Sonia Sotomayor: Play Ball

Well, the Prez got my attention yesterday when he announced his SCOTUS nomination. He said Sonia Sotomayor saved baseball with her ruling that ended the MLB strike in 1994/95. Ah, that may be true nationally and for the long run. But it’s going to take more than that — most likely a late-inning relief pitcher who can actually get an out in a critical situation — to save the season of the floundering Cleveland Indians this year.

Oops. I just wanted to join the chorus opining about Sotomayor — without as yet really giving any thought to whether she warrants lifetime tenure on the high court. My bad. Yet typical.

And there is a point here. Information — accurate or not — moves so quickly these days that you can’t afford to trail the story for even a few hours, let alone days, if you want to shape public perceptions on people and issues. It’s a lesson that businesses need to learn and practice, particularly those prone to shitstorm meltdowns because of customer service lapses and so on.

The public advocacy groups get it. Even before Obama cleared his throat to make the announcement Tuesday morning, those opposing the nomination of Justice Sotomayor were already stepping up to the plate, as reported on a NYT politics blog, The Caucus Blog.

Conservative groups reacted with sharp criticism on Tuesday morning. “Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written,” said Wendy E. Long, counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network. “She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one’s sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.”

Wendy, chill. Sotomayor saved baseball. WTF.

Anyway, I have, from Twitter, blogs, TV talking heads, NYT and so on, a perception of Sonia Sotomayor: educated at Princeton and Yale, born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium in a working class family, Hispanic, left of center justice (whatever that means), tough, fair, appointed by the first Bush and so on. But outside of her saving baseball — and shafting former OSU star Maurice Clarett — I know next to nothing about her as a judge.

Maybe that will come later. But I’m not sure it will matter. Unless there is a major skeleton or big tax issue hiding in the judge’s closet, it’s going to be awfully difficult for Republicans — particularly those who cling to the fading dream that they can ever get elected or re-elected — to oppose the nomination. Why?

Justice Sotomayor is a woman, Hispanic, educated at Yale and Harvard, someone who grew up in the shadow of Yankee Stadium in a working class family.

And she saved baseball.

Play Ball!

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