Who said the cable networks were predictable? The Elena Kagan nomination has drawn surprising fire from Obama-friendly Roland Martin of CNN, and surprising praise from Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl. In a CNN.com commentary, Martin hammered Kagan's record of hiring a pile of whites at Harvard Law:
Guy-Uriel Charles, founding director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics, has heavily scrutinized Kagan's hiring record as head of Harvard Law School. In a scathing blog post, he has said that of the 29 positions Kagan had a chance to fill, 28 were white and one was Asian-American. And of the group, only six were women -- five white and one Asian-American.
These numbers on the surface are appalling, and would be ripped to shreds by those who value diversity, but my gut tells me that even though Kagan has been tapped by Obama, the normally vocal and persistent voices in this area will be tight-lipped and quiet, unwilling to oppose or heavily criticize the nomination of a woman to the court, and especially one made by an African-American Democratic president.
What has gotten into Roland? He sounds like Tavis Smiley all of a sudden, suggesting Obama isn't serving the black community with enough affirmative action:
According to the site, the White House has disseminated talking points stressing that the real issue is not those who took the jobs, but the offers Kagan made. In addition, they highlight the number of other African-Americans on the faculty, as well as the percentage of minority students during her tenure.
So basically, the White House wants everyone to believe that Kagan made offers, but nearly all of the minorities chose not to go to work for the most prestigious law school in America.
Folks, I wasn't born yesterday.
The real issue will be reaction from the left. It is shameful and disgusting when civil rights organizations, feminist groups and others lose their conviction and sense of purpose when a Democrat gets in the White House. They need to decide what matters: their principles or their politics; their mission or their liberal money; their convictions or chicken dinners in the White House.
Lis Wiehl's pro-Kagan testimony on Foxnews.com is more understandable, if overwrought, since they're buddies and play poker.
On the Kagan nomination, its hard for me to stay fair and balanced. Why? I've been a guest in her home many times when teaching and lecturing at Harvard Law School (my alma mater), and I found her to be an absolute gem. The Harvard Law School faculty is a contentious one, filled with large egos. Elena, the first female Dean of the Law School ran it with grace and clarity of judgment, from what I heard and observed.
A little known fact: she would have poker parties in her home, bringing together both liberal and conservative minded professors to hash out their differences over a friendly (if competitive) game....
At Harvard, she was known as an avid listener, who could get to the heart of the matter with a measure of both logical analysis and compassion. Sound like excellent qualifications to me.
Sounds like a good battle with Bill O'Reilly may be brewing. O'Reilly hammered Kagan back in 2004 for kicking the military to the curb at Harvard Law.