I understand neither the enthusiasm of the Democrats nor the antipathy of the Republicans over the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Were this a Republican administration I would have been much happier, as she is clearly a centrist.
Her judgments that have been reported so far show her to be pro-business and anti-abortion, but she appears at least to be reasonable. She would have been a perfect choice for a Republican who wanted to play to the base yet reach out to Democrats.
A judicial candidate that would make me take notice would be much further from the center - say, about the distance of Antonin Scalia or John Roberts. Make no mistake, there is historical significance about Sotomayor: in her ethnic heritage and her gender, she further paves the way to a post-racial America.
Still, she does not help bring the court into balance. She merely maintains its current right-of-center stance. A court that contains a Sotomayor will very likely continue in the tradition of recent right-wing, activist courts that failed to defend the American people from the country's commercial ruling class.
President Obama once again has shown himself to be, like Bill Clinton, to the right of center. Both of these presidents would have been far more comfortable with the Rockefeller Republicans than with the Roosevelt Democrats.