The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s “All-Stars.”

On whether Republicans should oppose Sonia Sotomayor:

They can and they should. There should be nothing about rumors in liberal magazines about her intellectual capacity, nothing about her temperament, nothing ad hominem. It should be entirely on judicial philosophy.

This ought to be a seminar that ought to focus on two issues — number one, identity politics, as we saw in that clip. She and the president believe that her background is extremely important in her ruling as a judge.

She says that she has the physiological, cultural, experiential tools as a Latina woman to be a superior judge to a white male, which is reflective perfectly of the Democratic Party’s identity politics, in which free citizens are herded into groups, arranged into a hierarchy of wisdom, authority, and entitlement.

That’s a Democratic idea, and I think it’s her idea and ought to be emphasized.

Secondly is the idea that Obama has stressed, and she has, as justice as empathy, as understanding a person’s positions, their needs, their wants, their history, and how a ruling will affect their lives.

That is entirely contrary to the western tradition of justice, which is blind as to the person’s station in life.

Republicans ought to ask her, how do you believe in that, and swear her oath? If she is on the court, she has to swear an oath which says I will solemnly swear I will administer justice without respect to persons and to equal right to poor and rich. That’s what Republicans ought to do, and not attack her in a personal way in any way.

On the politics of relocating Gitmo detainees to the United States:

…A week ago the Democrats were in disarray, and now they are in somewhat of array.

What you see going on is, look, it was either going to be Obama having a humiliating retreat on Guantanamo and declaring it’s going to stay open, or the Senate Democrats having a humiliating retreat and saying we will actually take prisoners in the U.S.

It looks like the Senate is yielding in deference to a president who is new, strong, and they don’t want to unman.

What Harry Reid is doing is creating the premise for a new policy on behalf of the Senate Democrats — accept a few in maximum security prisons and disburse the others.

Look, Republicans have a real opening here, because that position is extremely unpopular, and it is quite nuts. Guantanamo works. Eric Holder, on a visit, said it’s a good facility. Gates has said it is one of the best holding prisons in the world. So why not leave it open? Public opinion has shifted on this.

Republicans ought to seize on this issue and say it makes no sense to close a prison that works, is humane, is open, and would be extremely expensive and dangerous to shut. It’s a win-win if the Republicans play it right.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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