Sotomayor and Affirmative Action

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This is a great excerpt of the Rachel Maddow show from last night. First, listen to Obama sounding more like he did during his campaign. That wasn’t a speech, but a passionate sermon. He seems to have lost this rhythm a bit since he’s been in office and I think he’ll need to bring back that kind of passion if he wants to get any movement on the health care issue.

Secondly, Pat Buchanan doesn’t hold back at all, which is both disturbing and refreshing. He is a man who the world has passed by. Here is Conor Clarke on the clip as he helps fill in for Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Dish:

“At the heart of Buchanan’s critique is a sense that anyone who was a benficiary of affirmative action in the past cannot be well-qualified today. I don’t think this argument can stand scrutiny.

That’s because one’s qualifications in the present are a function of one’s opportunities in the past. There are very talented white children born in the lap of luxury on the upper west side of Manhattan, and there are equally talented Hispanic children born in poverty in the south Bronx. It should surprise exactly no one, except possibly Pat Buchanan and Michael Goldfarb, to learn that they will not get the same SAT scores. An affirmative action system that corrects for this lack of balance is not taking a “less qualified” person and putting her above a “more qualified” person. It is giving equally qualified people the same opportunities. This is liberalism 101, not rocket science.”

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2 thoughts on “Sotomayor and Affirmative Action

  1. Thanks to Uncle Pat! Now that all the GOP’s cards have been played (face up), those of us who laid down our bets years ago that 20th Century Dixiecrats would morph into 21st Century Republicants can collect our winnings and leave the table!

  2. This is morally difficult. I don’t think you can right off Buchanan’s point as easily as we would like to considering how fascist his shouting makes him sound.

    Its tricky. You have to cheat the privileged majority to level the field. The discrimination that Buchanan talks about is real, you really are keeping a handful of legitimate applicants out of positions. The liberal argument is often to ignore that, to pretend its not happening.

    I feel the correct stance is to tackle it head on, admit what the costs are when discussing the benefits of giving minority groups a leg up. Your quote does that a little better than the woman in the video did.

    The other point is that there has to be a limit and that is always difficult to judge. As Buchanan would say the best person should get the job on merit, not race.

    I do think in some fields the race thing has perhaps swung a bit far the other way. Minorities can be held to patronisingly low expectations.

    As for Sotomayor, she seems well suited to the position and a popular choice. End of debate.

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