Like her or not, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is serving an important function during her confirmation hearings. Her presence, not what she says, has exposed the virulent racism of the most conservative members of the Judiciary Committee.
As has been pointed out here before, the ranking Republican on the committee, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, was denied a federal judgeship by the same committee because he was (and remains) a racist troglodyte who is offended that Sotomayor thinks there are attributes that suggest wisdom other than being a white southern male.
She was accused of being a "bully" from the bench and having an angry disposition by unctuous Sen. Lindsay Graham, the lifelong bachelor with manicured nails and a manner more oily than a small Arab emirate. Graham, this morning, praised Sotomayor's personal story, telling her, "you have come a long way." He didn't add "baby," but he may as well have. Of note, Graham was a national presidential campaign chair for John McCain, whose temperament would have had us reduced to nuclear rubble had he been elected.
Sotomayor told the committee she was inspired as a child by watching Perry Mason on television (and reading Nancy Drew adventures.) Yet when it came time for Sen. Tom Coburn--most recently in the news for counseling adulterer and sexual harrasser Sen. John Ensign to pay off the cuckolded husband--to inject a TV show into the proceedings, he joked that in a hypothetical case in which she claimed self defense for shooting him, "you'd have a lot of 'splainin' to do."
Nice going, Republicans. Going the way of the Whigs.