I’ve only been casually following the foofaraw surrounding the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, and that half-an-ear hasn’t really heard too much to grab my attention. In cases like this, I tend to just go with my gut instinct, my first reaction — and in this case I have an utterly unsubstantiable vibe that she’d be OK on the Court. Obviously, I’m not too rooted in this opinion, and could be swayed by something suitably persuasive, but for now I’m going with my instincts.
Then I read Ace’s piece on Supreme Court nominations, and that got me angry — and thinking. Why the hell should Obama’s nominee get an easy ride?
I remember the nomination process of Clarence Thomas. The Democrats put that man through hell. Reporters even obtained records of his video rentals.
More recently, I recall the nomination of John Roberts. When he was introduced, his wife had an instant of a facial reaction when their son Jack was mentioned. Left-wingers immediately went on a tear, speculating that the lad was probably gay and a source of shame for the parents. When that theory fell apart (it was soon discovered that the flaming little fruit was all of four years old), the New York Times tried a new angle. They discovered he was adopted, and tried to get the adoption records opened. No, not because they had some inclinations that there was something fishy about it, but purely because they thought there might be something worth digging up in there.
So, with those sterling examples of how Supreme Court nominees are treated, why the hell should Kagan get the kid glove treatment?
The Democrats are already launching pre-emptive strikes against anyone who might say “boo” to her. Kagan’s affinity for softball is a major part of what the public knows about her (it’s certainly been hyped by her supporters who would rather steer attention away from her judicial philosophy and past accomplishments), so the Wall Street Journal ran a picture of her playing softball.
A WOMAN playing SOFTBALL! Why, that’s the same as calling her a lesbian! After all, what kind of heterosexual woman would play softball? Haven’t you heard that nasty slur, “Diamond Dykes?”
Yeah, me neither. ‘Cuz I just made it up, I think.
The “female athletics are dominated by lesbians” myth has been around a long, long time. Softball, tennis, golf — all are supposed to be hotbeds of predatory gay women.
Me, I wouldn’t know. I have a tremendous apathy towards sports in general. But really, who cares?
The point is, hardly anyone is discussing Kagan’s sexuality in the context of her qualifications for the bench. But that’s not keeping Obama supporters from trying to push their little fantasy that that’s at the core of opposition to her.
It’s reminiscent of how the left treats the Tea Party movement. There, the “sin” they’re pushing as the core of the movement isn’t homophobia, but racism. In both cases, they’re taking something that’s a factor for a very tiny fraction of the group and pushing it as the unifying factor.
And why are they doing it? Because they think that that’s a fight they can win. If they can make the fight about homophobia or racism, then they have a better shot at victory.
That it’s a lie is utterly irrelevant to them. What matters is that they win.
But back to Kagan. She’s in line for a position that she will hold for several decades, in all likelihood, and hold major influence on the lives of all Americans for those decades. Before we grant her that tremendous power, we should scrutinize her very, very carefully and find out as much as we can about her philosophies, her beliefs, her formative experiences, her opinions, her past words and deeds.
Whether she prefers “innies” or “outies,” “pointers” or “setters,” doesn’t enter into it. And we should treat those who want to make that an issue with the contempt and derision they deserve.
And while she has no adopted children whose records we could poke through, I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t have a history of video rentals or library books borrowed we could examine for insights. After all, it’s already been established as fair game…