Spoofs & Satire

Photograph by Pete Souza

The Cougar Who Would Be Queen

Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor has been called a bigot and a racist—and that’s just week one. A memo to Republican politicians outlining the next phase of attack.

To My Fellow Members of the Sotomayor Action Committee,

First off, congratulations. Thus far it’s been a great roll-out for Operation So-So (she’s the J-Lo of the judiciary!). According to polls taken over the weekend at numerous rural Kansas Baptist churches, the American public now sees Sotomayor for the Maoist she really is. Grand slam! Nothing quite gets the red, white, and blue blood flowing like smears based on the long-forgotten philosophies of a Chinese dictator. Just the other day my kids were playing “PLA and KMT” in the backyard. Good work everyone, and applause all around. But we’re Republicans, and we can do better.

I’ve taken the liberty of drawing up some new talking points for you to hit during your face time on FOX.

1. Sotomayor’s favorite restaurant? Five Guys. The dominant color inside said restaurant? Red. Substitute French fries for borscht, and she’s basically advocating a new Great Terror.

2. This next one is political dynamite: I have an exclusive photo of Sotomayor shaking hands with John Kerry. All we need to do is contextualize Jane Fonda into the picture, and we’ve got her as a Hanoi sympathizer. Now, you may be thinking that Sotomayor was 16 in 1970. Well, it just so happens a friendly Texas formaldehyde tycoon has offered to write a tell-all book about how he and Sotomayor were in the same unit in ‘Nam, and that she had a habit of pinning Vietnamese children to the ground and giving them Indian burns. Which is pretty racist, too, come to think of it.

3. Mad props, as the kids say, to G. Gordon Liddy, who noted—quite insightfully, I think—“Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when [Sotomayor]’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.” Attacking her because she’s a woman—why aren’t we getting more out of this? Check this out: It’s a well-known fact women like to shop. Can the American people be certain that whenever a lawyer’s speaking, she’s not thinking about that Gucci bag she saw in Georgetown the other day? It’s that easy, folks.

Can we be sure that an activist cougar like Sotomayor won’t push for equal access to college dormitories?Note, this is a good way to flip the whole “rags-to-riches” thing. We’ve all seen Pretty Woman—take a girl from the streets, give her some money, and watch out, Visa!

4. Sotomayor isn’t married, and she doesn’t have kids. Two avenues of attack: She’s a lesbian, or she’s a cougar. Now, in-house research shows that both lesbians and cougars are so, so hot these days, and therefore we need to be careful. Buchanan says work the dyke angle, but I disagree. We’ve pretty much squashed the radical lesbian agenda. But raising concerns about the radical cougar agenda could garner a lot of mileage. Can we be sure that an activist cougar like Sotomayor won’t push for equal access to college dormitories or lower lighting requirements in hotel bars? This could be the latest front in the culture war.

Let me address one more thing. Some people—I’m looking at you, southwestern senators—are worried that we’re holding Sotomayor to a ridiculously high standard, and that it might hurt us among Cubano, Latina, and Mexicali voters.

On the contrary, I think the voters will appreciate our effort to make sure that only the best minority nominees make it onto the bench (they’re such hard workers, after all). We owe it to them. I’m prepared to say that until a Latino-Americano nominee comes along who can walk through walls, recite the Bible backward—in real Latin—and out-rebound Kobe Bryant, we’re going to put up a fight. Voters expect nothing less, and they’ll reward us during the mid-terms.

Congressional majority, here we come!


TMN Contributing Writer Clay Risen’s first attempt to build a website fell apart after he learned that risen.com had been bought by a hardcore Christian rock band. Clay is a senior staff editor at the New York Times and the author, most recently, of The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act. He lives in Brooklyn. More by Clay Risen