Yes, well, satirically speaking, the AP's Washington Bureau Chief clearly has no partisan ax to grind. But at least the AP itself can remain unbiased about the Sotamayor nomination. Right? Uh, not quite:
Fingers splayed, palms flat, hands bouncing up and then deliberately pressing down to the table, Sotomayor elaborated, clarified, expanded, retracted.
She drew loopy circles on her paper; she ran rhetorical circles around her past words.
"I didn't intend to suggest ..." she explained.
"What I was speaking about ..." she offered.
"As I have tried to explain ..." she parsed.
"I wasn't talking about ..." she demurred.
She was a tough critic at times.
"I was using a rhetorical flourish that fell flat," she averred.
"It was bad," she said. Of her own words.
Democrats were only too happy to take Sotomayor's rhetorical revisions at face value as she explained away the most problematic of her past remarks.
This, is your new, unbiased, Associated Press. And the article gets worse. The picture it paints of Sotamayor is quite lopsided.
It also fails to mention that one of its two star Republican critics, Jeff Sessions, lost his own bid for Judgeship when it was discovered that he was a bit of a raving racist. (Google his name, and the Ku Klux Klan, and you will get quite a veritable bounty of pieces.) The raving racist making big of Sotamayor's muddled musings about her own life experiences making her a better fit as a judge (as we here believe about ourselves, as should any aspiring jurist), and that as a Latina Women she may be able to come to a better decisions, taken somewhat out of context.
For more on this view by Sotamayor (and our own disagreement with it) see this letter to the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson on this very same topic. (Note: link to be posted shortly.)
For a bit more on Jeff Sessions, and in quite sharp, if not comical contrast to the lopsidedly skewed picture that this AP report paints, consider this little moment:
Senator Jeff Sessions (Pompous racist, Ala.) contrasted Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark with NY Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, whom he said "believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices."
Apparently unbeknownst to Sesssions, Judge Cedarbaum was at the hearing. Judge Sotomayor replied:
"My friend Judge Cedarbaum is here,' Sotomayor riposted, to Sessions's apparent surprise. 'We are good friends, and I believe that we both approach judging in the same way, which is looking at the facts of each individual case and applying the law to those facts."
As also noted in this short piece, Cedarbaum, herself, later stated: "I don't believe for a minute that there are any differences in our approach to judging, and her personal predilections have no affect on her approach to judging."
Game, Set, Match -- Sotamayor. (For more on Sotamayor, from one of her professors at Princeton, as noted by Somerby.)
But to the AP's hatchet piece (and we really hate to use that term, but this is NOT journalism), Jeff Sessions was one of its stars. Imagine that.
It's not until late in the "news" article that one sees that even the AP had some equivocation over its own journalistic skulldoggery: "Sotomayor seemed to be feeling her oats as she held her own hour after hour." Huh, seriously? After quoting no less than Jeff Sessions as the authority with respect to what the AP quite unsupportedly decided to label "after the fact revisions"?
Of course, the view of the coherent far right is quite distinct, yet expresses shock at the "nasty attack" that the "AP's Nancy Benac" hurled at Sotamayor. (One expects MSNBC"s Keith Olbermann to not cite this blog for support, I suppose, as opposed to -- see piece bottom)
This comment (which was agreed to by some others) was quite typical:
.....For God sakes, is Sotomayor the best that our country’s supposed best and brightest can serve up?
Well, She did graduate as co Valedictorian at Princeton, was an editor of the Yale Law Review, and does bring more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court appointee in over half a century. But perhaps it's a valid point. But was it similarly made when Alito, Roberts, or Thomas were appointed? (Thomas being appointed by the same man, George Bush, Sr., who first appointed Sotamayor to the federal bench.)
But Sotamayor is the Obama administration nominee, though she seems to have been a rather stricter adherer to the rule of law than many judges, she probably leans a bit more liberal than conservative, she made one befuddled comment that at its true core actually makes some sense, and so the far right must program itself to immediately dislike her. Or so it seems.