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One Last Sotomayor Race Comment

Everyone is by now aware of this Sonia Sotomayor comment:

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

One of the right's rhetorical moves during the Sotomayor debate has been to say that if a white man had said what Sotomayor had said--but exchanged "Latina woman" and "white man"--he would have been instantly disqualified from a nomination (and, for that matter, shunned from polite society). Jonah Goldberg, in his Bloggingheads diavlog with Peter Beinart, makes this very point. Okay, par for the course. Then Goldberg adds:

"I don't think it should necessarily tank her nomination."

Hold it right there: Does Goldberg believe that if a white man had said the same thing, it should tank his nomination? I would presume so. Perhaps we should all recognize, then, that it matters who is making the statement. If conservatives insist on making this point over and over again, it's time they either called for her to withdraw, or publicly stated that a white man is perfectly within the bounds of good taste to make such a remark.

--Isaac Chotiner