Salon's Walsh Jumps the Shark -- Calls GOP Senators Bigots for Invoking Manhattan's Upper West Side

Did you know that calling attention to an area where a Supreme Court justice nominee is from, which happens to be a well-known bastion of liberalism, is bigoted?

If you didn't, you want to take a look at the wisdom of's Joan Walsh.  In her June 28 post “It's not even coded bigotry anymore,” Walsh argued that references to SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan's Upper West Side of Manhattan roots are bigoted –since the neighborhood has Jewish features, references to it are anti-Semitic and as she puts it, “not even coded.”

“That said, Republicans on the Senate Judicial Committee are trying to make the case she's outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence, by attacking her clerking for (and admiring) legal giant Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice, while singling her out as a denizen of 'Manhattan's Upper West Side' – you know, the neighborhood known for Zabar's and bagels and, well, Jews,” Walsh wrote.

Walsh wasn't clear about what she thinks these Senate Republicans are trying to accomplish. Conventional wisdom suggests Kagan will be easily confirmed, but pointing out the neighborhood she is from, with documented evidence of having an ideological liberal leaning, is going to accomplish what?

She also took a stab at ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, with her own efforts to be coded – by invoking his middle name, “Beauregard.” (Remember when liberals hemmed and hawed over using President Barack Obama's middle name, “Hussein,” as if that were a coded effort to suggest he was Muslim?) Her beef with Sessions was that he voiced his disapproval of judicial activism.

“Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama, who wasn't crazy about Sonia Sotomayor, you'll recall, denounced Kagan having 'associated herself with well-known activist judges who have used their power to redefine the meaning of our constitution and have the result of advancing that judge's preferred social policies,' and he cited Marshall, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund leader who argued Brown vs. Board of Education,” Walsh wrote.

Therefore with that evidence, Walsh declared any GOP senator that opposes Kagan a bigot.

“So there you have it. Unable to find any personal statements by Kagan they can use to prove she's beyond the pale, so to speak – no 'wise Latina' moments on her transcripts – they deride her for coming from the Upper West Side, and admiring one of the heroes of American justice, who happens to be black,” Walsh wrote. “Stay tuned for more not-so-coded bigotry from the GOP.”

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