The Impostor Phenomenon And Sotomayor
July 20, 2009, 09:39 PM
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From Wikipedia:
The Impostor Syndrome, sometimes called Impostor Phenomenon or Fraud Syndrome, is a syndrome where sufferers are unable to internalize their accomplishments... Regardless of what level of success they may have achieved in their chosen field of work or study or what external proof they may have of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced internally they do not deserve the success they have achieved and are actually frauds. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they were more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.
No doubt there are a lot of people who feel that way, although I suspect that the 43rd and 44th Presidents of the United States aren't among them. But Sonia Sotomayor can't help feeling that way. Commonreader writes
I am full of wincing sympathy for poor Sonia Sotomayor. It's every accomplished person's worst nightmare: being publicly revealed as a complete fraud, totally unqualified for your post.

Great, government by the pathologically insecure, here we come.

And in comment lower down she writes
No, I don't think you understand this internal dynamic. It's not about conscience, it's just a nasty feeling that you are going to be unmasked as a fraud. Most high achievers are tormented by this. [Affirmative Action] makes it worse, obviously. I am fascinated by the Sotomayor confirmation as one of those rare times when the dreamworld intrudes into shared waking reality - kind of like actually going to school naked.
Of course, the problem is that Sotomayor actually is something of an impostor.

Ann Althouse, who would probably make a better Supreme Court Justice than Sotomayor, quotes a Los Angeles Times story titled "A mechanic in a black robe"

"I do think she was boxed in," said lawprof Heather Gerken about Sonia Sotomayor. "Virtually any answer other than the answer she gave ends up evoking cries of judicial activism. The result, unfortunately, is that judges are portrayed as automatons or activists, when most are neither."
to which Althouse responds
She was only boxed in by the limitations of her own intellect, expressive skill, and nerve. So explain to me why she belongs on the Supreme Court.