Chris Matthews, on the wise Latina/empathy/background "issue":
Suppose a white guy had said 'I bring to this court application, when I submit to you my qualifications to be a justice on the Supreme Court, I bring to you street smarts and common sense, earned after years of dealing with the law.' Would that pass muster?
Why would we suppose that? Why wouldn't we instead suppose a white guy had said "When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account"?
That's pretty directly analogous to Sotomayor's comments. And it has benefit of not being a supposition, but rather white guy Sam Alito's actual statement during his confirmation hearings. And it passed muster, as the very people who are now criticizing Sotomayor enthusiastically supported Alito.