GG makes it clear, but just in case, the people named in his article all appear all over the media. Their primary achievements are as follows:
Jenna Bush Hager is famous for being one of President George W. Bush's daughters.
Luke Russert's primary recommendation is that he is the son of Tim Russert, deceased host of NBC's "Meet the Press". Liz Cheney is known to us only because of her father, VP Dick Cheney. Megan McCain is likewise has visibility only because of her father, Senator John McCain. Regarding Jonah Goldberg, Wikipedia tells us "Goldberg's career as a pundit was launched following his mother Lucianne Goldberg's role in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, when he wrote about the "media siege" on his mother's apartment in the The New Yorker." He has managed to leverage that into a career. Chris Wallace perhaps has some claim to have earned his position, though he is well-connected, too.
Lisa Murkowski, Senator from Alaska, got that seat because she was appointed to it by her father, who vacated it upon being elected governor of Alaska. I don't know what Senator Evan Bayh owes to his father who was a Senator too. Jeb Bush is one more of the Bush family. Bob Casey (Jr) is another Senator whose father was a Senator (Sr). Mark Pryor, Senator from Arkansas repeats the pattern. Jay Rockefeller is of course, beneficiary of the Rockefeller fortune. Representative Dan Lipinski followed his father's footsteps to Congress, as did Harold Ford, Jr. Re: Bill Kristol, I pull this from my archives
(The Economist, via dailykos)I remember back in the late '90s when Ira Katznelson, an eminent political scientist at Columbia, came to deliver a guest lecture to an economic philosophy class I was taking. It was a great lecture, made more so by the fact that the class was only about ten or twelve students and we got got ask all kinds of questions and got a lot of great, provocative answers. Anyhow, Prof. Katznelson described a lunch he had with Irving Kristol back either during the first Bush administration. The talk turned to William Kristol, then Dan Quayle's chief of staff, and how he got his start in politics. Irving recalled how he talked to his friend Harvey Mansfield at Harvard, who secured William a place there as both an undergrad and graduate student; how he talked to Pat Moynihan, then Nixon's domestic policy adviser, and got William an internship at The White House; how he talked to friends at the RNC and secured a job for William after he got his Harvard Ph.D.; and how he arranged with still more friends for William to teach at UPenn and the Kennedy School of Government. With that, Prof. Katznelson recalled, he then asked Irving what he thought of affirmative action. "I oppose it", Irving replied. "It subverts meritocracy."
Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz have the advantage of family too — I do not know if they used it, however.
With that under your belt, perhaps this from GG makes more sense to you? Well, maybe you have read or hear what some of those mentioned above were saying during the period that Justice Sotomayor was being confirmed.
Just to underscore a very important, related point: all of the above-listed people are examples of America's Great Meritocracy, having achieved what they have solely on the basis of their talent, skill and hard work -- The American Way. By contrast, Sonia Sotomayor -- who grew up in a Puerto Rican family in Bronx housing projects; whose father had a third-grade education, did not speak English and died when she was 9; whose mother worked as a telephone operator and a nurse; and who then became valedictorian of her high school, summa cum laude at Princeton, a graduate of Yale Law School, and ultimately a Supreme Court Justice -- is someone who had a whole litany of unfair advantages handed to her and is the poster child for un-American, merit-less advancement.
I just want to make sure that's clear.
PS: GG has not spared the Kennedys in the past, and is silent about them only because of their recent bereavement.