RachelWatch: Dread Sonia

Today: Rachel dissects the conservative freakout over Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

The Obaminee

Rachel gave us a quick refresher on the balance of the Supreme Court with a whiskey sour metaphor that’s actually kind of great. (Though I dispute the idea that archconservatives make things sweeter.)

Senator Barbara Boxer (D – Califorgetaboutgaymarriage) joined Rachel to say that new nominee Sonia Sotomayor won’t be crazy-conservative, and to give a quick reaction to the California Supreme Court’s decision on Prop 8. (SPOILER: Boo.)

I share Rachel’s amazement that we’ve allowed Republicans to frame the argument as “Is she conservative enough?” Even after the Republican spanking at the ballot box in November. Dems, any chance you could nard up and make a little noise? Or at least stand firm until we get the court to the left of Genghis Kahn again?

For those needing a little ammo to fight the dumb-ass arguments about how Sotomayor is so terribly scary and biased because she’s female and Latina, please enjoy this think piece by frequent Maddow guest and expert skewerer of dumbassery Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

We Begged You To Send Him to Costa Rica

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich won’t let go of the news cycle no matter how many times people whap at his fingers with hammers. Turns out Senator Roland Burris and Brother of Blagojevich may have had the kind of talk you really don’t want to have when the wiretaps are on. Don’t people know to use clever codes like Pig Latin or Ubbi Dubbi?


And just when Rachel had me firmly behind Sonia Sotomayor, Ms. Maddow mentioned Sotomayor’s support of Bush’s global gag rule. That’s the trouble with not just picking a shouty person to go with: Really looking into a Supreme Court nominee’s record can make your head explode.

The excellent Dahlia Lithwick of Slate.com stopped in to add a needed note of sanity and dismantle the “empathy” criticism. And also to earn double bonus points by using the word “unhinged.”

As bold as the insidious anti-woman talk has already gotten, I’m really looking forward to the nutbags (and the opportunists) stepping it up over the next month or two.

$10 on someone using the word “hysteria.” And another $20 on someone who read only the first paragraph of an article on male and female brains whining that Sotomayor is guaranteed to think in a particular way.

Ms. Information

As you may have heard, the California State Supreme Court ruled 6-1 to uphold the Prop 8 gay marriage ban. The more than 18,000 marriages that happened during the five-month window when gay marriage was legal are still valid.

Which means there are now two classes of people in California, and two tiers of people in the second class. Nope. shouldn’t cause any future legal problems at all.

There were protest rallies across the country Tuesday. Rachel reported that hundreds of people were arrested in San Francisco, including dozens of clergy.

Which can’t possibly be true because just yesterday someone informed me via Twitter that supporting gay rights springs from a grave disorder that makes you naturally against Jesus Christ.

I’m sure Ms. Maddow will issue a correction tomorrow.

Rachel also plugged the Meet in the Middle rally in Fresno this Saturday, noting their devilishly clever tactic of appealing to map dorks.

And just to add a little perspective to your day and scare the bejabbers out of you, Rachel reported that North Korea has detonated a nuclear weapon.

Sure, that gives you free-floating anxiety during the daytime, but what about something closer to home to haunt your dreams and make you sit bolt-upright in bed covered in a sheen of sweat? No problem! Rachel detailed the Canadian Governor General’s consumption of the raw heart of a freshly slaughtered seal.

This was allegedly to show her solidarity with the Inuit, but was clearly to make sure that no one ever messes with Canada ever, ever again lest they plunge their icy fists into our abdomens and tear out our livers for sustenance.

Scaring up Money

Hey, we’re really rolling with that fear theme! Rachel seemed to be of the opinion that the high-pitched shrieking triggered by Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination might just have a little something to do with whipping up the conservative base until they become so agitated that their wallets fly open.

She illustrated this with The Flashlight of Doom, always a welcome prop.

Senator Byron Dorgan (D – North Dakota) was charmingly easygoing about the flashlight thing, and seemed fairly convinced that all the noise is just political theater. Why can’t it ever be pantomime?

A more real danger, according to Dorgan, would be failing to clean up the mess we caused with two Presidents’ worth of bipartisan deregulation. Just in case you didn’t have enough things to be quietly freaking about.


Need a break from all the veiled racism you’ve been seeing in reaction to Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination? How about some overt racism? Former Governor Mike Huckabee wrote about “Maria” Sotomayor’s nomination on his website.

At least the aw-shucks super nice guy act he pulls out on talk shows is pretty much destroyed.

The wonderful Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post dropped in to talk about exactly how creepy this is all going to get.

Just Enough

Appropriately enough for a day when gay rights lost out, Kent Jones did a story on impressive beards.

Looks like they’re coming back in style. But only until 2010.