08/14/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011


My writing is peppered with unconscionable metaphors, and what follows is one of them.

I was married for twenty eight years to a mostly wonderful woman. She was great most of the time, however...

I went grocery shopping one day and foolishly purchased the wrong type of lettuce. To say that she went ballistic would be an understatement. I was foolish enough to try and defend myself with an unending stream of "but's" all to no avail. Our marriage at that moment had nothing to do with my role as husband, provider, father etc. and her world was focused on that head of lettuce. I realized at the time that her rage was disconnected from the lettuce, yet the moment was horrid.

At lunch yesterday a friend asked me how I choose what to write about and my answer was "I write about things that annoy me."

As a liberal Democrat I find that I have issues with Congresspeople of both parties and their adoration of being on television. I watched snippets of the Senate hearing concerning the appointment of Judge Sotomayor. For the Senators it was a television showcase for them all to demonstrate to their constituents how charming and effective they were either in their support or opposition to the candidate.

Before she spoke, Republicans made clear they would use the hearings to portray her as willing to tilt the scales of justice to address her personal feelings about the cases before her.

The ever vigilant Republicans made it clear that they wanted to portray her as some raging liberal who would render verdicts by manifesting her personal feelings about the cases she would be hearing.

Judge Sotomayor rejected the idea that personal biases would determine her rulings. She said that her 17 years on the bench showed that she "applied the law to the facts at hand." She also indicated that her empathy would help her grasp a case, not twist it to suit an agenda.

"My personal and professional experiences help me to listen and understand," she said, "with the law always commanding the result in every case."

And now the metaphor: As my then wife glommed on to the "lettuce" to manifest dissent, the Republicans focused on a speech in 2001 that a "wise Latina" would make better decisions in some cases than a white male, as well as other speeches in which she emphasized her gender, ethnicity and compassion.

These protectors of "the American way" had the ability as well as the opportunity of reviewing her written record from all 17 of her years on the bench and needless to say, these demagogues did not do that and they focused on a single phrase from a single speech.

Shame, shame on them.