Republican Meltdown On Race

Craig Crawford:

. . . Racially-tinged inferences, snide liberal bashing and the shameless pandering to anti-intellectual sentiment that once won the day for Republicans are now falling flat. The Sotomayor nomination has proved to be yet another test case for the efficacy of traditional conservative attack lines.

Republicans might have hoped to use this hearing to put limits on how far the President can safely go in picking liberals for future openings. Instead, they showcased just how narrow and out of touch their political base has become. . . . Until Republicans get past calling 1-800-HATE there will be fewer and fewer voters on the other end of the line.


Speaking for me only

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    Dahlia Lithwick (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:28:38 PM EST
    of all people, made a great point yesterday about how this has also been a missed opportunity for the democrats:

    And it's not just Republicans who made a bad choice. Democrats, too, have failed to use this hearing to their advantage. With an opportunity to talk to all of America about their theory of jurisprudence and to make the case against the Roberts Court's narrow view of justice, they said almost nothing. Some of the only questioning along those lines came from Sen. Al Franken, who made Sotomayor very uncomfortable as he grilled her on the Roberts Court's tendency to overreach. In this term's Voting Rights Act case, the court came close to striking down an act of Congress, and in an age-discrimination case, it decided an issue that was never briefed. Franken politely asked Sotomayor, "How often have you decided a case on an argument or a question that the parties have not briefed?" He wondered whether that constituted judicial activism.
    Good question. Why was the junior senator from Minnesota--the one sworn in only a week ago--the first one asking it?

    I would have agreed before (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:30:42 PM EST
    But the GOP's self immolation on race was so profound that I belive the Dems were right POLITICALLY to get out of the way.

    I think Crawford gets it right.


    it has been (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:34:16 PM EST
    rather amazing to watch.  but I wonder how worried they are about that. do they rightly assume that people who would be offended by this stuff were not going to vote for them anyway.
    we are not in a presidential year and most of the yahoos making a scene are probably completely safe in their own districts and with their own voters doing what they did.

    this is not an opinion of the long term effects of this craziness.  just the short term.


    Latinos? (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:36:11 PM EST
    So they are giving up on Latinos completely?


    How exactly are they supposed to win elections then?


    well, yes (none / 0) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:40:25 PM EST
    but consider the most visible yahoos like Sessions and Graham.
    I doubt they ever expect to get many Latino votes.  and southern women, who knows.

    without a doubt as a national strategy it is insane but I wonder how much it will hurt the ones most visible here in their local races.


    FWIW Craig Crawford is a Southern (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:53:18 PM EST
    White Male.  Not all of them are fans of this stuff.  The reality is that not only have the GOP alienated minorities and a good number of women, they've also alienated white guys.

    I would also like to note that all of my liberal Democratic leanings are deeply rooted in the values of both my Father and my Granddaddy - both of whom are/were Southern white guys.  By contrast my mother's Minnesota/midwestern family are all GOP and rabid.  So... as I said... FWIW.


    Simple (none / 0) (#47)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 01:28:51 PM EST
    "How exactly are they supposed to win elections then?"

    As they've always done: Solidify the racist, sexist, homophobic vote. (There are many more of them than what we may like to believe. And, they are more reliably committed than their wussy Librul counterparts. ) They don't need a majority, as their behavior these past six months has shown. As long as they can continue bullying the pliant Dems, and hold a 5-4 S.C. majority, they're in good shape.

    Remember, they're not for anything; that's not their goal. Their goal, paralyze the D's, will continue to be achieved, as they've so amply shown since the beginning of The Age of "O."

    Talk about making lemonade out of lemons; How they've managed to crack the whip hand after their "devastating losses," is simply breathtaking.


    Precisely (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:37:29 PM EST
    I guess (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:41:38 PM EST
    but it just seems they could have used this insanity as a springboard to talk more about what these guys have already done to the court.

    but maybe I expect to much


    Given the circus? (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:46:22 PM EST
    Nah. Believe you me, I WANTED iot to be a battle about right wing judicial activism but the crudeness of the GOP's racial attacks was such that there was no room for that.

    Getting out of the way was the right move.


    Re(p)s ipsa loquitur (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by steviez314 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:40:38 PM EST
    I can (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:51:49 PM EST
    definitely see the benefit of that being "the story"

    Somebody did... (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by coigue on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:31:44 PM EST
    I think it was DiFi, who asked Sotomayer the same question she had asked Alito about the Death Penalty.

    Sotomayer answered the same way Alito had...

    DiFi acknowledged the similarity then stated that Alito seemed to forget that answer as soon as he entered the SCOTUS chambers.

    It was a slam-dunk.

    So it's being said, just not pounded.


    Actually (none / 0) (#10)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:47:07 PM EST
    I have been pleasantly surprised at how several Republican Senators have mentioned that Roberts and Alito promised a lot more respect for Congress' laws than they have since shown.
    (I included Specter in this number)

    A situational tactic (none / 0) (#42)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:48:35 PM EST
    Never get in your opponent's way while he's hanging himself.

    Speaking of which (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:58:02 PM EST
    It's time to confirm Dawn Johnsen.

    Past time (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:59:21 PM EST
    And the President has been slow (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:00:52 PM EST
    with Circuit Court nominations.

    from Miami Vice? (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by coigue on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:32:04 PM EST
    Would it be overly snarky or (none / 0) (#26)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:12:40 PM EST
    just downright uncharitable or maybe even an expression of my tinfoil-hat suspicions to suggest that Obama's not finished making some policy decisions/signing executive orders that he suspects Johnsen would not give OLC approval of, and that's why he has done no arm-twisting to get her nomination out of committee?

    I just have to wonder.


    Why Would He Appoint Her (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:24:57 PM EST
    If that were the case?  Seems more like that the numbers are not solid. Spector, Nelson, Snowe, Collins are not on board.

    I would say that a recess appointment is in order, campaign promise or not. ,


    Why? As a sop to liberals and so (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:02:55 PM EST
    he could show that he was committed to having an independent OLC that did not function as a rubber stamp for whatever the president wanted to do, as it did under Bush.  Emphasis on "show," as that's all it seems to be - a show nomination.

    Having Johnsen stuck in committee for over 6 months should be unacceptable to someone who really believed in the nomination for what it represented - and I don't think he does.


    It was amazing (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:01:26 PM EST
    to watch more than one of the Republicans proclaim that Ricci was one of the most important cases in history.  As if it's the white man's Brown v. Board of Education or something.  Unbelievable!

    Tell Us How You Really Feel BTD (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by john horse on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:08:31 PM EST
    Your tag line on your posts is "speaking for me only" but I guarantee that when it comes to your comments about the GOP's treatment of Sotamayor you are speaking for many others as well.

    You know whatever you may think of the GOP's Southern Strategy from a moral point of view, at least, for a long period of time, it was smart politics. But those days are long gone.  

    I don't think the GOP can help themselves.  They are so stuck in the past that their gears only run in reverse.  

    "make no mistake . . (none / 0) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:58:33 PM EST
    . . the stakes are high for Latino voters"

    and for republicans I would say.

    The GOP spent all week driving (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by Anne on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:16:48 PM EST
    stakes deeply into their political hearts; perhaps, like vampires, they will also fail to rise from the dead.

    at this point (none / 0) (#17)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:04:02 PM EST
    I guess it would be an utter act of self-hate to vote Republican as a Latina/o.  Imagine if the election were in two weeks.  People dismiss identity politics but politically people have long memories...New Deal Dems, AAs, gays... and you don't vote for someone who straight up hates you.

    this was interesting from Crawford (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:06:08 PM EST
    President Obama is free to go hard left with his next Supreme Court appointment. That's the lesson of the failed attacks on nominee Sonia Sotomayor during this week's Senate confirmation hearing.

    lets hope he agrees and takes that lesson to heart.


    I largely agree with CC, (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:23:40 PM EST
    that the Repugs came off badly in this one, but I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the notion of this fairly centrist Dem president going "hard left" with his next appointment, or any other major appointment for that matter.

    When was the last time a Dem prez nominated someone to the High Bench who could be considered "hard left" even with a broad interpretation of that term?

    Bill Clinton never went hard left, unless we count his attempt at nominating the vacillating Mario Cuomo.

    Unlucky Jimmy never got a pick.

    Perhaps Lyndon, with Thurgood Marshall?   1967 -- that's 42 years since the last "hard leftie" went onto the Court.


    some people enjoy (none / 0) (#34)
    by coigue on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:33:38 PM EST
    being in the rich club once they make their bucks...no matter what their race or gender.

    (emphasis on some)


    Take that war in Iraq. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Samuel on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:04:12 PM EST
    Saying racist things during a show hearing isn't commendable...but it doesn't compare to being complicit in the unnecessary theft/pain/suffering/murder of for profit wars, like this and the last administration/congress.  

    Why is your focus on all things trivial in a time of such grave circumstance?

    Think (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:07:07 PM EST
    we'd be in Iraq if Bush v. Gore was decided differently?

    Unrelated. (none / 0) (#43)
    by Samuel on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 08:44:24 AM EST
    Talking about the perception of Republican antics day in day out has nothing to do with whether this lady gets appointed....we knew she would be before this process started.

    Trivial to you (5.00 / 6) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:13:24 PM EST
    Racism, bigotry and sexism are never trivial to me.

    ...Also (none / 0) (#45)
    by Samuel on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 09:07:12 AM EST
    As long as you maintain focus on the words falling out of the mouths of these guys - their strategy is still working.  Republicans don't need to be in power for special interests to take advantage of our "social contract".  The special interests just need the discussion to be about anything but the continuation of Bush policies by Obama.

    Some Republican voters are dumb for letting racist sentiment dictate their votes.  Some Democrat voters are dumb for letting the racist sentiment of others distract from ongoing corruption.  Both groups are falling for cheap tricks.  I'll give you that Democrats at least think their bringing about a universal good.  It's like hearing someone complain about their ex.  Get over it and worry about the people you gave the gun to.  


    would you care to reword that statement? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by coigue on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:27:20 PM EST
    Unfortunately, 1-800-Hate still has . . . (none / 0) (#24)
    by Doc Rock on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:57:19 PM EST
    . . . many, many subscribers.

    there's a jackass CA (none / 0) (#30)
    by coigue on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:26:18 PM EST
    developer who is betting that people will answer the hate phone.

    As heard on NPR last evening, this guy is trying to get an initiative to the ballot that will not recognize the US-born children of "illegal" immigrants as citizens.

    I have no doubt it will get on the ballot, it may pass, but it is clearly unconstitutional and will just serve to cost CA money and bring out the bigots here.

    California's condition (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by tokin librul on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:54:12 PM EST
    demonstrates to me far better than any lecture or statistic the dangers of plebicitory 'democracy.' It is for this reason more than any other that I would oppose any "Constitutional Convention." The Framers couldn't have gotten such a document through the rigors of Rupert Murdoch's storm trooper shock-wave assaults on the likes of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 11th, 14th, and 15 Amendments.

    It also illustrates admirably how utterly and wholly, how effortlessly, do the powers of wealth and reaction appropriate political initiatives that were originally designed to make reactionary wealth MORE responsive to the people it exploits so ruthlessly.

    The initiative and the referendum have reliably become instruments of obstruction and intolerance in ways never foreseen by the people who designed them and installed them in the Laws where they occur, California being the foremost example...


    yes. you understand the situation (none / 0) (#38)
    by coigue on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:58:59 PM EST

    Problem is...there might not be a way to change it.

    The initiative process also brought us the rule that we need 2/3 legislative or public vote for any tax.

    Now our schools are falling apart.

    The mighty has fallen.


    It's not a big difference (none / 0) (#35)
    by tokin librul on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:41:13 PM EST
    And not a big swing to reverse it: 4% plus 1

    46% of voters decided they'd rather have continued the worst presidential clusterphuques in history rather than vote for Barack Obama.

    Obama now owns all the crises. And has a few of his own. He hasn't won many of that 46% over.

    More and more I think the GOP threw the election in order to saddle the Dims with the complete impossibility of reforming any significant amount of the Bush programs, and to let the Dims demonstrate their "inability to govern" in the ruins of Bushivism that will still be around in another three years, but will have the indelible stamp of Obama and the Dims upon it.

    Who's the next Bush in line?

    I suspect you are quoting (none / 0) (#39)
    by coigue on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:00:17 PM EST
    a self-selected poll. Which means it is most likely wrong.

    Let's not forget (none / 0) (#46)
    by CST on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 10:02:50 AM EST
    every day the 46% republican vote is getting smaller (older).  And every day, more people turn 18 to vote, especially during a baby boom (even the tail end of one).  That doesn't even take into account all the people who become citizens every day.  The republicans are looking at a demographic time bomb.

    Rep. Serrano, of NY (Bronx) (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:41:38 PM EST
    says his staffer told him lots of people are having "watching" parties.  Bring food, watch the confirmation hrg. on TV.  

    don't bet the rent money on it. (none / 0) (#40)
    by cpinva on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:46:01 PM EST

    before getting too complacent, bear in mind something that always seems to escape the notice of the democrats: the world, and hence the US, is filled with stupid people. as the population grows, so too the number of stupid people.

    they watch o'reilly, listen to rush, revel in their ignorance and, most importantly, vote republican. these are the same people who swooned over sara palin, defending her against the (correct) charge that two gerbils were better qualified to be president than she is.

    these are the same, un or underinsured, people who claim a public option health insurance plan would result in "socialized", "rationed" medical care, having no clue what the former is, and not realizing they currently suffer from the latter.

    trust me, they will continue to vote republican.