When I heard that Republicans (led by our old friend, Senator John Cornyn) were planning to use New Haven firefighter Frank Ricci as another posterchild (in the vein of Joe the Plumber) to use against Sonia Sotomayor in her Congressional confirmation hearings, I thought to myself “Self… I bet they won’t bother to look into his history, which the ‘mainstream MSM’ media will undoubtedly uncover.”
Lo and behold…
Slate has an excellent article up on this issue; it turns out our friend Frank is well-versed on the workings of the American legal system- by way of having filed about several other lawsuits on a variety of discrimination charges against several different municipalities’ fire departments.
I’m not sure about you guys, but personally, I am shocked- SHOCKED!- and outraged that the media would look into the history of employment discrimination lawsuits filed by a person who has been asked to appear before Congress at the confirmation hearings of a Supreme Court justice due to an employment discrimination lawsuit.
So it begins, eh? Another everyman dares to oppose Obama and his minions, only to be attacked on every level possible, as viciously as can be imagined!
Or so the argument from the Republicans will go; I’ve seen it tooling up already. Honestly, I don’t give a damn about this guys’ litigious history, and I’m a little wary about “going after him”. Veins of Grame Frost, Anita Hill, et all, and all. My problem lies within the hypocrisy of the GOP, and the irony that a serial plaintiff (on Civil Rights issues, no less!) suddenly becomes central to their attacks on Ms. Sotomayor.
A friend of mine (and fellow conservative), however, had about the best retort on this issue that I’ve ever seen:
It’s not the people, it’s what they represent. For all of the talk from the Right about how Obama has built a cult of personality around himself, the GOP rump has become obsessed with their celebrities. They stop being people and instead become archetypes: The Maverick, the Hockey Mom, the Beauty Queen, the Governator, the Plumber. It doesn’t matter who these people actually are, it only matters that they say the right things.
It doesn’t matter that Joe the Plumber isn’t named Joe, isn’t a Plumber, doesn’t own his own business and would have received a tax cut under Obama’s plan. It only matters that he play the role of the down-trodden every man who spoke “truth” to the face of power.
It doesn’t matter than Sarah Palin is a vindictive, incurious buffoon who is utterly unqualified to be President. It only matters that she wink and mention tax cuts as the solution to every problem.
And it doesn’t matter that that the New Haven Fire Department felt they were stuck between a rock and a hard place, that Sotomayor made her ruling based on established precedent and that a stronger argument could be made that the SCOTUS engaged in judicial activism. It only matters that Fireman Frank is the Poor White Man bullied by affirmative action.
It’s obsessive. It’s ignorant. It’s unhealthy and it’s destroying the GOP. The Party needs leaders, not action heroes. This country needs leaders who will offer 21st century solutions to 21st century problems, not ideological Paris Hilton’s who are just in it for the fame.
And so we mock them as the facades they are. Maybe it’s the wrong way to go about it, but then again, maybe some of you nitwits will rediscover your sense of shame.
On behalf of disgruntled and disenchanted Republicans everywhere, all I can say to that is: