Air America radio host Montel Williams displayed a brain cramp last Thursday on the Sonia Sotomayor nomination. He suggested the Constitution protects the right of the president to nominate Supreme Court justices and "doesn’t have to get it cleared from Congress, Senate or anybody."
Montel at least suggested his awareness that there is such a thing as a Senate confirmation process (without recalling it was created by Article II of the Constitution). He also suggested Sotomayor’s critics from Gingrich to Buchanan were racists who might want to go back to the days of segregation. Here’s his Constitution-mangling quote:
People seem to forget that this is one of those things that's protected by the Constitution of the United States. The president has the right to select who he wants. [He] doesn't have to get it cleared from Congress, Senate or anybody...No president before this has come under this kind of scrutiny...before the committee hearings even begin.
A few minutes earlier, he played audio of Pat Buchanan calling Sotomayor an affirmative-action pick, and took exception to Newt Gingrich calling it a racist comment to insist that a wise Latina would make a better decision than a white male. Montel suggested conservatives are nostalgic for a time when racial minorities were second-class citizens:
Do you want to take us back, Newt? You want to go back to before Thurgood Marshall, when it [the Court] was all white? How about you, Buchanan?...
The country still had segregation laws. We still had separate-but-equal laws. We still had Jim Crow laws. Is that what you're saying? Are you so angry that you lost that the only image of America you can remember that makes you feel good is when it's as racist as you [are] when you open your mouth?...
The majority of all this rhetoric has nothing to do with anything other than racism.
Montel has a pattern of disparaging Gingrich.
[Hat tip: Saddam Has AIDS]