Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Cap Times Didn't Get the Memo

And ought to be ashamed of itself. Amidst calls by President Obama and others for greater civility in political discourse, the virtual paper from Madison decided to run an editorial on the Senate's failure to confirm Louis Butler's nomination for federal judgeship. That's certainly a salient topic and there are many interesting things to say about it.

But one of those things is not that the Butler nomination has been held because he is black. There is not a shred of evidence for that. This is not the only nomination that has been held and it is not hard to see why it is being held. While, as I have repeatedly said, Louis Butler is a smart and gifted lawyer, he espouses a judicial philosophy with which many disagree and, during his tenure on the state supreme court, he demonstrated a willingness to pursue it rather aggressively.

We can disagree about that philosophy and about the extent to which it ought to play a role in confirmation proceedings, but that is the issue in the Butler nomination.

Apparently concluding that genuine discourse would be too hard, the Cap Times has decided to play the Confederacy Card. The problem is Jeff Sessions (he's from Alabama) and those other GOP Senators - many of whom are from ... the South! The Cap Times says: "No serious observer doubts that, were Obama to nominate a white male
who was less qualified and less committed to a constitutionally based
application of the rule of law, the Senate would move quickly to
confirm the president’s pick."

Actually, I think that every serious observer doubts - or should doubt - that. Were Louis Butler white, the conservatives opposing him would be just as opposed. If Louis Butler espoused the same judicial philosophy as Clarence Thomas, they would love him (as they love Thomas; he's a rock star at conservative events).

There isn't a shred of evidence to the contrary. This is irresponsible and demagogic calumny. I'm not surprised that the piece is unsigned. If I had anything to do with it, I'd be ashamed too.


David Blaska said...

With the Capital Times, the race card is always face up.

Anonymous said...

Nobody gives a damn about Butler's skin color. They care about what he would do as a federal judge, appointed for life.

Anonymous said...

The Cap Times is simply being consistent with their past defense of an African-American judicial nominee against criticism by southern senators. Oh. Wait. They didn't defend Clarence Thomas against Howell Heflin's attacks.

Proud Progressive said...

I agree that saying they are holding his nomination because he is black is a stretch, just like saying people disagree with his judicial philosophy as the reason they are holding his nomination. I would bet Jeff Sessions has no idea who he even is.

If anyone has been paying attention the last two years, and unfortunately not many have, they would know that the republicans have blocked, obstructed, filibustered, stopped every single thing that they could. The party of "non" is actually an understatement. Its brutally obvious that he is more than qualified. There is a reason even John Roberts of all people have asked for the Republicans to start confirming judges.