonia Sotomayor is a sexist as well as a racist. As for her much touted empathy, tell that to Frank Ricci.

  2. Grewgills says:

    Sonia Sotomayor is a sexist as well as a racist.

    and she is an uppity ‘spic chic’ as well, right David?

  3. DavidL says:

    Uppity is a new one. Got any details?

  4. Eric Florack says:

    She is, inded racist.
    And James, is this the same Peggy Noonan you posted about last April?

    Given the content of that, and several other comments from her over the last few years you’ll forgive me if I do not take as gespel, her def of what being grown up is about.

  5. Boyd says:

    Once again Grewgills shows that if you can’t defeat someone’s argument, then just make something up and argue against that.

    Strange that the first time I hear that offensive term, it’s coming out of the mouth (well, keyboard) of a liberal. Imagine that.

  6. sam says:

    Ah, stay the course, guys. Matt Yglesias pretty much nails it: You can kiss the Hispanic vote goodbye:

    The argument about Sonia Sotomayor consists of the idea that we should discount her career and her degrees because those are just the results of the kind of “preferential treatment” that poor Puerto Rican girls from the projects get. We’ve also heard that she has a troubling fondness for Puerto Rican food. That it’s unreasonable that she pronounces her name as if it’s a Spanish word. We’ve heard that she’s a soft-hearted woman who wants to set aside the law in favor of empathetic victims, and also heard complaints that she’s failed to set aside the law in order to help out empathetic white people. These kind of criticisms are going to drive Hispanics away from the conservative cause not because conservatives are criticizing a Latina, but because they’re criticizing her in terms that imply a generalized skepticism about the qualifications of all American Hispanics, a loathing of Latin culture, and a monomaniacal obsession with defending the interests of white people.

  7. James Joyner says:

    And James, is this the same Peggy Noonan you posted about last April? Given the content of that, and several other comments from her over the last few years you’ll forgive me if I do not take as gespel, her def of what being grown up is about.

    I tend to take people’s ideas on their merits. Noonan says some silly stuff and some smart stuff. This strikes me as part of the latter.

    It’s just idiotic for Gingrich to be out their banging the drum that this woman is a racist. It doesn’t pass the giggle test.

  8. Steve Plunk says:

    The problem for the adults in the Republican party is when they argue against Sotomayor’s judicial record the Dems will cry racism. When they argue about her temperament the Dems will cry racism. When they argue about her previous public statements the Dems will cry racism. The adults will simply be drowned out by the children of the left using the despicable tactics of race politics. Arguing the facts will have little effect against the emotional tantrums.

    Noonan? I heard she was smarter a while back but her advice to Republicans these days is lacking.

  9. Eric Florack says:

    It’s just idiotic for Gingrich to be out their banging the drum that this woman is a racist. It doesn’t pass the giggle test.

    Well, let’s see.

    “I would hope that a wise White Man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than say, a Latina who hasn’t lived that life.”

    Do you suppose folks would call that statement racist and sexist? I certainly would. I suspect the usual suspects would, as well. Yet nobody seems to find any problems with:

    “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

  10. James Joyner says:

    a “better conclusion” about what?

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Umm, Boyd, do you ever use Google? If you did, you would find that Grewgills was just being sarcastic by repeating something originally written on Bithead’s blog…

  12. Eric Florack says:

    the context was rulings as a judge.
    I must admidt curiosity, however as to why the added context would change anything. Again, a racist is any person who makes an assumption based on race. Period. Full stop.

  13. James Joyner says:

    gain, a racist is any person who makes an assumption based on race. Period. Full stop.

    Uh, no.

    racâ‹…ism [rey-siz-uhm]
    —noun
    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

  14. floyd says:

    “”Republican leaders need to start acting like grown-ups.””
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Sage advice, if taken by the electorate, there would be no statist left in office, since “Grown-ups” take responsibility for their own lives and don’t constantly whine to Big Brother to support them.

  15. Grewgills says:

    a “better conclusion” about what?

    That is indeed the question and it is why context matters.

  16. Eric Florack says:

    AIP; For it to be a repeat, it would have to be there in the first place. I see no “Uppity” under the link. Can you point it out to us?

  17. Eric Florack says:

    racâ‹…ism [rey-siz-uhm]
    —noun
    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races

    Well, fine.

    usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior

    Gee, her comment comes at least dangerously close to that definition.

    a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination

    Does she not have the power of government behind her in the use of the thinking she’s displayed in that quote?

    Given the first two, the third is an open question, and could at the moment be taken either way.

  18. Steve Plunk says:

    James, The problem is nobody uses a dictionary to define racism. The definition is whatever the user wants it to be at the time. Today we see references to cultural differences being labeled as racism.

    It troubles me when White pride is racist but Latino pride or Black pride are not. It troubles me when white on black crime is a hate crime when black on white is not. It troubles me when a judge sees no problem with race based quotas.

    The Republicans have it tough here. Oppose her and the race card is going to played against them. Support her and allow a less than stellar judge on the highest court in the land. For life.

  19. James Joyner says:

    James, The problem is nobody uses a dictionary to define racism. The definition is whatever the user wants it to be at the time. Today we see references to cultural differences being labeled as racism.

    That’s fair enough. But it’s idiotic when the Left does it; we shouldn’t follow suit.

    It troubles me when White pride is racist but Latino pride or Black pride are not. It troubles me when white on black crime is a hate crime when black on white is not.

    Sure. What I gather Sotomayor to have been saying in that particular speech, however, was something pretty benign — that one’s cultural experience shapes one’s views on life. So, there are things that a minority female will have a more nuanced view than a white guy. She didn’t phrase it particularly artfully, to be sure, but that’s what it seems to me that she was trying to get across.

  20. Tlaloc says:

    I’m starting to view the wingnuts like the goth girl who cuts herself- They’re clearly upset but they just can’t help but lash out in self destructive ways instead of dealing with the real issues.

    Of course the goth chicks are at least often hot.

  21. An Interested Party says:

    re: Eric Florack | May 29, 2009 | 01:10 pm

    I was referring to the vile “spic chick”…can’t you do a better job of monitoring your contributors? Or perhaps you approve of such terms…

  22. An Interested Party says:

    Support her and allow a less than stellar judge on the highest court in the land.

    Republicans certainly didn’t seem to mind that course of action when it came to Clarence Thomas…

  23. Wingnuttican says:

    @Steve Plunk,

    “The Republicans have it tough here. Oppose her and the race card is going to played against them. Support her and allow a less than stellar judge on the highest court in the land. For life.”

    Anyone here remember the Clarence Thomas hearings? His stirring statement about “high tech lynchings” when Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment? How the GOP accused Dems of being “racist” in opposing Thomas; that is, only supporting minorities if they are liberal (still a favorite argument of the Repubs, they love trying to turn the tables on the Dems, “no, YOU’RE the real racists!”)? And whoever thinks that Clarence Thomas is a “stellar” member of the Supreme Court, please raise your hand.

  24. G.A.Phillips says:

    racâ‹…ism [rey-siz-uhm]
    —noun
    1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races

    LOL, are we discussing evolutionists again?

  25. I’m not revved at all. The Republican party confuses anger at the Obama administration with support for them. Despite a bit of street theater about their new adherence to principles of limited government, I don’t think they’ve learned anything from the failures of the last eight years. If they’re the only alternative, frankly I don’t care what happens in politics, because it’s nothing but a debate on how fast we should drive off a cliff.

  26. An Interested Party says:

    LOL, are we discussing evolutionists again?

    What a silly thing to type…what does racism have to do with evolution…

  27. sam says:

    Let’s give Will Wilkinson the last line, here:

    I really don’t get why many Republicans have taken this opportunity to reinforce the already widespread impression that they are morally odious morons.

  28. Eric Florack says:

    That’s fair enough. But it’s idiotic when the Left does it; we shouldn’t follow suit.

    Part of the idea there is holding them to the standards they themselves set.

    I was referring to the vile “spic chick”…can’t you do a better job of monitoring your contributors? Or perhaps you approve of such terms…

    As I have said I approve of it’s editorial use within the context of what is clearly a racially motivated appointment. Here again, I’m holding liberals to their own standards. How is it that you object so loudly to the use of a phrase, claiming racism, and yet you don’t notice the racism inherent in this appointment, and the racial attitudes of the appointee? Liberals get tripped up in their own standards every time; this is merely one more time. Thanks for playing.

  29. Eric Florack says:

    Sure. What I gather Sotomayor to have been saying in that particular speech, however, was something pretty benign — that one’s cultural experience shapes one’s views on life.

    Certainly that was the spin placed on it by the white house. Yet, we can take their word for it or hers. The two seem rather different.

    And again, it comes down to holding liberals to the standards they set for everyone else. How would such a statement play had a southern white male Republican senator have uttered it? I think we know the answer to that, don’t we?

  30. Grewgills says:

    Yet, we can take their word for it or hers. The two seem rather different.

    Are you assuming that James has not read the full quote or that he cannot figure out for himself what it meant in context?

    And again, it comes down to holding liberals to the standards they set for everyone else.

    Yet you are never willing to be held to the standards to which you hold those who disagree with you politically. You constantly bitch and moan about liberal double standards yet daily you apply ridiculous double standards on virtually every political topic. Regardless of your rationalizations this makes you a hypocrite.

  31. An Interested Party says:

    re: Eric Florack May 30, 2009 09:25

    The only people who think that Judge Sotomayor is a “racist” are a small, vocal group of right-wing reactionary loons, like yourself, who, of late, seem to be showing that they have a tenuous grip on reality when it comes to certain viewpoints…thanks for playing, indeed…

  32. Eric Florack says:

    Are you assuming that James has not read the full quote or that he cannot figure out for himself what it meant in context?

    I’m suggesting his opinion is wrong. As is yours.

    Yet you are never willing to be held to the standards to which you hold those who disagree with you politically. You constantly bitch and moan about liberal double standards yet daily you apply ridiculous double standards on virtually every political topic.

    Such as?

    The only people who think that Judge Sotomayor is a “racist” are a small, vocal group of right-wing reactionary loons, like yourself, who, of late, seem to be showing that they have a tenuous grip on reality when it comes to certain viewpoints..

    Let’s test that.

    “I would hope that a wise White Man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than say, a Latina who hasn’t lived that life.”

    Would you that statement racist and sexist? Yes, or no question.

    But I’ll bet you have no problem at all with:

    “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

    Again I ask you; why not?

  33. An Interested Party says:

    re: Eric Florack | May 30, 2009 | 12:47 pm

    Do you know how to use a dictionary? If so, I suggest you look up the word “context”…as in reading her entire speech and taking that particular sentence in context of the whole speech…c’mon, you can do it if you try really try…

  34. Grewgills says:

    Such as?

    Such as defending the use of a racial slur while damning a much more innocuous comment, simply because of your ideological blinders. Context you claim clears your friend, yet you ignore context when it involves one of your ideological ‘enemies’. Pick a standard and stick with it.