President Obama faces a complex political calculus in deciding whether to nominate a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) to the Supreme Court. Of the current justices, six are Catholic, two are Jewish, and the only Protestant (Justice Stevens) is leaving.
By nominating a WASP, Obama could enhance his standing with an increasingly potent voting block: WASPs now outnumber both Hispanics and African-Americans in some key battleground states.
However, as America's first half-WASP President, Obama played down this heritage, campaigning as a post-racial candidate. He cannot afford to now be viewed as yielding to a belligerent minority group that many characterize as "uppity."
The lack of qualified WASP candidates also presents a problem. "There are more WASPs qualified to play power forward in the NBA than to serve on the Supreme Court," one insider lamented. "Most WASPs would lose a debate with a artichoke."
In an unguarded moment, White House Counsel Robert Bauer revealed that WASPs' names could be stumbling block. "WASPs coin these ridiculous names for their children — Muffy, Sissy, Buffy, Bitsy, Bootsy, Cuffy, Corkie, Skip, Chip, Kip, Biffy, Bink, Win, and Jock. Can you imagine Justice Muffy, Justice Bootsy, or Justice Chip?"
Elizabeth 'êTiffy'ê Mayflower, chair of the WASP Studies Department at Trinity College, can imagine a Justice Muffy. "There are many qualified WASPs," she contends. "Just because they test poorly, can't run, can't dance, can't jump, and exhibit no interest in sex doesn't mean they would be poor Supreme Court justices."
"Look at the record," she continued, coloring slightly. "Overcoming racial prejudice, WASPs have achieved success in many fields. Rep. Jerry Moran of Kansas, the second ranking Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, Brian Roberts, second baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, and Janet Peterson, this year'ês Oscar winner for costume design, are all WASPs."
"I would hope that a wise WASP with the richness of his or her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Catholic or Jew who hasn't lived that life," argues Binky Hatcher, Ph.D, executive director of the NAAW.
Binky believes that that such life experiences make WASPs uniquely proficient judges. "Consider what any WASP must overcome. They lack adult role models. Their fathers, living in economically segregated neighborhoods, form gangs called foursomes and spend their days aimlessly swinging sticks. Refusing to accept responsibility, they blame everything but themselves — the wind, bad bounces, hard greens, spike marks, pin placements — for their failures. Their gangbanger mothers are even more irresponsible, openly flaunting the gang symbols of Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci."
"Moreover, rewarding professions including grade school teaching, sanitary engineering, and fast food preparation are closed to WASPs," Binky maintained. "Shunted to schools such as Princeton and Williams that do not offer instruction for these careers, most WASPs are condemned to the drudgery of medicine, investment banking, coupon-clipping, and venture capital."
"All WASPs who overcome these obstacles would make a superb Supreme Court Justices. And their complete lack of interest in sex eliminates bias in Roe v. Wade."
Obama may strike a balance by nominating a Protestant who is not 100 percent White Anglo-Saxon. The leading compromise candidates are District Court Judge Muang Prescott HaChanthaburi, a transgendered Thai-American, and Chu'mana (a Hopi name meaning snake maiden) Cadwalader, like Obama another half WASP, and a law professor at Columbia.