Sunday, June 14, 2009

Time to Put Pat Buchanan Out to Pasture

OK, for all that he's allowed to free-range rant on Tweety's show, and Rachel Maddow's occasional tolerance of "Uncle Pat" on her program (he seems mercifully to have disappeared permanently from Countdown) it time finally for Pat Buchanan to leave MSNBC, if not the pundit scene in general, for good. The confirmation process for Judge Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court is exposing his old-school bigotry to the bare bones, and it's not pretty.

From a Saturday 6/12/09 article on Human (apologies for linking there, and h/t to Think Progress for the heads-up):

Though the Obama media have been ballyhooing her brilliance -- No. 1 in high school, No. 1 at Princeton, editor of Yale Law Review -- her academic career appears to have been a fraud from beginning to end, a testament to Ivy League corruption.

Two weeks ago, The New York Times reported that, to get up to speed on her English skills at Princeton, Sotomayor was advised to read children's classics and study basic grammar books during her summers. How do you graduate first in your class at Princeton if your summer reading consists of "Chicken Little" and "The Troll Under the Bridge"?

Setting aside the "Obama media" throw-away snipe, first we have here the classic screed against east-coast-academic-elite-schools...something you somehow never hear trotted out when it's a GOP son of privilege whose diploma or credentials are in the spotlight. Buchanan is suggesting that only first-language speakers of English can achieve academic excellence on their own merits. Did it not occur to him that you really don't and can't achieve top honors in your class at Princeton, or the privilege of editing a publication like the Yale Law Review, as mere window-dressing? Has the notion that this talented jurist might have worked really, really hard at her subject matter flown through the empty space between his ears so fast that it never had a chance to make an impression?

I mean, if all Ivy League schools were all merely about making themselves look good to influential families and powerful coalitions in society, wouldn't they have cheerfully promoted George Jr. along with unearned high marks - hey, he could be valedictorian: the clan Bush would like that and maybe donate more $$! - rather than the grudging "Gentleman's C" (telling term, that) he received? Sadly, no. They have reputations to maintain, and that means a certain standard in grading. You don't get to the top of the class by B.S., Pat, no matter what color your skin or version your genitalia.

and continuing...

...Sotomayor got into Princeton, got her No. 1 ranking, was whisked into Yale Law School and made editor of the Yale Law Review -- all because she was a Hispanic woman. And those two Ivy League institutions cheated more deserving students of what they had worked a lifetime to achieve, for reasons of race, gender or ethnicity.

This is bigotry pure and simple. To salve their consciences for past societal sins, the Ivy League is deep into discrimination again, this time with white males as victims rather than as beneficiaries.

[snip] ... were it not for Ivy League dishonesty, Sotomayor would not have gotten into Princeton, would never have been ranked first in her class, would not have gotten into Yale Law, nor been named editor of Yale Law Review, and thus would not be a U.S. appellate court judge today or a nominee to the Supreme Court.

Again, in his insistence that Sotomayor leapfrogged many more deserving candidates - all of whom, apparently, were white and male: imagine that! - to earn not just an entre to her educational opportunities but her subsequent academic kudos, Buchanan displays a mindset which not only begins from the implicit viewpoint that minority or under-represented demographic groups are somehow inherently less suited to rigorous academic environments, but further suggests that any success those groups achieve in those environments cannot possibly be on their merits: instead, solely because of the demographics that he believes gave them improper admission to the playing field. So he belittles every group but white males not once, but twice. Their gender or ethnicity makes them unworthy by default, and those factors can then be blamed for their achievements and any subsequent recognition of same. Women and anyone not Caucasian (much less BOTH) can't win for losing, literally, in Buchanan-world.

But what about Sotomayor when a Republican President - Bush 41 - put her forward to serve on the federal bench? No less than the Washington Times reports that she "sailed through" hearings and won both committee approval and Senate confirmation unanimously. Nice trick for a completely unqualified candidate...or were all those (primarily) white, male Senators wrong, Pat?

The same article, discussing Clinton's nomination of Sotomayor to the U.S. Court of Appeals, acknowledges a rockier road during that process (hmm, maybe something to do with having a Republican Congress but a Democratic President, do you think?) but notes that she was confirmed at a comfortable 67-29 margin by the Senate..."and the 29 "no" votes came despite not a single senator speaking out publicly against her in either the committee or on the floor...The sole reason given for opposing Judge Sotomayor's elevation came from a Senate Republican aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, who told the New York Times that year that they were worried about confirming her for an appeals court slot because it 'puts her in the batter's box to be nominated to the Supreme Court.' "

That's interesting. You could even interpret that sentiment to suggest that at the time she was up for the appellate court, the party predisposed to oppose her already thought she was qualified, and therefore likely, to be put forward for a future Supreme Court vacancy.

I thought it might be useful to look back at what Buchanan had to say about Bush 43 nominee-turned-withdrawee, Harriet Miers. And while he made many valid statements about her lack of qualifications, he also said (in another article on Human Events):

But her qualifications for the Supreme Court are non-existent. She is not a brilliant jurist, indeed, has never been a judge. She is not a scholar of the law. Researchers are hard-pressed to dig up an opinion. She has not had a brilliant career in politics, the academy, the corporate world or public forum. Were she not a friend of Bush, and female, she would never have even been considered.

[snip] ... A paper trail is the mark of a lawyer, a scholar or a judge who has shared the action and passion of his or her time, taken a stand on the great questions, accepted public abuse for articulating convictions.

So, in Sotomayor's case, her long history of rulings from the bench is to be dismissed, because she somehow "really didn't earn the privilege of delivering them." Yet, in Miers' case, her lack of any kind of judicial experience or record is grounds for booting her consideration to the curb?

Own up, Buchanan. At the end of the day, you are a bigot, pure and simple. Anybody who doesn't look like you, dress like you, hold your opinions as his own (I won't even suggest "her" opinions: that is clearly pointless) plainly doesn't deserve whatever prominence, regard or success that individual has achieved. Because apparently that has happened at your expense. Poor, downtrodden, overlooked, discriminated-against You.

Enough whining about the passing of the world you knew. It is past...and a good thing, too. It was a world based on opposition to whole groups of people based on trivia. It was a world of discrimination based on the universe's random nature. You would return us to a world where (white) Father Knows Best, (white) Mommy stays home to dust and cook, good little (white) children pray on their knees every night to the same (white-) bearded sky apparition, and everybody else knows their place and shuts up.

I'm very glad your world is gone. Now it's time for you to go with it. Your diatribes belong more at the corner cafe or the park bench, for the private entertainment of the other relics who share your views, than they do on the airwaves. Please take them there. Soon.


woke said...

No, no! Pat performs a great service for progressives. Remember when he gave the keynote address at bush41's re-electon convention? How'd that turn out? Everytime he opens his mouth, people can more easily see the DIFFERENCE between progressives and regressives......


Jonathan said...


Well said (or, in this case, blogged).

Anonymous said...

Great stuff ET. I wish MSNBC would put Pat out to pasture the way CNN put Bay out to pasture.

et said...

LOL, Woke: you have a point. Pat, like all the rest of his stripe, contributes to his own tribe's marginalization with every appearance, article or rant. But he just can't do it with the same style that a Limbaugh or a Newt or even a Boehner can. He can't stand up there and, with any real conviction, simultaneously say that the Iranian elections are a fraud, but also that they happened as they did because Obama is "making us look weak" to the rest of the world. (And that's quite a trick, isn't it? - exhibiting weakness so as to force another country to rig its elections: wow!)

Instead, his bleatings all hearken back to the days of separate drinking fountains and girls not being allowed to wear pants to school. He sounds more coherent than his fellow travelers, but that's only because he's living in a past that he still thinks is present. Hell, he's still probably amazed that he can see himself in COLOR on the TV machine.

Even the GOP sometimes has to purge its ranks of the elder statesmen, just to make room for fresh idiocy.

I just don't see that he brings anything useful to the MSNBC table. All he does there is drag down the dialogue and reduce it to the most tired of shouting points.

He's ballast on their balloon, and he needs to be cut loose.

But, to be fair...until that day comes, he does make for exceptional blog-fodder!

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