I must say that the objections on both sides (which boil down to: the conservatives think she’s too liberal; the liberals think she’s not liberal enough) surprise me – further proof that I’m more naïve than cynical, because I keep trusting that balance, fairness and a spirit of bipartisan cooperation during a period of national/global crisis will ultimately out (look up idiot in the dictionary and note my photo…). When everybody finds something to criticize (I think “nitpick” is the more appropriate word here), that’s a good sign that middle ground has been found. In the case of Judge Sotomayor, the middle ground is supported by considerable educational accomplishment, followed by several decades of intelligent, informed, and highly respected legal and judicial experience that reveal a diversity of opinion and a dedication to the spirit and intention of the law, rather than a fundamentalist application of 18th century concepts to 21st century concerns.
This ersatz controversy says more about the growing political polarization on the part of nearly all players on all points of the spectrum than it says about Sotomayor herself. It also says a great deal about the stubborn determination of many Republicans/Conservatives to find nothing but fault with Barack Obama – despite the fact that he is coping simultaneously with a greater number of urgent issues than any president in modern history, including FDR. Rush Limbaugh is clearly not alone in hoping that Obama fails – regardless of the cost to the nation – and I think that’s unconscionable and downright disgusting.
During the president’s First 100 Days press conference, when Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times asked Mr. Obama that now-famous question about what had surprised, enchanted, humbled and troubled him the most during his initial period in office, the president said: “Troubled? I’d say less troubled but, you know, sobered, by the fact that change in Washington comes slow. That there is still a certain quotient of political posturing and bickering that takes place even when we’re in the middle of really big crises. I would like to think that everybody would say, you know what, let’s take a timeout on some of the political games, focus our attention for at least this year, and then we can start running for something next year. And that hasn’t happened as much as I would have liked.”