Utah’s senior senator, Orrin Hatch, is still catching flak for his first question to Sonia Sotomayor during the hearings on her nomination to the Supreme Court. Surrounded by the usual clamoring media scrum, the senior senator was visibly exasperated as he responded to the fusillade of cynical questioning.
“Gosh, I wish you guys—and I see there’s
some gals here, too—I just wish sometimes
you members of the media would cut me a
little slack. What’s the big deal about asking
Ms. Sotomayor how much she weighs? I
was just trying to break the ice. Goodness,
I remember how riled up everybody got
when I ask Anita Hill about the pubic hair
on the Coke can.
“And speaking of Anita Hill, I think
it’s perfectly understandable why I might
slip up and address that Latina gal, Ms.
Sotomayor, as Ms. Hill. Where I come from
it’s pretty darn difficult to tell these colored
ladies apart. No insult intended toward
Ms. Sotomayor. Besides, if you remember
from those Clarence Thomas hearings, I
made a point of saying how attractive I
thought Anita Hill was, even though she
accused my good friend Clarence Thomas
of indulging in porno.
“The point is, all I wanted to do was toss
Ms. Sotomayor a few softballs before getting
into the nitty-gritty of abortion and
affirmative action. Did you notice that she
very cleverly dodged those questions? So, I
had very little choice but to ask her to recommend
a good Mexican restaurant in the
D.C. area. How was I to know she’s Puerto
Rican? If you have a beef with me on that,
take it up with my staff, who forgot to brief
me on her background.”
The senior senator from Utah got really
heated when a member of the media suggested
that asking Ms. Sotomayor about
skin-care products was perhaps sexist.
“Now that’s a really disgusting accusation.
I don’t suppose you recall that skincare
products are a special interest of mine.
If you people would do your homework,
you’ll find out that I spent an entire afternoon
in my Senate office comparing notes
on skin care with Sarah Palin, the former
governor of Alaska and principled quitter.
“So, explain to me why it’s sexist to talk about skin-care products with a wise Latina and not sexist to talk about skincare products with a ditzy beauty queen? Let me just say that both gals have really nice skin, and it turns out that all three of us use the same moisturizing cream, Lancome, which may be a lot more expensive than something like Neutrogena but it really pays off in the end. I recommend it to all my friends.”
Some in the media wanted
more details on moisturizers,
and others wanted to get
back to Ms. Sotomayor’s
qualifications for the
Supreme Court, but Sen.
Hatch, warming to the
subject, wanted to defend
his friend, Sarah Palin.
“Look, I think the media should be taken to task for piling-on Mrs. Palin. It’s really instructive, I think, that everybody’s giving a pass to Sonia, and not to Sarah. I know the arguments in favor of someone like Ms. Sotomayor—immigrant parents, scholarships, a brilliant student, a distinguished career as a prosecutor and then as a judge, and so on and so on.
“My heavens, I certainly have to hand
it to her for her illustrious accomplishments
but, in my book, we have to hand it
more to someone like Sarah, who has really
lived the American Dream by proving that
almost any dimwit can be plucked from
obscurity and thrust
in the national
spotlight and get
rich and famous.
for kids today to emulate,
pardon my elitist
big vocabulary. It
takes too long to work
hard and succeed at a
difficult career. Why
do that when you can run
for office somewhere and
maybe get lucky, like
Sarah? And it’s not just
that she’s hot, which she
is. In her confused, inarticulate
way, she expresses
all the seething resentment
against elites, which
is code for excellence and
“People used to make
fun of my friend, Nebraska
Senator Hruska, who was
a champion of mediocrity.
Nothing wrong with
mediocrity, which has grown by leaps and
bounds among politicians. My friend Sarah
has surpassed all standards of mediocrity,
establishing new benchmarks in incompetence
that will last for generations.
“So, in conclusion, it’s good to be a quitter
and a dead fish, as long as you remember
to use good moisturizer.”