Learning a foreign language, if you’ve ever tried, is really hard. Meanwhile, it’s clearly also important for people living in the United States of America to do their best to learn to speak and read standard American English. But this takes hard work. Sonia Sotomayor, like many Americans, was born into a Spanish-dominant family. But she worked hard, learned English, went to Princeton, then Yale Law School, then had a successful career as a lawyer, as a District Court judge, as an Appeals Court judge, and now as a Justice of the Supreme Court. This is, as I’ve said before, a good inspirational story that parents are going to tell their kids to encourage them to work hard in school.
Unless, that is, you’re Pat Buchanan in which case you take a cute story about Sotomayor spending her summers re-reading classic children’s books she hadn’t had a chance to read as a kid and turn it into a pretext to mock her:
Amanda Terkel reminds us that normally Buchanan claims that Hispanics need to work harder to learn English. But faced with an actual example of someone working to learn English, he has nothing but scorn and spite.
Meanwhile, Buchanan also thinks a vote against Sotomayor would be a vote for the white working class. In the real world, of course, despite the attention on “hot button” social issues, the bulk of federal litigation has to do with economic matters. As Jeffrey Toobin wrote of John Roberts:
After four years on the Court, however, Roberts’s record is not that of a humble moderate but, rather, that of a doctrinaire conservative. The kind of humility that Roberts favors reflects a view that the Court should almost always defer to the existing power relationships in society. In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff.
It’s not clear to me why consistently siding with corporate defendants would count as a blow for the interests of the white working class.