As frustrating and patronizing as Lindsey Graham has, at times, been in questioning Sonia Sotomayor, he completely rebutted the testimony of Linda Chavez. Chavez is the head of the Center for Equal Opportunity, and she offered the most personally derisive testimony of any of the witnesses called so far. Chavez began her testimony by asserting that "I testify today not as a wise Latina woman, but as an American who believes that skin color and national origin should not determine who gets a job, promotion, or public contract, or who gets into college or receives a scholarship." She also said, "It is clear from Judge Sotomayor’s record that she has drunk deep from the well of identity politics. I know a lot about that well, and I can tell you that it is dark and poisonous."

But when it was Graham's turn to ask Chavez a question, rather than enable further attacks on Sotomayor, he asked her whether Republicans ever make political appointments based on race. Chavez struggled to answer, and Graham interrupted her, saying "I know Republicans sit down and think, 'Let’s make sure everyone in the country knows we aren’t just a party of short white guys."

Chavez tried to argue that this was somehow different when Republicans do it, but Graham was having none of it. He concluded that "Republicans very much do think about [race with] picks and appointments, to show that we’re a party that wants to give people opportunities, and that’s a good thing."

-- A. Serwer

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