Back in 1970, Senator Hruska of Nebraska defended a Republican nominee to the Supreme Court as follows.
''Even if he were mediocre,'' Mr. Hruska declared, ''there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos.''
Senator Hruska didn't go so far as to use "stupid" instead of "mediocre," but would the same argument hold if he had? That is the issue before us today. That is, should President Obama have nominated a person of really knuckle dragging stupidity to represent his critics? (How's that for a straw man?)
Today, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is being attacked by many Republicans because she has been nominated by a Democratic president. They have found many grounds for inflicting wounds upon her.
Some call her a racist because she once said that a Latino woman could enrich the judicial wisdom of a court dominated by white men.
One opined that she might base her judgments upon emotion (well, she is a woman, isn't she?).
One compared her to GW Bush's ill fated and singularly unqualified nominee, Harriet Miers (well, they have some things in common: they are both women and they were both nominated by a president).
Some attack her as a judicial activist because she once declared that the Federal Appeals Courts make policy (but they do).
Now, I do not feel the need to defend Mrs. Sotomayor because I do not know her and because Obama is too skillful a politician to nominate anyone who is not superbly qualified.
My point is this: these Republicans really are knuckle dragging stupid. I do not say that because the Republican Party is the plutocratic party. I do not say that because the Republican Party is the party of fundamentalist ideologues. No, there is much more to it.
The Republican attacks will alienate two very important segments of the electorate. Latinos are the largest and the fastest growing minority group. Women are a slight majority of the electorate.
Furthermore, absent any new and very damaging revelations, Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed by the Senate. They are doing little more than baying at the moon, and much to their own detriment! Are such dunces qualified for national leadership?
Have I missed something important?