It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other..
Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities”
Good old Mr Dickens probably had no idea that this quote, written regarding Paris and London during the American Revolution, would be so applicable today in our polarized society here in the land that was winning its freedom back then. This polarization has been so completely demonstrated by the hero worship of the last two days that it is almost overwhelming. Or should I say heroine.
Woman One – Comes from nothing and by hard work (and affirmative action) goes to the best college and law school and works her way up through the judicial ranks till she now sits as a nominee for the Supreme Court, the highest level in her chosen profession.
Woman Two – Comes from nothing, goes to a variety of schools, works her way through the leadership ranks up from PTA president to Governor of our largest state and was recently considered for the 2nd highest office in the land.
I am reserving judgement on Woman One. I do that because like Senator Sessions said yesterday, I don’t really know which woman we have sitting before us in the court. Is she the strong Latina woman who is ferocious on the bench and very defensive of and proactive for her race/gender? Or is she the reasoned, amiable, thoughtful, sincere woman who seems to lean solely on judicial precedent in deciding her cases that we see before us in the hearings? I think she is probably both and perhaps the least of evils in the candidates Barack Obama was considering. She is also likely to be confirmed because the GOP is afraid of alienating Hispanic voters it would like to reach. To that I say, hogwash! By the way, President Obama was crazy like a fox in nominating someone who could not say much of anything definitive in the hearings because she was “not at liberty to comment” as a sitting appellate judge.
I am also reserving judgement on Woman Two. I would like to see what her long-term plans are and am watching to see those played out daily. For the most part I am a supporter and will probably become more so as she gets her independent political legs back under her and does things in whatever way she sees fit and in whatever ways work best for her family. She is also a dichotomy. She is a seasoned leader who can light up a room with her oratory and win people with a touch and a smile and a look in the eye. She is also a woman who can bristle when attacked and strike back. She is comfortable in formal dress or hip waders and seems to be the same person no matter the apparel.
Two strong women. In this day and age of enlightenment, you would think that both would be celebrated and treated with the highest respect for their achievements. But no, things aren’t always what you expect.
One is revered by many of her race (not all, by far) and practically worshipped in her hearings by those in her party and of her (probable) belief systems. She is given high fives by the liberal pundits, Twitterers and bloggers cause heck – they like her! Her more conservative jurors in the panel grill her hard, but with respect and those Twittering and bogging against generally try to show the same respect with the worst I’ve seen being that “she is an activist and looks like Roseanne Barr”. The conservative pundits (at least on TV – haven’t listened to any talk radio lately) are actually trying to examine her judicial record before making any pronouncements.
The other, from the moment she stepped onto the national stage has either been worshipped or reviled by the public, attacked by the pundits, Twitterers and Bloggers on the left and slightly higher than tolerated by conservative media and the leaders in her own party. She has been called – and I am going to be precise here – a slut, whore, MILF, moron, idiot, bad mother, retard – and those are just a few, especially from the Twittering crowd and those like Olberman and Matthews. Since she went back to govern her home state, she has been assaulted by claims of ethics violations. She only went back home because the man she was running with was not strong enough or different enough to win the highest seat in the land, not because of any lacking of her own. In fact she is the one that brought about the resurgence of the ticket. Throughout the campaign she bit her tongue about the vile attacks. Now that she is breaking free of the constraints of her office – I say, go get em. No female in the public eye has been subjected to this level of hate and vulgarity and had that hate transferred to her children. When she dares to actually publish a column in an MSM paper the outcry is not against her concepts, but that “this moron” could possibly have written it. This same woman was a journalism major in school, battled through complex contracts with energy firms and was able to go off prompter at the most pressure filled moment of her life at the national convention.
So what is the difference between these two remarkable women? There are only a few that I can see, and from what I know of women’s causes, they should be celebrated. Sarah Palin was able to achieve high office and fight the old boy network in her own party to achieve the highest office in her state while being a faithful wife and mother of five children and maintaining a close relationship with her family. Sonia Sotomayor has achieved this opportunity to be heard for the highest possible seat in her profession while being totally devoted to that profession and her extended family.
Oh wait, there are a few other differences. Sarah is extremely attractive, has a hunky loving husband, is incredibly physically fit, can birth a baby and go to work two days later, is spunky, funny and yes, folksy. Isn’t folksy something some of our most accomplished politicians have been? She also firmly believes in the right to life. She believes that so strongly that while doubting her own ability with Trig, she made the hard decision to have him at 42, at the same time as helping her daughter make the same decision. So two children who could have never entered the world, now have and are loved beyond measure. That debate is for a whole other blog post, but it remains a polarizing idea. She also believes that the United States is the greatest nation on earth, will defend it to the death and that it’s constitution is the supreme law of the land, not needing any assistance from the “international community”. She believes in the right to bear arms and to protect your property.
Sonia Sotomayor has done none of the above nor was she able to speak a firm belief in the Right to Life, the 2nd amendment or the Constitution being the overarching legal idea in our country.
Why do liberals and conservative elite hate Sarah Palin so much? Possibly because of all of the above. Why do they respect Sonia Sotomayor so much? Possibly because of all of the above.