Cornyn Repudiates Rush, Newt, For "Racist" Charges Against Sotomayor

How soon before Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn has to abjectly apologize to Rush for this:

One of the top Republicans in the Senate, John Cornyn, is repudiating recent comments by Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich which claimed that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a racist. Cornyn, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told NPR's "All Things Considered":

"I think it's terrible... This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent." Cornyn dismissed Limbaugh and Gingrich, adding: "Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don't think it's appropriate. I certainly don't endorse it. I think it's wrong."

I predict Cornyn will be forced to agree that Rush and Newt are right - Sotomayor IS a "racist." Rush and Newt know about such things. Listen to the interview here.

Speaking for me only

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    actually I dont think so (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:01:40 AM EST
    I think people like Cornyn are sick of Rush.   everything he said was absolutely true.  think he was laying down a marker.

    now we will see whos marker is bigger.

    I think the idea that "something has to be done" about Rush is taking hold on in the ranks of the republicans who actually care about winning elections.
    I cant think of a better person than Cornyn to do it.  it would be hard to find a more conservative person in government.  I think its not be an accident that this duty falls to him.

    I think so too (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:04:01 AM EST
    Cornyn has always struck me as a savvy politician. He may be trying to step into the leadership void.

    god knows (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:08:13 AM EST
    someone need to.  

    How soon? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by scribe on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:08:40 AM EST
    I'm using an egg timer.

    It is such a drag when the authoritarian (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:11:58 AM EST
    structure collapses.  lol

    From James Wolcott (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by ruffian on Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:08:35 AM EST
    And to think, it's not even June yet. The distance from the starting block to dementia gets shorter for conservatives with every go-round--a couple of hop-steps and they're already into the alternative universe they call home.

    I think Cornyn figured this out.

    What gets me is that (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 29, 2009 at 12:42:41 PM EST
    he and his dear Callista have been running around making and promoting a film about God in U.S. history.

    Do you suppose they planned that out while they were boffing each other in that car in the Capitol parking lot during the Clinton impeachment?

    To give Newt one tiny micro-smidgen of credit, though, his new-found Catholic belief has apparently caused him to say he disapproves greatly of torture and that waterboarding is torture.  It doesn't take him quite so far as to support the idea of banning the U.S. from using it, but...

    What's strange about Cornyn (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:02:33 AM EST
    is that he hasn't moderated his immigration views, even in the face of a changing Texas electorate.

    But a decent politician should know when his side holds a losing hand, and I guess in this case he does.

    I don't agree (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:08:21 AM EST
    When the announcement was first made, Cornyn said this:

    Now that President Obama has nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice Souter on the United States Supreme Court, it is time for the Senate to perform its Constitutional duty of advice and consent. Because Judge Sotomayor would serve for life if she is confirmed, it is essential that the Senate conducts this process thoroughly and the President has assured me that we will have ample time to give Ms. Sotomayor's record a full and fair review.

    Therefore, it is imperative that my colleagues and members of the media do not pre-judge or pre-confirm Ms. Sotomayor. It is my hope that the process will allow her to prove herself to possess the impartiality, integrity, legal expertise and judicial temperament that we have come to expect from those that sit on our highest court. She must prove her commitment to impartially deciding cases based on the law, rather than based on her own personal politics, feelings, and preferences.

    Yeah, he got a little dig in there, but it's basically a neutral statement.

    Despite the fact that bloggers and some in the media want to paint Rush and Newt as head of the Republican Party, it just isn't so. Cornyn is the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and it's his job to get Republicans elected, and he knows it won't happen if the elected Repubs appear to go along with blowhards like Rush and Newt.

    also (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:09:54 AM EST
    an interesting forum he chose to do this.
    NPR.  not exactly talking to the Town Hall crowd.

    Pretty sensible statement from a (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:14:57 AM EST
    man who thinks people want to marry box turtles.

    But I think that you over estimate Cornyn's power versus Limbaugh even if he does have the box turtle feather in his cap.


    Wasn't it Phil Gramm (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Radiowalla on Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:09:33 AM EST
    who said that about box turtles?  Oh, no.  Wait.
    It was Phil Gramm who looked like a box turtle.  My bad.

    Hah! (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 29, 2009 at 12:37:21 PM EST
    My elderly mother, who loathed and despised him, could never remember his name, so she referred to him as "old turtle head."

    there is a reason (none / 0) (#9)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:23:49 AM EST
    you have not been hearing the stuff coming from Rush and Newt from elected republicans.  they are elected.  they may be a$$holes but they are not stupid.  they know if they dont get a handle on this stuff they are going to go the way of the Whigs.
    I think this is the first salvo of the fight to take the discourse back from the fringe.
    time will tell.
    also I think the stuff about Cornyn not being a respected and powerful republican is just wrong.
    he is as respected by Rushs audience as probably any elected republican.

    You must have missed (none / 0) (#13)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:34:10 AM EST
    Senator Hatch' and Senator Roberts' attacks on Sotomayor's intelligence and record right out of the gate.  Hatch in particular is often tapped as the first line hatchet man where it comes to judiciary issues.  He was out there with the talking points that were clearly blessed as they were repeated over and over throughout the day when Sotomayor's appointment was announced.  

    I think what you're seeing here and now with Cornyn is a signal that they are going to change course.  It is pretty obvious to me anyway that Rush was not deviating from the party line at the start.  They're just shifting it now because people like Cornyn understand that in a place like Texas, for instance, it is going to make life that much harder for the GOP if they are perceived to be hating on Hispanics.


    comments (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:07:05 AM EST
    by Hatch and Roberts were nothing compared to what has been coming from Rush and Newt.  
    that stuff has been completely beyond the pale and pretty much everyone agrees.  except Rush and Newt.

    as far as the republicans being dead enders.  I think rumors of their demise are premature.
    they have not dominated american politics to the extent they have in the last few decades by being the idiots we have seen on cable news lately.

    underestimate them and their ability to seize the moment at your peril.


    Oh I'm not proclaiming the (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:48:05 AM EST
    end to the GOP.  But they are in pretty serious trouble at the moment.  They face some pretty serious challenges.  Their leadership is much more a reflection of their most radical supporters than it is of the more moderate traditional wing of their party.  That's thanks to the good work of Gingrich and then DeLay.  Their party effectively eliminated the moderates.  One only need to look at the party's comments about Specter being a "liberal" to see how far away from anything remotely resembling a majority they are now.

    Furthermore, they have so coddled and at the same time encouraged their most radical element that they have created an unruly mob to which they are beholden.  That unruly mob is so uncompromising that the leadership has very little room to maneuver politically - in the rare instances when the fairly radical leadership has the sense to moderate - even though the radical wing's politics have been resoundingly rejected by the large majority of the country at this point.  This whole back and forth between various elected Republicans and Limbaugh is the crux of that conflict.  And... by building a majority of moderates, the Obama folks have really forced the GOP into a corner with little room to maneuver on the other side.

    The Republicans made a strategic mistake several years ago.  They chose the radical fringe over the moderate middle even when there were signs that the moderates were getting restless about things like the war.  I am guessing that some thought that the moderate middle wouldn't notice what they were doing as much as the fringe would - I'd say Specter likely fell into that category - and that some just really had more of an affinity with the radical wing and their numbers were significant enough for them to rationalize sticking with their more extreme and uncompromising positions.

    So if they don't move away from their radical fringe, they may go the way of the Whigs, but if they do they probably have a chance of gaining ground again.  The thing is that a good portion of their elected leadership is pretty emotionally and intellectually aligned with the radicals, so it is going to take time and well funded primary challenges by moderates to bring the party back to life.  I'm not so sure they have the leadership or the momentum amongst the moderates right now to pull that off.  That's probably why Obama is play so far into the middle rather than using his Democratic majority to be more of a Democrat.  I think he is erring too far on the side of that caution because I think most Americans are actually more liberal on a lot of issues than his Administration realize, but that's probably why he is doing what he is doing.

    We'll see what happens.  But the Republicans have a long way to go before they're going to be able to recapture the imagination of the majority of Americans again.  They are going to have to not only rebuild their base, but also rebuild credibility with people - and the credibility factor is huge - they've made a mess of that important factor in a party's strength.  For the moment they really are a regional party as evidenced by among others the Tancredos and Bachmann's of their caucus.  But that's the house of cards they built.  They stopped caring about whether or not their candidates were sane and rational as long as they were ideological and aggressive.  They really ought to be looking inward where it comes to issues of temperment...


    I dont know (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:05:43 AM EST
    if Obama has shown anything it is that he is pretty good at reading the electorate.  I suspect that he is on to something, politically even if I disagree, by taking the centrist route.  I dont think the country is as progressive as the last couple of elections seem to suggest.
    I think those are probably more about the complete republican implosion.
    you are correct about the party becoming more "purist" by the day but you now see people like Powell and others trying to assert themselves and begin to roll that back.  I think you will see more and more of that from him and others.

    I think Obama knows that if things dont improve pretty substantially, and who really knows if they will, by the next election people are going to be looking for someone to blame and they usually blame the party in power no matter no nuts the party out of power is.


    Either the Democrats do well or (none / 0) (#35)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:28:26 AM EST
    they too will fall into disarray.  It is entirely possible for both parties to lose it at the same time.  Nothing I've said about the GOP is meant to imply that the Dems don't have their own very significant challenges.  No matter what happens, a party's base is always more reliable than those independent middle people ever will be.  If Obama continues to play exclusively to the perceived middle - on something like healthcare for instance - he'll get into trouble with the base and the middle imo.  Not even having the single payer crowd at the discussion roundtables, is imo a serious misread of where the public really is and could end in tears if what Congress delivers ends up being essentially the same old status quo private-employer based insurance.

    On the financial front as of the last day or so, the Obama folks are indicating that the Administration is going to pull back on regulations they were previously saying that they were going to pursue.  If we continue to allow the financial sector to work unregulated, it is likely that we'll see another collapse even during this first term - which would put Obama and the Democrats in a very bad position to say the least.  So those are at least two places where his policies might make him very vulnerable.

    But the problem for the GOP is that they don't have any ideas and that is largely because their leadership is kind of insane and in some cases totally insane.  The GOP leadership will need to be infiltrated by people who are prncipled, but far more in touch with reality than the people they are currently being led by to really regain the ground they've lost.  In order to deveop ideas that work - especially in an era where people have real problems - you have to look at the problems first and then apply ideology.  Right now there's a lot of ideology and a serious deficit of reality.


    3 years ago, Democrats were out in the (none / 0) (#28)
    by tigercourse on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:55:30 AM EST
    wilderness. Not as far out and lost as the Republicans are now, but in pretty sorry shape. Then, 2 elections in a row, we came roaring back to power. It might take time, a long time, but the Republicans will be back.

    They are already gaining ground in certain places. The Governor or Arizona is now a Republican. The Governor of Kansas is a DINO and will in 2010 certainly be a Republican. They have a decent change of taking the top seat in Virginia and New Jersey in 2009.  


    Their demise is definitely IMO premature (none / 0) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:47:10 AM EST
    As long as they continue to influence the legislation that is being presented and passed, they and their agenda are a leading force in our country.

    I am not predicting their demise. (none / 0) (#43)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 29, 2009 at 06:13:33 PM EST
    Just stating their current trouble.  That is different imo.

    There's criticism (none / 0) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri May 29, 2009 at 12:35:07 PM EST
    and then there's trashing.  I agree the underlying points are the same, but you really should be able to see the difference between Limbaugh, Gingrich and other bloviators and the Republicans who actually hold office-- almost all of whom have said, btw, that they fully expect Sotomayor will be easily confirmed.

    Cornyn's title is irrelevant (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:11:46 AM EST
    The "base" does not respond to or respect him. Maybe he can raise money, but that's about it.

    also (none / 0) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:31:03 AM EST
    Olberman finally has a point.  Rush really seems to lately have completely lost his mind.

    an intervention seems not only prudent but kind.

    Naawww. This is too much fun to watch. (none / 0) (#21)
    by scribe on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:08:33 AM EST
    I've had to put up with this clown since the early 90s, so the least I can get out of it is the satisfaction of watching him crash and burn.

    I'm kind, generous, and merciful, but neither so kind, generous nor merciful that I'd lift a finger to tell him he's out of line, help him by intervening, or put him out of his career misery.  If Rush wants to throw me some of his millions, that's a different story.  For a nominal service charge I'd be glad to help, of course.  Capitalism uber Alles, as always.


    I guess from Newts comments (none / 0) (#11)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:32:32 AM EST
    We can assume he isn't running for President next time around?

    Not clear what state he is proposing to win (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:33:47 AM EST
    instead of Florida.

    Rush's approval rating (none / 0) (#14)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:40:16 AM EST
    is like 30%.  He is loved by the dead-enders.  Very easy to knock Rush with no recourse.

    Link to Rush polling

    It's a Democratic myth that Rush is the "leader" of the Republican party or even carries much weight at all.  He isn't and he doesn't.

    The dead enders control the Republican party (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by andgarden on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:44:15 AM EST
    through primaries. DUH.

    The dead enders control the GOP (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:00:21 AM EST
    because they are the only ones left at the moment.  All of my GOP friends that I've canvassed recently voted for Obama; and are generally pretty discouraged about participating in anything having to do with their current leadership such as it is.  I had dinner with one friend recently who was totally beside himself that his party had been taken over by creationists.  They've got little in common with the Limbaugh loons or even people like Cornyn at this point.

    This implosion was inevitable though imo.  


    The GOP is the dead enders (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 29, 2009 at 09:51:03 AM EST
    Sort of the point.

    Rush is a leader among a demographic Republicans (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by esmense on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:12:10 AM EST
    absolutely depend on to get elected. He is a leader in the sense that his words carry weight with that demographic (white, male, older, rural for the most part) and his views reflect their views, frustrations and discontents.

    The reason Republicans are having a leadership problem now is because they aren't attracting followers; there is no other constituency, beyond those Rush appeals to and the traditional business elite, that can now be dependably considered Republican. And while the business elite exercises big power it can't carry elections on its own, without popular support -- nor can it afford to be, or, historically has been, entirely loyal to the Republicans when Republicans lack popular backing.

    So, while it may be true to say Rush is not "the" leader of the Republican Party right now he is the only leader with a significant popular following. Which pretty much amounts to the same thing.


    which (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:22:57 AM EST
    brings us back to the point that if republicans ever wish to win another election they are going to have to "do something about Rush".  and not only Rush but their message and reach more generally.

    but Rush is the sensible place to start.
    as mentioned Cronyn is in charge of getting senators re-elected and new ones elected.


    He's the public face though (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:10:00 AM EST
    as long as he has the most amplified voice. If someone more moderate would step up to a mic and be heard consistently, Dems would not be able to call Rush the 'leader'.  Until someone does, I think Pin Rush on the Elephant is a great gambit.

    What does Cornyn need more for re-election (none / 0) (#25)
    by BobTinKY on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:39:20 AM EST
    Hispanic votes in TX or Rush & Newt?

    Dunno (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:57:26 AM EST
    once he deals with Rush (none / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:09:37 AM EST
    um (none / 0) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:11:56 AM EST
    badly stated.
    what I meant was Cornyn and Steel are coming from the same place on this.

    Steele, the guy who picked Rush (none / 0) (#36)
    by nycstray on Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:33:52 AM EST
    over Powell?! lol!~

    the man (none / 0) (#38)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:38:49 AM EST
    definitely has a way with words.

    Seems too easy a game. (none / 0) (#45)
    by rghojai on Sat May 30, 2009 at 09:11:26 AM EST
    Newt and Limbaugh fire up the inflammatory stuff, the elected Republicans get to repudiate them, call for civility.

    Base gets red meat, those beyond the base and those who might conceivably vote R get a Republican calling for something different/better.

    I can't stand Cornyn (none / 0) (#46)
    by ChrisO on Sat May 30, 2009 at 04:13:45 PM EST
    and I don't doubt that he is looking at the political calculus here. But I try not to lose sight of the fact that people on the other side of the aisle aren't all cartoon caricatures. It's entirely possible that a large part of his motivation is that he genuinely thinks it's wrong.