Friday, May 29, 2009

Pundit advice on Sotomayor 

From Kimberly Strassel in today's Wall Street Journal:
"Republicans will be tempted by this history to go ugly. They might instead lay down their own rules, the first being that they will not partake in the tactics of personal destruction that were waged by the left on nominees such as Mr. Thomas or Mr. Alito or Mr. Estrada."

Peggy Noonan also writes in today's Wall Street Journal, in a column titled "Republicans, Let's Play Grown Up":
"Barring extraordinary revelations, Judge Sotomayor is going to be confirmed. She's going to win. She does not appear to be as liberal or left-wing as others who could have been picked. She seems reminiscent of the justice she will replace, David Souter. She will likely come across in hearings as smart, spirited, a middle-aged woman who's lived a life of grit, determination and American-dream proving.

"Republicans can be liberated by the fact that they're outnumbered and likely about to lose. They can step back, breathe in, and use the Sotomayor confirmation hearings to perform a public service: Find out what the future justice thinks and why she thinks it, explain what they think and why they think it, look at the two different philosophies, if that's what they are. Don't make it sparring, make it thinking.

"Don't grill and grandstand, summon and inform. Show the respect that expresses equality and the equality that is an expression of respect. Ask and listen, get the logic, explain where you think it wrong. Fill the airwaves with thoughtful exchanges."

In a Politico piece by Ben Smith, Larry Sabato offers this advice for the nominee regarding her "Latina judge" comment of some years ago:
"Judge Sotomayor would be wise not to tap dance around this. Don’t just 'clarify' the statement, take it back," University of Virginia politics professor Larry Sabato wrote in a posting at POLITICO’s Arena. "Explain that she simply meant to say that we are all a product of our unique backgrounds and experiences and that those backgrounds and experiences inform our decisions. But no one’s gender or ethnic background inherently leads to superior decisions. It would be refreshing to hear a Supreme Court nominee say, 'I’m not perfect. I made a mistake here.'"
Another way of thinking about the current nomination is that it is in part about the next nomination, which will likely be to replace Justice Ginsburg or Justice Stevens for health or age reasons, and may well happen during President Obama's first term. Obviously, there will not be another Justice Roberts nominated during that term; the question is, will there be another Justice Brennan nominated?

UPDATE: Yesterday, we learned that TigerHawk and his sibling do not always agree (no surprise there to anyone who has a sibling), but this line from an AP article titled "SPIN METER: 2 sides of Sotomayor" caught my eye:
"Her brother, Dr. Juan Sotomayor, is a physician in North Syracuse, N.Y., whose practice doesn't accept Medicaid or Medicare — programs for the poor and elderly — according to its Web site."
Will the POTUS make a statement in the future about doctors who do not accept payment from government-sponsored health insurance, along the lines of "I don't stand with them," or will that even be necessary, since realistically, they won't be able to practice?

UPDATE #2: The White House says that Judge Sotomayor feels that she chose her words poorly when making the "Latina woman" remark in 2001 (isn't that phraseology redundant, anyway -- is there such a thing as a "Latina man" -- not that I want to second guess a Pyne Prize winner), so Larry Sabato's advice seems to have registered.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri May 29, 04:29:00 PM:

McCain lost because he wasn't tough enough to win. He wanted to "stay above it all".

The Democrats play politics as a blood sport. There is only winning and losing. Whatever gentlemen's club, fraternity, hail-fellow-well-met atmosphere used to exist in the Congress doesn't exist any more. The Democrats have proved that repeatedly.

This woman should get as tough a grilling as necessary to ensure that she understands the constitution, believes in it, and is willing to defend it rather than some patty-cake softball question and answer.

If the Republicans want to restore their power, they have to want it. They'll prove they want it by getting up on their hind legs and fighting for principle whenever the occassion arises. This is one of those times. Consider the confirmation process a teachable moment if nothing else.  

By Anonymous swernga, at Fri May 29, 06:16:00 PM:

In summary, the sage advice here is to just give up. Okay, game over.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Fri May 29, 07:38:00 PM:

Republicans only win elections when they run on a stauchly conservative platform. Hell, Democrats have to shift to the right to win their elections...and then scamper rat-like back to their dark corners.

If the Repubicans let this pass without standing up for what is right...they may offend some liberal Hispanics who would never vote for them anyway...but they will also (continue to) offend their base...and, thus...continue to lose elections.

I held my nose and voted for McCain, mostly because I knew Obama was going to be an unmitigated disaster. I did not expect McCain to win. I was right on all counts.  

By Anonymous filbert, at Fri May 29, 11:34:00 PM:

On general principles, I oppose self-admitted sexists/racists for any kind of judicial seat, from small claims court all the way to the Supreme Court. It matters not at all to me what political party, if any, they might belong to.

For completeness, I also oppose sexists/racists who do not admit those views but still hold them.

Next question?  

By Blogger Whiskey, at Sat May 30, 06:00:00 AM:

It's telling that a couple of WOMEN, beneficiaries themselves from Affirmative Action, would counsel to give up and confirm the AA poster Latina.

White men get nothing from Government, none at all, and are expected to shut up and pay taxes. That was marginally acceptable as long as they were making money and rocking the boat got in the way of making money.

No one is making money. All jobs are either Government directly or Government controlled. Which means Affirmative Action. Obama's economy = No White Guys allowed.

Reps ought to make Dems and Obama and Sotomayor OWN THIS. Make them all own Affirmative Action which at it's heart means telling White guys, no, you don't get anything from this government anymore, and from the nation, either, since Government now runs everything.

About 82% of layoffs were of Men. Make every White guy know that Sotomayor and Dems want to discriminate against him in hiring, firing, promotions, raises, and pretty much everything else government does, from prosecuting White Guys (but letting the Black Panthers off for Voting Rights violations) to say College Admissions, loans guaranteed by the Government, Health Care (no White guys allowed for Health Care) and every other aspect of life, including Green (White Guys to the back of the bus!) stuff.

Take advantage of the internal contradiction and go ugly early, often, and HARD.

Obama's economy guarantees that Women, Gays, Blacks, Hispanics will vote for him regardless of their all shared hatred for White guys (and yes, they do hate White Guys). Growth in jobs will be all Government related, mostly for White women with a smattering of non-Whites and Gays.

But this leaves White guys locked out economically from Obama's government run economy and society. So take advantage of that.

Get around 85% of the White Male vote, and it's victory time. Sotomayor and her No White Guys schtick is the ticket.

It's almost as if I blogged about this.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat May 30, 09:29:00 AM:

"Get around 85% of the White Male vote, and it's victory time"

My guess is that the overwhelming majority of white male voters don't have any racist tendencies in their voting habits...and many, especially liberals, are imbued with some vague "white guilt" which may make them tend to vote for minorities, even if that minority is not well qualified.

I doubt that this woman's comments were so inflammatory that it would raise the hackles of the majority of white voters.

Hell, I kind of expect that kind of prattle from Democrats.

She will be confirmed, but clearly has "issues". If the Republicans roll over and play dead, I will be far more angry at them than at the prospect of having a liberal justice (Souter) replaced by another liberal justice (Sotomayor).

She needs to step up to the plate and explain her statements in a public forum.

The Republicans will not lose any new voters if act responsibly as the loyal opposition...but...I think they will lose existing voters if they DONT.  

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