The Washington Post's Dana Milbank found Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs' tongue-tie-ups over questions about Sonia Sotomayor's supremacist race theories -- namely, that the "rich experiences" of the "wise Latina woman" make her a better judge than the "white male" -- worth reporting more or less verbatim. The questions carommed off Newt Gingrich's contention that the Supreme Court nominee should withdraw.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich joined the chorus. "A white man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw," he wrote on his blog. "Latina woman racist should also withdraw."
Yesterday afternoon, the matter spilled into the White House briefing room. "Are you familiar with Newt Gingrich's blog?" asked CBS News's Chip Reid.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs smiled at the very notion. "I am not, no," he said.
Reid told Gibbs of Gingrich's proposal for Sotomayor to withdraw, and the presidential spokesman responded with a warning for Gingrich and "anybody involved in this debate to be exceedingly careful with the way in which they've decided to describe different aspects of this impending confirmation."
Gibbs proceeded to work his way through the various White House talking points on the nominee: "Federal judicial experience that exceeds any nominee for 100 years. Strict adherence to precedent. . . . Common sense and open-minded decisions. . . . Keen intellect." As for Sotomayor's critics, the spokesman taunted, "I'm not sure what number they graduated in their class at Princeton, but my sense is it's not second."
Missing from Gibbs's answer was any attempt to explain or defend the 32 words. ...
The White House issued a campaign-style memo titled "What They're Saying About Judge Sotomayor." In it were phrases such as "first-rate" and "bold and brilliant." Naturally, there was no mention of the matters that were fueling the opposition -- Sotomayor's opinion that the "Court of Appeals is where policy is made," and her thoughts on the superior judgment of Latinas.
"Are you saying that there is no racial dimension and there should be no racial dimension interpreted or drawn from Judge Sotomayor's comments?" Fox's Major Garrett asked Gibbs.
Gibbs ducked the question, directing Garrett to "read the full article" and advising reporters: "I think we can all move past YouTube snippets and half-sentences and actually look at the honest-to-God record."
April Ryan of American Urban Radio shouted back at the press secretary: "These are words that she said out of her mouth!"
Gibbs would have done well to mention Sotomayor's line in that same speech in which she said that "we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group." But Gibbs evidently wasn't prepared, for all he said when pressed to explain the 32 words was "I think -- I -- I have confidence in Americans reading not just part of, but the whole statement."
As Ryan continued to hector Gibbs, the spokesman grew testy, telling her, "You're not understanding even remotely the full context of what she said in that debate."
Actually, it was a speech, but that was the least of Gibbs's troubles. The questioning had drawn the interest of ABC News's Jake Tapper, who said he had read the entire speech but was still "wondering if you can explain what she meant."
Gibbs ducked again, telling the reporters that the speech was "about the unique experiences that she has" and again recommending people "look at her whole record" in its "totality."
"You're not spinning us," Tapper complained. "We're asking you, spin us! Explain what you think she meant."
"I have done that," Gibbs said.
But he'll have to do better to make the 32 words go away.
I surely hope the Senate Judiciary Committee, GOP side, is taking notes, fast and furiously. It is of vital importance not to rubber stamp the elevation of identity politics to identity courts--Identity Supreme Court, in this instance. The point is, such race theories make it impossible for justice to be blind -- and therefore just. Such a belief disqualifies Sotomayor for a seat on the Supreme Court.
And there's more to ask Judge Sotomayor about. An ABA bio of Sotomayor from "National Hispanic Heritage Month 2000" lists her a member of the national council of La Raza--which means "the race"--a radical Hispanic group that, among other "raza" supremacist things, supports all manner of rights for illegal aliens as Michelle Malkin details here, Haven't heard anything about this membership, what with all the stories about Sotomayor's devotion to Nancy Drew and Perry Mason. If true, however, such advocacy flouts US sovereignty -- another reason to oppose this nominee.