I’ve always tried to adhere to the family advice to choose your battles wisely, point being that if you go to war on small matters you lose credibility on bigger matters.
So, if Junior wants to get his ear pierced or if Missy wants a tiny tattoo in an inconspicuous area, it might be best to go with the flow rather than flipping out. If you do go ballistic over something like that, what ammunition do you have left when Junior decides to join the circus or Missy insists on getting a humungous tramp stamp over her butt? Very little.
Likewise with Obama’s pick for SCOTUS, federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor. Okay, she’s no John Roberts and no Sam Alito–few judges are. Then again, she’s no Ruth Bader Ginsburg, either.
We all know that SCOTUS nominees don’t always turn out as expected, case in point Justice David Souter, the odd duck Sotomayor is replacing who arrived with little in the way of a paper trail and retires after 16 years of disappointing conservatives and delighting liberals. Maybe Sonia could be our Souter and end up not being as far left as the far left is hoping. Granted, such a reversal is improbable but so too was Souter’s liberal bent improbable, or at least unanticipated.
Some are suggesting Sotomayor be “Borked,” just to get even for the disgusting character assassination, especially by Senators Biden and Kennedy, of the eminently-qualified jurist, Judge Robert Bork, 22 years ago.
Rush Limbaugh doesn’t necessarily endorse that vile approach but does think the new nominee should be strongly opposed by Senate Republicans because of her liberal inclinations and decisions. He also dismisses the notion that criticizing the first Latino to be nominated will backfire on the GOP in 2010 and 2012 since he’s already written off the Hispanic vote.
His thinking is that if GOP couldn’t win a majority of that vote last November with a darling of illegal aliens at the top of the ticket, what chance do Republicans have of winning over the hearts and minds of Hispanics in the next two elections?
That defeatist negativism is a sure-fire route to being roundly trounced in the 2010 congressional races, having Barack Obama in office until January 2017, and the Democratic Party running the country for a generation. That retrogression into the New Deal, a Raw Deal for the nation, from which we may never recover, would start with a vicious attack on Sonia Sotomayor.
I don’t suggest, either, a repeat of the shameless kowtowing that occurred in 1993. That year, all but three Republicans voted to confirm Judge Ginsburg after she obstinately refused to provide any substantive responses to valid questions concerning her years of advocacy for lefty causes. The rest is history, a history of 16 years and counting of Ginsburg’s unfailing decisions favoring every liberal cause that came her way.
What Republicans have to realize this time around, first and foremost, is that Judge Sotomayor will become the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. That’s a given, barring revelations such as that she is childless because she murdered her children or that she is divorced because she shacked up with Rosie O’Donnell and former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.
(She happens to be a fellow Bronxite since we both started out in that New York City borough, so she can’t be all bad.)
Judge Sotomayor should be treated with the greatest respect and utmost dignity and should be subjected to fair and probing questioning as to her previous opinions, statements, and decisions.
Particularly, she should be asked to explain her apparent belief in the supremacy of “wise Latinas” over “white males,” http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/critics-focus-on-sotomayor-speech-in-la-raza-journal-2009-05-27.html, her reputation of being “not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench,” http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=45d56e6f-f497-4b19-9c63-04e10199a085, her racially-charged, frivolous and outrageous decision in favor of black fireman over whites, http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=47838, and a (contested) 64% rate of overruling by higher courts.
She should be quizzed about those topics but not browbeaten. Republicans should clearly demonstrate they have more honor and class than to Bork her as Kennedy and Biden Borked Robert Bork, always keeping in mind Junior’s ear piercing and Missy’s little tat.
What Republicans also have to realize is that, despite her negatives, things could be worse. She may be no Sam Alito but she isn’t a Ruth Ginsburg, either. And things will get worse, when Ginsburg retires due to illness and John Paul Stevens retires due to being older than dirt. Swing-vote, Anthony Kennedy, should be around for a while as should Stephen Breyer.
When it comes time to replace Ginsburg and Stevens, probably within the next few years, then the remnant of Republican senators should and must pull out all the stops, call in any outstanding chits and, if need be, Bork the living hell out of their replacement nominees.
Sotomayor is a stop-gap for Obama, a significant sop but still a sop to the Hispanic community and voting population. With a little more longevity under his belt, his next picks will better reflect his ambition to totally change and undermine America and our values. Look for him to nominate the likes of Eric Holder.
Proof that there is a God is that the younger puppies on the Supreme Court, younger by SCOTUS standards, comprise the conservative bloc on the court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Judges Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Sam Alito. Hopefully, all outlive Obama’s presidency.
Americans should pray daily that that conservative bloc stays healthy. In the interim, hope that Senate Republicans hold their most potent fire and save their ammo for future battles when they will truly need all the firepower they can muster.