The XX Factor

This Just In: Sotomayor’s Not a Racist!

Yesterday, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham met with Sonia Sotomayor and decided she was not, after all that, a racist. “There is no evidence of that,” he said soberly. What did he expect? That Sotomayor would look haughtily down at him and say, “Old white man, you can’t cook marcilla for sh–!” Newt Gingrich too has apologized, saying that the word “racist’ should not have been applied to her as a person , but maybe, perhaps to her words .

You have to feel bad for Republicans. Throughout the nineties, they reveled in mocking the left for its PC excesses-the self policing, the endless parsing of words, the primacy of emotions over hard, cold facts. Now, with the nomination of a Latina for the Supreme Court, they find themselves trapped inside that same hell.

Sen. Jeff Sessions is perhaps the most pitiable victim . He was rejected for a federal judgeship 23 years ago after it was discovered he may have called the NAACP “un-American” and possibly praised the KKK . Now, he is bending over backwards to play the statesman, saying he “enjoyed the conversation” with Sotomayor. What choice does he have? Joking about the KKK (his defense) ain’t as easy as it used to be, and he doesn’t want to end up like his old friend Trent Lott. Plus, not four years ago the Hispanic vote was supposed to rescue the Republican party from downfall, and redeem their questionable past.

Of course there is an easy answer to this. It’s called the law. If you want “evidence’ of “that”-” that” being a jurisprudence you find distasteful or un-judicious, look for it in the briefs.