Socialism &

On Matters of Gender, the Utter Silliness of Elena Kagan

The grand impresario P.T. Barnum would be amazed by the grandstanding, the scripted theatrics, and dexterous maneuvers, in short the grand and gaudy spectacle of what passes for a Supreme Court hearing these days.

It was less than a year ago that our nation was treated to the wonderment of Sonia Sotomayor, the first female Hispanic with a “compelling personal story” ever nominated to serve on the High Court.

Sitting before the Judiciary Committee, Sotomayor executed deft rhetorical summersaults in an effort to explain away her “wise Latina” remark. Then she regaled the astonished senators with the subtle yet profound logic that informed her decision to rule against the New Haven firemen who had been denied a promotion in the name of anti-white racism affirmative action.

Sotomayor was eventually confirmed by the full Senate with a solid 68-31 margin.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, cast your eye to the center ring. There, a sight to behold -- Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who is now being nominated by President Obama as his second Supreme Court nominee.

Regarding Obama’s most recent paean to gender equality, the Washington Times noted that Kagan “is too political, too leftist, too inexperienced and too disrespectful towards existing law to be confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

But lack of qualification should never be allowed to become an impediment to good ol’ fashioned fun. And remember, the Show Must Go On!

Last week’s hearings featured many scintillating moments of logic-defying acrobatics. One of the most memorable was the exchange that took place on Wednesday between Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, and Elena Kagan.

To probe her fitness for office, Klobuchar first quizzed the High Court nominee how many women sat on the Supreme Court in 1980. Having been coached in advance of the likelihood of this question, Kagan stated the correct answer: Zero.

Next question: How many women were members of the U.S. Senate in 1980? Zero, Elena Kagan shot back at her Grand Inquisitor.

(The correct answer was actually One. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas had been elected to the Senate in 1978. But she was Republican, which renders her membership in the female gender suspect. But Klobuchar’s query was merely a set-up for the grand finale, so it didn’t really matter how Kagan answered the question.)

Now cue to an ever-deafening drum-roll as we approach the acme of Sen. Klobuchar’s wisdom: “I think there’s no question that women have greater opportunities now, although they could be made greater still.”

To which Ms. Kagan rendered this memorable opinion on the state of gender equality in American law firms: “there’s just not the kind of diversity anybody would want.”

Of course, any first year law student could have pointed out the inconvenient truth that women now outnumber men in law schools. And any truthful soul might have remarked that most female lawyers possess not the slightest desire to grind out 40 billable hours each and every week, a dreary task that is requisite to becoming a partner in any high-profile legal firm.

But no, the Script of the Sisterhood stoutly discourages such embellishments on the well-honed meme of female disadvantage.

Commenting on the hearing, Kathyrn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, later deplored Klobuchar’s “reveling in the same kind of political victimhood that frequently seems to perversely empower liberal women who work in Washington.”

And writing in the New York Observer, Ann Coulter once made this observation: “If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

Being the chivalrous, fair-minded individual that I am, I would of course never endorse such a radical proposal. But after contemplating the sheer folly of the Klobuchar-Kagan repartee, I’m beginning to wonder if Ms. Coulter may indeed have a point.

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Carey Roberts probes and lampoons political correctness. His work has been published frequently in the Washington Times,,,, Intellectual Conservative, and elsewhere. He is a staff reporter for the New Media Network. You can contact him at E-Mail

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