Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Defining the opponent

I get the idea of defining an opponent quickly, before she can define herself. That's standard fare in political campaigns. But conservatives aren't doing themselves any favors with these lines of attacks on Sotomayor (via TPM):
I flagged Sen. Inhofe's statement yesterday. Here are some new morsels from the right:

National Review Online
's Mark Krikorian: "Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English... and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn't be giving in to."

Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb: "Obama seems to have the views of a 21-year-old Hispanic girl -- that is, only by having a black president, an Hispanic justice, a female secretary of State, and Bozo the Clown as vice president will the United States become a true 'vanguard of societal ideas and changes.'"
The fact is that the numbers are in Sotomayor's favor. Obama's popular and his party has 59 (maybe 60) senators. Barring any huge surprises, she will be confirmed.

That said, Sotomayor probably has judicial views that are not consistent with the views of conservatives. I don't think there's anything wrong with reading some of her opinions to try to glean those views and then have some sort of national debate over them. Actually, debating a Supreme Court nominee's judicial views would be wonderful -- a lot better than looking for evidence of pot use or failure to pay taxes on nannies. Yes, digging up judicial views takes more time than looking at a speech on YouTube or reading talking points. But it would likely be better for both the nation and for the Republican Party to go that route rather than just flooding the airwaves with stupid, borderline racist crap.

Picking battles strikes me as a useful skill. When one cannot win, there is a difference between losing well and losing poorly.

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