Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yggy on Sotomayor

Matt Yglesias has been blogging up a storm on Judge Sotomayor today, with three great posts in succession. The most important point he makes, I think, is how the anti-Sotomayor campaign -- which thus far has focused nearly entirely on her being a Latina woman and thus racist/unqualified/unintelligent/hot-blooded is likely to spark a pretty intense rallying reflex around her by the Latino community which is going to come back and bite the GOP hard. After all, Yglesias notes he has barely any Hispanic identity (his paternal grandfather is Cuban, hence "Yglesias", but aside from that he's Ashkenazi Jewish), but the message he's been getting is that -- by virtue of his last name -- all his accomplishments and accolades will immediately be considered suspect if he attempts to take a high profile political position.

There is plenty of diversity in the Latino community. But one thing that brings people together is a shared history of oppression. There is a reason that Israel defines "Jew" not based off of religious criteria but the more morbid "who would the Nazis have killed?" Latinos from a broad swath of backgrounds and political beliefs can still see the writing on the wall when huge chunks of the (still mostly lily-White) Republican Party suddenly decide that Princeton, Yale, and nearly two decades of federal court experience makes one a big ol' dummy, so long as you're named Sotomayor and not Alito. If they don't think this will have an effect, they're dreaming.

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