Much of the progressive blogosphere is aghast at the embarrassing Republican strategy of putting Senator Jeff Sessions, a man with a history of racially insensitive statements, as the central interlocutor of a Hispanic woman. Could they really be that stupid -- again?
Stupid? No. More like strategic. There is a subterranean agenda here has nothing to do with the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice, and subterranean agendas are what the GOP is always about.
Just as torture was not about getting information but about intimidating our foes and exacting false confessions to justify an Iraq-al Qaida link, just as attacking ACORN was not about investigating voter fraud but about intimidating people from going to the polls, and just as questioning science was not about embracing Creationism but about discrediting climate change so polluting corporations could continue their global plunder, Sessions going after Sotomayer's non-existent "bias" is not about vetting a potential Supreme Court justice.
It's about making you afraid.
It's about making the media afraid.
And it's about making the Obama government afraid.
The point of putting a "racially insensitive" white man up to question a Latina has nothing to do with bad GOP planning and everything to do with intimidation. Republicans know she's getting confirmed; what they really want to do is intimidate the White House, the media, and me and you from embracing progressive views.
So, if you're going to embrace affirmative action, feminism, equal rights, economic fairness, civil rights, -- Jesus, even empathy -- you stand warned you will be attacked. It has nothing to do with defeating Sotomayer and everything to do with discrediting what most Americans believe and intimidating us from expressing it. It's also a signal to their dwindling base -- disenfranchised, uneducated whites -- that the GOP is still the party of the cluelessly and inarticulately disgruntled.
Hence economic fairness is "a special interest," universal healthcare is "socialism," and believing in a right to privacy is "judicial activism;" all of it bullshit, but all of it useful.
That's the goal here; keeping ignorance alive so you can cajole it to the ballot box, the streets, in front of David Letterman's studio, at the local Board of Ed meeting or the commencement at Notre Dame.
Or outside Dr George Tiller's women's health clinic or the Holocaust Museum -- carrying a gun.