Saturday, May 30, 2009


Some time ago I had a commenter take me to task because I seemed to be implying, with my tea bag posts, that many Republicans were racist and sexist.

And last night, on Bill Maher, I don't know if you saw this one: John Bolton claiming that Sotomayor violated her oath -- she says, after all, that her life and her history and her ethnic background has an influence on what she thinks, how she decides things.  The oath, Bolton tells us, pompously reading it aloud for the ignorant masses who don't know what the oath says, clearly says one does not distinguish between rich and poor, one class or the other: Justice must be blind!

Hill Harper took exception to this interpretation of the circumstances; as did Maher, who pointed out, reading from a citation he had ready, that Justice John Roberts had, in his decisions, sided with the corporations, with the prosecutors, with the state -- in other words, with the patriarchial, white male side, his culture's side -- in every single decision he had made.

Zoomed right over Bolton's head.  See, that's not cultural bias, because white guys don't have cultural bias.  White guys are the culture.  Only people that aren't white guys have cultural bias.

It's like the white hegemonic argument that is getting made over there at RaceFail: we don't want to read SF where the story/characters are all concerned with race or sex, the (white hegemonic male straight) folk are saying.  We just want a good story!

A good story about a white male hegemonic straight culture, doing things of interest to white male hegemonic straight people -- because that's the real culture, those are real people.  That's the only unmarked state, that's the only real POV, to someone like Bolton, and the other Republican, Heather Wilson, who was much more polite, but was saying the same thing.

This came out when Maher brought up Proposition Eight.

Why, he asked, should the religion be involved the business part of marriage at all?  It should, he said, obvious be a civil matter.  The religious part should be entirely separate.  

Heather Wilson came up with a sweet little Right-Wing talking point, which she had obviously used before: "Because," she said, "though we are not all a faithful people, we are all people of faith."

She was going to go on, but Maher, and this is why I keep watching him even though he gets on my nerves sometimes, cut her off: "I'm not," he said.

This unnerved her.  "Well," she said, and was quiet.  Obviously, this line had always worked before -- what to do when it didn't.  After a second she said, "Most of..."

"I'm not," he repeated, "and plenty of America is like me.  More and more."

(I can't find a transcript -- here's his page, maybe you can -- so I'm working from memory.)

"Well," she said again.  "Most Americans--"

"I just don't think you can say we all are," he said.  "We aren't all."

"I am," she said, sweetly, bravely, standing up to the infidel.  "And I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman."

"All right," Maher said, and moved on -- nicely, I thought, instead of pointing out to her, as he might have, that that was all very well, but the country was founded precisely so that she could believe what she wanted, and do what she wanted in her own personal life, not so that she could impose her religious beliefs on the rest of us.

I mean, I'm an atheist.  I don't insist she raise her kids as atheists, do I?  Even though I do think they'd be better off that way?  (And I do, in fact.)

My point -- and I do have one -- is that Wilson and Bolton both have been marked by their culture and their race.  That they don't recognize that flat truth does, in fact, make them less wise as well as less able to make good decisions than Sotomayor, or any other person, of color or otherwise, who is minimally self-aware and introspective.

Sorry.  It just does.

PS/Update: Oh, I forgot the funniest bit of Bill Maher last night: how neither John Bolton nor Wilson would speak against the Sainted Rush Limbaugh when Maher asked them to!  Maher, citing how looney Limbaugh's side of the Republican Party had become, and then mentioning what Colin Powell was trying to do -- create a more sane branch for balance -- asked Bolton and Wilson whether they thought Limbaugh or Powell was the better approach, and neither would say a word against the Great and Powerful Limbaugh.  No! No! One does not take the Name of Rush in Vain!

Hee!  These people are such tools.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

It really pisses me off when the wingnuts question that she, the little woman, can judge fairly because she is, in fact, a woman and not just any woman but a hispanic woman. Also, that they question her statement that judges make the laws. Hello, they do make the law. And I liked that Obama says that they are not going to fuck this up. Not exactly in those words, but he ain't backing down. Go, Obama, go.