Wednesday, June 17, 2009



So GOP senators are in high dudgeon regarding Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s membership in something called the Belizean Grove, a group, society, or club of professionals that excludes men from its membership. We are supposed to somehow believe that the party of small government, conservative values, and individual freedom and responsibility is somehow appalled at the notion that citizens of this once great nation should have the freedom to join whatever types of clubs they want, even if those clubs define their exclusivity by the types of people to whom they deny membership.

One would have to be as disingenuous as the spinmeisters coaching these paragons of probity in the upper house to believe that these poltroons are offended at Ms. Sotomayor’s membership in an exclusive club. What is really going on is an infantile game of tit for tat: We’ll show those guardians of political correctness who effectively destroyed the old men’s clubs that once were a ubiquitous feature in our society, and to which many of us, and our Democratic colleagues, belonged. If we can’t have our men’s clubs any more, then, damn it, they can’t have women’s clubs.

To the extent that these GOPers believe anything, they probably agree with those of us who believe that, in a free society, people ought to be able to join any club they want, even if that club excludes women, men, whites, blacks, gays, straights, Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, or Irish. If these self-professed champions of limited government and quaint old traditions like freedom of association were to stand up and declare these beliefs, they would certainly win the admiration, and votes, of a sizable chunk of the populace and, even if they didn’t, they would enjoy the satisfaction that comes from standing on principle regardless of price. But to do so would require that these cowering weather vanes act like adults rather than narcissistic children, and to do so would deny their very nature; if they weren’t fundamentally narcissistic children, they wouldn’t have pursued the profession of politics.

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