Sotomayor and her supporters have been explaining away her 32 words as some sort of slip of the tongue. That isn’t going to fly now that the questionnaire with all her past speeches has been released. Turns out that she said the same phrase and similar versions of it again and again and again.
So the president and lots of other people, including the nominee perhaps, were being less than accurate in portraying this as a “poor choice of words.” In fact, it makes you wonder if the administration spinners, like Harry Reid, had avoided reading the speeches. If so, how could they have sent out the president, the nominee and the senators to spin the “Whoops, slip of the tongue!” explanation?
Now we have two issues: what she meant in these speeches and whether Sotomayor herself was misleading Senators in her visits on Capitol Hill. Well, her helpful supporters might argue that she didn’t say, “it was a poor choice of words that I only said once.” But the implication was clear. She was attempting to pass it off as a singular goof. Plainly, however, this was a sentiment very close to her heart. And one which is now very problematic. Really, what a bafflingly maladroit move. It is bad enough she doesn’t believe in impartiality. Doesn’t she believe in the part about telling the truth, the whole truth?