Gentlemen, Unsheath Your Knives...
...and bust some moves because the Republican version of West Side Story is coming to the Senate!
President Barack Obama has seemingly done the impossible: In nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court, he appears to have simultaneously made both a safe and a controversial choice. Of course, Judge Sotomayor is neither. She deserves a fair confirmation hearing and seems to deserve a place on the highest judicial bench in the land.
But that's not how Republicans both in their guttering power grid and outside see it. Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove have been Twittering like the demented bird brains that they truly are in trying to paint Judge Sotomayor as a racist. They've been demeaning the linguistically correct way in which the president announced his nominee (Soto-my-OOR). They've already called her a socialist, a legislating jurist, in short, everything but a slatternly whore (but the confirmation hearings have yet to begin so just give them time).
Even before Ms. Sotomayor has taken a seat before the Senate Judiciary Committee we're seeing a renewed racheting up of the Obama Derangement Syndrome that's been sweeping the dwindling red states, a sneering, immature middle school brand of jock-like pessimism of anything the president says and does in spite of Mr. Obama having more intelligence, articulateness and integrity in his pinky than you will find in the entire GOP. As with Attorney General Eric Holder during his own confirmation process, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee are scared shitless of what Judge Sotomayor may rule on a future case regarding the Unitary Executive that's so crucial to keeping the principles of the Bush junta out of the docket at the Hague.
Judge Sotomayor is an unknown quantity, an X factor regarding the Unitary executive and the limits of executive privilege. And the GOP's official and unofficial flaks leveling charges of racism ring about as hollow as Dan Quayle's skull. Especially when one recalls that the Republican party has never successfully fielded an African American senator from the south since reconstruction and only one in the whole country since that time. Their outreach programs toward African Americans pulled back a bloody stump when only one of the ten Republicans running for president last year bothered to show up at an NAACP-sponsored GOP debate.
So why all the preemptive charges of racism when another Hispanic, Judge Alberto Gonzales, was offered only token resistance from timorous minority Democrats in early 2005? Like Gonzo, Judge Sotomayor was also born into near-poverty and had to work hard to climb the judicial food chain. The difference, of course, between Judge Gonzales and Judge Sotomayor (aside from the obvious, which is about 75 IQ points and a complete independence from the Obama administration to date) is that the latter never signed off on torture memos. And, also unlike her male analog, she will never be a shiftless, cheap activist party hack.
But Republicans can, will and must fight Judge Sotomayor to the death because... well, because they're Republicans and they live to bring knives to gunfights. And, to make a final comparison, unlike our Chief Executive, Republicans are disciplined except in one regard: An ability to wisely choose their fights.