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5/26/2009
OBAMA OUTFLANKS GOP WITH SOTOMAYOR PICK

I wrote a column this morning that was originally headed for publication here but that Aaron, my editor at PJ Media, decided to steal.

It’s on the Sotomayor choice, of course, and the more I read about her, the less I like it. But there’s not much to do about it since Obama’s got the votes. I only hope the GOP doesn’t embarrass itself by attacking her for something besides what she’s said in public and her court opinions.

A sample:

President Barack Obama seemed to have lost his deft touch in recent weeks as several controversies simmered, then exploded out of his control, making his life miserable and exposing his administration to criticism from some unlikely sources — including his own far left base and the press.

Stung by this sudden and unprecedented sign that the media was waking from its long winter nap, the president needed a plus in his column in order to right his own ship, if only temporarily.

That opportunity came with the vacancy on the Supreme Court created when David Souter announced he would step down at the end of the current session. Here was a chance for the president, in one fell swoop, to get back in the good graces of liberals while taming the media to lie down and go back to sleep.

In that respect only, President Obama hit a home run with his selection of Sonia Sotomayor for associate justice of the United States Supreme Court.

It’s a miserable choice for conservatives as Roger Kimball points out in his PJ Media post on the announcement. But beyond questions of qualifications, temperament, and intellectual heft, Sotomayor is the perfect political choice for the president. Playing identity politics to the hilt, he has chosen a liberal woman, and a member of an important minority group — Hispanics.

Roger Kimball suggests we identify her as “Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court” as a matter of course. No doubt every time her name is mentioned on CNN and MSNBC, that fact will be hammered home, just as the president intends it to be. In fact, Obama is counting on the fact of his ethnically correct choice to surround the nominee with a magic cloak of invincibility that will strangle some of the more obvious criticisms that will be coming from the GOP.

By: Rick Moran at 10:58 am
16 Responses to “OBAMA OUTFLANKS GOP WITH SOTOMAYOR PICK”
  1. 1
    michael reynolds Said:
    11:17 am 

    Republicans will have to go into full frontal crazy mode. And of course they’ll need to slow-walk it so that direct mailers can reap the full benefits. This is about raising money, after all. Many right-wing think-tank staff positions hang in the balance.

  2. 2
    Bob Said:
    11:17 am 

    Lets not forget what the left did to Alberto Gonzales

  3. 3
    busboy33 Said:
    12:29 pm 

    @Bob:
    What did the Left do to Alberto Gonzales?

  4. 4
    jackson1234 Said:
    12:53 pm 

    It is shrewd for another reason: it lets Obama forget about amnesty and drives a wedge between ethnic identity groups like La Raza, which see CIR as a central issue, and Hispanic voters who generally could give a shit less. Further, Democratic MoC’s in swing districts–already in a good deal of trouble for 2010–won’t be forced one way or another to vote on such a toxic issue.

    I think the fact Sotomayor is so extreme is a good thing. She won’t be able to sway Kennedy, and it is damned likely she even could temper Breyer. Like you said, concentrate on her crazier opinions and statements and all will be well.

  5. 5
    Anon Said:
    2:31 pm 

    I don’t think the folks “out here in the world” are as enamored with identity politics as political bloggers and media types think they are. Sure, any misstep by the GOP will be reported by the MSM as a “racial attack” on the nominee, and given the dem’s numbers in Congress, this will go through quite easily, but most voters will see it for what it is: Obama chose the Hispanic chick because she’s…Hispanic. Most people have grown weary of the “first (fill in the race)” to fill this or that position narrative. Maybe it was all used up on the Obama candidacy, but now it just sounds old and cliché, boring even, and it makes Obama look like a standard issue lefty democrat fillin’ slots by skin color, not a “post-racial” president. The mere fact of his presidency makes this kind of racial pandering seem silly and outdated. Kind of ironic, eh?

  6. 6
    busboy33 Said:
    2:52 pm 

    btw . . .

    “the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court”

    What about Cardozo? Wasn’t he Portugese? I would have thought that qualified as Hispanic.

  7. 7
    Bill Arnold Said:
    4:08 pm 

    What about Cardozo? Wasnt he Portugese? I would have thought that qualified as Hispanic.
    Interesting question - according to a Wikipedia article the answer appears to be … ambiguous.
    For instance, Portuguese Americans are not considered “Hispanic” by the United States Census Bureau.
    and
    The U.S. Office of Management and Budget currently defines “Hispanic or Latino” as “a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race”.[14] This definition excludes people of Portuguese origins, such as Portuguese Americans and Brazilian Americans. However, they are included in some government agencies’ definitions. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation defines Hispanic to include, “persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central or South American, or others Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race.”[15] This definition has been adopted by the Small Business Administration as well as many federal, state, and municipal agencies for the purposes of awarding government contracts to minority owned businesses. Still other government agencies adopt definitions that exclude people from Spain. Some others include people from Brazil, but not Spain or Portugal.

  8. 8
    funny man Said:
    7:21 pm 

    Anon,
    although she is too liberal for our taste she is not totally unqualified as you suggest: Obama chose the Hispanic chick because she’s…Hispanic. Orin Hatch supported her the last time around. That is exactly the language that does alienate Hispanic voters. Talk about firemen, whatever, that she is too liberal etc but not that she is not qualified.

  9. 9
    michael reynolds Said:
    8:54 pm 

    Funnyman:

    They have their talking points and they’re going to deliver them. Again and again and again until they’ve squeezed contributions out of every sucker, er, Republican in the country.

    Then and only then will Sotomayor be confirmed.

  10. 10
    busboy33 Said:
    10:02 pm 

    @ Bill Arnold:

    . . . and now I’ve learned something new today. Thank you.

  11. 11
    busboy33 Said:
    12:27 am 

    Regarding the “Firemen” decision . . .
    I think the Reds are falling onto a trap with this case. To be clear, I disagree with the decision and with her rationale, but the case is not going to win the Red talking heads any points. If the “plan” with her is to put the Reds in a position to look like racist old white southern men by attacking her, this case is goingto be pouring gasoline on the fire.
    The simplistic rationale behind the decision is that any test that only comes up with top scores for Caucasian Men must be inherently a poorly-designed test. It is excrutiatingly difficult to defend the test without drifting onto the asumption that the Blues will push the Reds onto — minorities are simply not as qualified, intelligent, or skillfull as the Good Ole Boys. Obviously, this isn’t what the Reds are meaning to say, but given the limits of the talking heads format in the media today being able to distinguish the two points is almost impossible. Already I’ve heard Red voices decrying the ruling as basically hurting the poor oppressed white men . . . and that’s going to cause just about every minority in the Country to go ballistic.
    Again, I want to make clear, it doesn’t matter whether any of this is true or not. Attacking the decision without becoming extremely detailed and involved is almost guaranteed to sound bigoted. And that’s a pit the Reds can’t afford to sink into.
    Like I said before, I disagre with the decision. I don’t like it, and I don’t like her reasoning. But the “bigoted racist redneck” accusations are going to come flying over this (especially as the more incindary Reds take this case up as a drum to beat), and personally I think its going to be a PR disaster far beyond just attacking a Hispanic female.

  12. 12
    Mike Farmer Said:
    6:26 am 

    I’m not sure why the Republicans shouldn’t fight the nomination since she is obviously not the best choice for the Supreme Court. She doesn’t have the wisdom or temperament, and she’s too activist for that position — this would be just as true if she was a right-wing zealot.

  13. 13
    Michael Reynolds Said:
    8:09 am 

    Mike:
    Excellent regurgitation of GOP talking points.

  14. 14
    EBJ Said:
    10:53 am 

    So, Michael Reynolds, you’ve called out two people with different POVs as forwarding “talking points”. One says the Repubs should attack on the line that it’s an obvious PC pick (the public is sick of the PC stuff so this line of attack works per anon. in #5). The other says attack on her abilities and positions. These are 180, or close to 180 approaches - race is either in the talking points or not. It can’t be both.

    So which is it? I’m, seriously, just trying to find out what the left is calling the Repub. talking points? Because if there are two diametrically opposed sets, as MR seems to say, then there are no talking points at all since the purpose of talking points is to have a single focused script vs a muddled, multiple message approach.

  15. 15
    mike farmer Said:
    12:00 pm 

    Michael Reynolds,

    Excellent regurgitation of a meaningless cliche.

  16. 16
    Obama & Conservatives Back GOP Into Corner | The Pink Flamingo Pinged With:
    5:11 pm 

    [...] really doesn’t matter what Republicans in the Senate do over Obama’s newest chess move, for that is what it is.  They’re basically damned if they do and damned if they [...]

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