When Pat Buchanan was on the Rachel Maddow show the other night he claimed that Sotomayor was an intellectual lightweight not qualified to be on the Supreme Court who had gotten where she was through affirmative action. Remember, he was talking about a woman who:
Coming from a housing project in the Bronx, Sotomayor ended up graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton. She also was a co-recipient of the M. Taylor Pyne Prize, the highest honor Princeton awards to an undergraduate. Sotomayor then went to Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal and managing editor of the Yale Studies in World Public Order. [the Think Progress blog]
Of course, there is no reason to believe that I am aware of that affirmative action had any role to play at Princeton or Yale in anything other than admissions. Buchanan offers no evidence that Sotomayor was not deserving of her educational achievements other than the fact that she is a minority. If graduating summa cum laude does not prove that you deserved to be there, even though you were admitted through affirmative action, what would? Obviously no level of achievement, no amount of ability and hard work, would be enough.
To black and Hispanic voters the message in this is clear, insofar as Pat Buchanan defines the Republican Party, a Republican administration would be one that thinks that minorities are undeserving per se, just because they are minorities. It is amazing to me that Republican elected officials and Republicans who aspire to be elected seem to be unwilling or unable to counter the damage that racists Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh are doing to the Republican brand.