It’s not even coded bigotry anymore

The GOP hits Elena Kagan for admiring Thurgood Marshall and hailing from "Manhattan's Upper West Side"

Topics: Elena Kagan,

I’m not entirely sold on Solicitor General Elena Kagan as our newest Supreme Court Justice. Ironically, one of my reservations has to do with her approach to leveling racial discrimination – specifically her reported role in scuttling a Clinton administration plan to do away with sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine (which has meant heavier punishment for African Americans than whites for dealing or using the same drug.)

That said, Republicans on the Senate Judicial Committee are trying to make the case she’s outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence, by attacking her clerking for (and admiring) legal giant Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice, while singling her out as a denizen of “Manhattan’s Upper West Side” – you know, the neighborhood known for Zabar’s and bagels and, well, Jews.

Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama, who wasn’t crazy about Sonia Sotomayor, you’ll recall, denounced Kagan having “associated herself with well-known activist judges who have used their power to redefine the meaning of our constitution and have the result of advancing that judge’s preferred social policies,” and he cited Marshall, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund leader who argued Brown vs. Board of Education. According to Talking Points Memo, Republicans mentioned Marshall an astonishing 35 times in the hearing (compared with 14 mentions of President Obama) with his son, Thurgood Marshall Jr., sitting in the audience.

Sen. Jon Kyl played the culture war card:

“Not only is Ms. Kagan’s background unusual for a Supreme Court nominee, it is not clear how it demonstrates that she has, in the President’s words, ‘a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people.’ One recent article noted that ‘[Ms.] Kagan’s experience draws from a world whose signposts are distant from most Americans: Manhattan’s upper West side, Princeton University, Harvard Law School and the upper reaches of the Democratic legal establishment.’”



Unfortunately, it was Politico’s otherwise smart New Yorker Ben Smith who supplied Kyl with that silly soundbite. But Fox News’s awesome duo of Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier foreshadowed the GOP’s strategy early Monday morning. Here’s how Kelly said she knew Kagan was a liberal:

“Living in New York City, I can speak to this. She grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan. We walked around the upper west side of Manhattan not too long ago. And I asked my husband aloud, ‘Do you think it’s true what they say, that this is… the liberal center of New York City, of one of the most liberal cities, this is the center of it. And at that moment… a woman walked by us with a tee shirt that read, ‘Kill Cheney First.’ So, yes. So I’m gonna say, ‘Yes.’ It is a liberal area and it is the area from which Elena Kagan hails.”

Baier concurred: “So there you have it.”

So there you have it. Unable to find any personal statements by Kagan they can use to prove she’s beyond the pale, so to speak – no “wise Latina” moments on her transcripts – they deride her for coming from the Upper West Side, and admiring one of the heroes of American justice, who happens to be black.

Stay tuned for more not-so-coded bigotry from the GOP.

 

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>