Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jumping all over Sotomayor a big mistake

I can't monitor everything, but from the excerpts and bits and pieces I see or hear about on the Net, the right-wing talk radio/blogosphere universe is in the midst of a huge tactical/strategic mistake over Supremes nominee Sonia Sotomayor. But it's almost as if they can't help themselves. Supreme Court nominations have been so contentious lately that both sides have huge attack/defend machines in place and millions invested in the process. Both sides are convinced that nomination fights "energize the base." At this point it means that Rush/Hannity et. al. are falling right into the trap Obama has set for them. The best thing the base could do in this instance, is to shut up, as most Senate republicans who have a modicum of actual responsibility are doing.

I talked to UCI law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky for this Register editorial, and as has often been the case in the past Erwin, God love 'im, had the politics down pat. Obama nominates a Hispanic woman. The Republicans know they can't win a national election without about a 40% vote from Hispanics (about what Bush got in'04), so doing a balls-out attack job on Sotomayor risks making the GOP something like a permanent minority in national elections. But Rush etc. can't resist the bait. Sotomayor is not just to the left, as she is -- what did you expect from Obama? -- she's the worst nominee ever, devoted to identity politics ueber alles, proclaiming that she routinely makes up law and will ruin the Supreme Court within a week of donning a robe. TheApocalypse is upon us if we don't make the most flamboyant case possible against her. The Republic hangs by a thread.

Take a chill pill. She'll vote almost exactly the same way Souter did so she won't tchange the balance of the court, and with the Dem majority in the Senate she's going to be confirmed even if you convince the "base" that she's the devil incarnate. The "outrageous" quotes (wise Latina woman better than white male et. al.) are nowhere near so outrageous in context. There are certainly valid criticisms to be made of her approach to jurisprudence, but this kind of hysterical attack will only discredit those who made it except in the eyes of an ever-diminishing choir.

The hysteria isn't all on one side. Look at the comments and not that a reasonably balanced piece with some mild criticism is dismissed as nothing but part of the evil Republican attack machine by the other side.


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Anonymous said...

I kinda have been expecting this in a way...
But I reali dun think da world is going to end...start a new era maybe but the world is not ending.
That's not gonna happen till a thousand years later! Ok, I'm not sure bout that either but that's not the point! The world's not gonna end! Full stop!
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