Right-wing critics of Judge Sonia Sotomayor seem to have abandoned their strategy of calling her a racist, and have re-focused on other non-issues in their doomed effort to stop her nomination to the Supreme Court. Pat Buchanan, who has been visibly chafing at the prospect of having a Latina Supreme Court justice, has repeatedly declared to anyone who'll listen that Sotomayor is not up to the job intellectually, and that she doesn't really understand American values (she is, of course, a native-born American, just not a white one like Buchanan would prefer), insinuating that her nomination is, in effect, a form of affirmative action. Others in the GOP have criticized President Obama for saying he wanted a judge with "empathy."
The fact, as is apparent from listening to both Sotomayor and her critics of the FauxNews ilk, is that she's way brighter than her detractors (quick question: does Sean Hannity have his GED yet?), as evidenced by her summa cum laude degree from Princeton and her editing gig at the Yale Law Review. As New York Observer writer Joe Conason noted, she also "overcame disadvantages that suburban sons and daughters of privilege (such as Coulter and Limbaugh) probably cannot even imagine."
As for the judge being an "affirmative action" nominee who is unqualified for the position and is being rushed along in her career because of her ethnic background, Sotomayor's critics seem to be confusing her nomination with the 1991 nomination by Pres. George H.W. Bush of the painfully inadequate Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court or maybe the naming of goofball Michael Steele to head the Republican National Committee.
By the way that "empathy" thing? When Bush the First announced Thomas' nomination, he noted that the judge "is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor." That compliment, and reason for supporting Thomas, was echoed by GOP Sen. John Danforth who said, "His empathy is with the disadvantaged people of this country. He would bring a perspective to the Supreme Court which nobody else brings." Now, will the GOP kindly get off Sotomayor's butt? Of course they won't; what was I thinking?