Larison rubs his crystal ball:

[M]aking such baseless charges one of the main lines of attack against Sotomayor will make it far more likely that even those conservative arguments that were once given the benefit of the doubt will be willfully misread in just the same way that critics seem to have been misreading Sotomayor’s statements. If there are already some conservative arguments on immigration, affirmative action or other policy questions that are frequently dismissed and ridiculed as racist, how many more will be tarred with this label as a result of conservatives’ having dramatically lowered the standards of what counts as a racist statement?
How many conservative pundits and radio talk show hosts will wind up on the wrong side of the sweeping, unreasonably broad defintion of racism that conservatives are now employing to try to trip up Sotomayor? Perhaps most telling of all, this smear on Sotomayor will not advance conservative causes one inch, but will boomerang and harm them significantly, and those who recklessly flung these charges should not be surprised if they come back to haunt them later on.

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