To be clear, when I say that the conservative movement has a lot to offer people who are convinced that poor Puerto Rican women growing up in Bronx housing projects get a lot of unfair advantages in life, I’m not kidding.
Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard and Stuart Taylor of National Journal are genuinely engaged in an Ahab-like quest to smoke out examples of the “preferential treatment” of which Sotomayor has been such a beneficiary.
Beyond the simple observation that conservatives really and truly are fanatical in their defense of the prerogatives of white people, the obvious observation to make is that everyone in life has been treated preferentially by someone at some point. Sometimes if you face a lot of disadvantages in life, people recognize that and extend you an extra helping hand. Or maybe, like John Roberts, you were educated at a private boarding school before attending Harvard. Or maybe you’re Irving Kristol’s son. Or maybe because your ideology pleases Rupert Murdoch, he agrees to cover the losses of the magazine you work at. The only reasonable question to ask about someone like Sotomayor is whether or not you think it’s reasonable to conclude that, on balance, poor minority women benefit from more special advantages in life than do middle class white men. I think that would be a difficult case to make. It’s hard to look at the composition of the United States Senate, or the Washington Post and New York Times op-ed pages, or the roster of Fortune 500 CEOs and reach the conclusion that the system has been working overtime to promote underqualified Latinos into positions of prominence. Unless, that is, you want to argue that we’re so intrinsically deficient in our ability that we’re structurally underrepresented despite the massive advantages we receive in life. Maybe that’s what Goldfarb really thinks.
My guess, though, is that they haven’t thought this through at all. And that one reason they haven’t thought this through at all is that to the best of my knowledge there are no Hispanics working in high levels at The Weekly Standard and thus nobody around to point out what an ass he’s being.