Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who passed out the cheat sheets?


The official Republican reaction to President Obama's nomination of federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice David Souter was relatively subdued. That doesn't mean it wasn't hilarious. Here are a few excerpts from the comments of leading Republican senators. See if you can detect a pattern.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: "We will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law evenhandedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences."

Sen. Jeff Sessions, top Republican on the Judiciary Committee: "We must determine if Ms. Sotomayor understands that the proper role of a judge is to act as a neutral umpire of the law, calling balls and strikes fairly without regard to one's own personal preferences or political views."

Sen. John Cornyn, Judiciary Committee member: "She must prove her commitment to impartially deciding cases based on the law, rather than based on her own personal politics, feelings and preferences."

Sen. Charles Grassley, Judiciary Committee member: "The Judiciary Committee should take time to ensure that the nominee is true to the Constitution and apply the law, not personal politics, feelings or preferences."


Does anyone think these remarks are pure coincidence? I mean, Cornyn and Grassley used almost the exact same phrase at the close of their comment. Talk about operating in lock-step. My question is, did they all get together and slap together their script, or did Rush Limbaugh provide it to them? And anyone who doesn't think "preferences" is a code word are kidding themselves. What these lawmakers are doing is preaching to the choir and tossing a little raw meat to those on the fringe who will try to lead folks to believe that Sotomayor, who is generally regarded as a moderate liberal, makes Barney Frank look like Dwight Eisenhower. Unless something surprising surfaces, Republicans in the Senate aren't likely to go into full attack mode against the judge. She was originally nominated to a federal judgeship by the elder President Bush and in at least one case sided with anti-abortion forces. It also can be assumed that Republicans aren't interested in unnecessarily angering Hispanics and women, two key voting blocs. One can say that political considerations shouldn't play a role in senators' decisions. You also might as well say that Liberace was a babe magnet. We can assume that the grandstanding senators (Democrats were equally dramatic when Republican presidents nominated justices) will pontificate about the sanctity of the Constitution and ask Sotomayor whether she has the proper respect for the document. Not being a dummy, she will assure them that she does. Then, provided no bombshells have burst, Sotomayor will be our next high court justice. In the meantime, the show must go on.

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26 Comments:

Blogger Ellipses said...

I want to get a job with the outfits that put out the talking points... Both sides do this... We have all seen WAY too many montages on The Daily Show (and heard them on Limbaugh's show) to know that someone faxes a sheet to everyone on their team each day/week... That person is in an enviable position come April Fools Day (or just a random, boring Tuesday)... in that they can make some of the most powerful people say ANYTHING... all at the same time. It's like having your hand firmly up the puppet butt of Washington.

Ok, so maybe that isn't such an enviable position.

May 26, 2009 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...on the law, rather than based on her own personal politics, feelings and preferences...
Is that politically correct-ese for "it's ok for her to be a woman and Hispanic but, we don't want her to look at the cases the way "those people" do? hmmm...sexist and racist in the same sentence.

May 26, 2009 at 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just glad to see a woman and Hispanic -- and one that is qualified. Nice that all three come in one package.

May 26, 2009 at 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a kick out of how Mike Huckabee accidentally called her "Maria" in the statement he released yesterday. And I wouldn't be surprised if Huckabee's statement also included the words "personal preferences" and "feelings."

And, hey, wasn't Liberace engaged at one point?!

--Brad Hundt

May 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

The engagement comment reminded me of Edward R. Murrow's old "Person to Person" interview with Liberace in which Murrow asked the entertainer something to the effect, "Any matrimonial plans?" and Liberace replied (imagine it in his voice), "I'm still looking for the right girl." Uh-huh. But a lot of people in those days probably bought it hook, line and sinker because virtually no public figures were openly gay, and the whole concept of gayness was not something that was publicly broached.

May 27, 2009 at 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Liberace won a libel case against a British tabloid that claimed he was gay back in those days. Granted, British libel laws have tended to heavily favor the plaintiff over the defendant (when people go shopping for a place to file libel suits they often land in the UK), but that outcome seems laughable now. I dunno that I can think of a celebrity more obviously gay than Liberace.

--Brad Hundt

May 27, 2009 at 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an interesting stance to take from someone who is directly responsible for the release of propaganda in the last election. Considering you Brant towed the party line in the last election choosing every negative article available on Sarah Palin available. You are part and parcel to the liberal media who failed the American people as well as the people of Washington County by not properly covering and reporting strong FACTS, good and bad for both candidates. America sees this and is speaking with its wallet. Look at the failing papers across the country.

May 28, 2009 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you hear all of the Democrats comments. They also must have been scripted. From Odumba, Axelrod and down the line. Just can't wait until this woman puts her own personal feelings into her decisions. This country is going to hell in a handbasket in a hurry. Hang on to your pocketbooks and your rights under this gang and welcome to socialism.
Never thought I would live to see this day.

May 28, 2009 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Forget swine flu, I think we have an outbreak of Chicken Little Flu on our hands here...

Do I get any credit for destroying America? I worked real hard on it :-)

May 28, 2009 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I'm not sure what stance I took, anonymous. Perhaps you can explain. But I only spoke the truth about Palin. I guess the truth hurts when a party tries to foist upon the country a person who was woefully incapable of being an old man's heartbeat away from the presidency. She killed any chance McCain had of winning. And I like McCain.

May 28, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Anonymous nomen said...

One of the great ironies of the Republican party is how they can espouse values and individual responsibility in one breath while while blaming the media for their own shortcomings in another.

May 28, 2009 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

... and getting government out of our lives while their politicians make "defense of the traditional family" one of their top 5 campaign messages and pour huge amounts of money into keeping gay people from getting married...

May 28, 2009 at 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think the above comment was about what you DID report about Palin but rather what you DID NOT report about Obama. I have never read a negative article about Obama in your paper.

May 28, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

What would you have liked to have read about?

I recall a few critical editorials...

May 28, 2009 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

We ran stories about Obama's ties to Tony Rezko. We ran stories about Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I don't think either of those people's well-documented troubles reflected well on Obama. We also carried many letters to the editor that were highly critical of Obama, and we used stories from the election campaign in which McCain, Palin, Clinton and others were critical of Obama. Did you miss all of them? Yes, we endorsed Obama. Newspapers endorse candidates, have for many, many years. But that's editorial page content, not on the news pages.

May 28, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you have 35 secs watch this clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfC99LrrM2Q
I thought .. well nevermind. either you get it or you don't.

June 9, 2009 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

That's all you've got against the woman? One stray comment that, in reality, is probably true. Should she have said it out loud? Probably not. Same with the comment about a Latina woman maybe reaching a better decision than a white man because of her experiences. But if those comments are the best that her opponents have to fire against her, she's going to be easily confirmed to the high court. The Republicans, who can't afford to lose any more ground, are not likely to use the nuclear option against Sotomayor and risk angering women and Hispanics.

June 9, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090603/pl_afp/uspoliticsjusticesotomayordiscrimination

Sotomayor was on a three-judge appeals court panel that in 2008 upheld a decision by the city of New Haven, Connecticut to throw out the results of promotion test given to firemen because no black firefighters scored high enough.

Ok, she thinks she make policy and she is racist? Good enough Brant?

June 9, 2009 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Are you willing to look at her whole body of work, instead of just two stray quotations? And I never suggested that I agreed with the ruling in the firefighters' case. I'm 100 percent against affirmative action in any form. Any person who is nominated for the high court will have made some statement, had something in his or her background or made some ruling that the opposing party will jump all over. Since the Republicans were so adamant about W's court nominees getting a timely up-or-down vote, why is it that they now want to drag out this nomination process as long as possible? Both parties are guilty of the same crap when it comes to handling court nominations. Neither should be acting holier than thou. If nothing else emerges beyond what you cite in your post, the lady is going to be confirmed.

June 9, 2009 at 4:59 PM  
Anonymous the anonymous one said...

Why is it that they now want to drag out this nomination process as long as possible? Politics! Simple answer. Before she gets seated, the question will come up..... you ready for this one? How does she feel about Roe vs Wade. Wait... wait... here is the kicker. She is a wise latina woman right? I bet she is a very Catholic woman also. So the left might not like the answer she gives. For the right side of the story now.. Republicans have their hands tied on this one. If they vote her out... they will loose the hispanic vote, but wait they never had it! So I don't know why they wouldn't want to stand on their own two feet and just vote her out. As a Independent I encourge everyone that likes to talk openly about politics to forget the left right frame of mind and look at some third party canidates! The Donkey and Elephant, red or blue has sold all of us out. People are starting to wake up!

June 9, 2009 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I think the Libertarian Party has an opportunity to make gains, but only if it stays true to its roots and doesn't allow itself, like the GOP, to be overtaken by the Christian right. A lot of the people who participated in the tea parties clearly had Libertarian leanings when it comes to fiscal policy, but I wonder how many of them could stomach the fact that the party favors a woman's right to choose on abortion and does not oppose gay marriage.

June 10, 2009 at 6:31 AM  
Anonymous the anonymous one said...

and that's the way I feel. how does the state have the right to tell you what to do with your body. freedom of the womb! now my personal feelings? i'm catholic. enough said, but whatever a woman does with her womb is between her and her God. Gay marriage? how about civil unions. as long as homosexuals want to pay for divorce's also!

June 10, 2009 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Unfortunately, the civil unions don't necessarily afford people the same benefits of marriage, especially if they are done on the state level in a piecemeal fashion. If gay people are given the exact same rights as heterosexuals as far as unions are concerned - tax benefits, end-of-life decision-making, etc. - then what we call it is really immaterial.

June 10, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous the anonymous one said...

Brant, really? I don't care if homosexuals get married. Let me tell you who does. Insurance agencies!

June 10, 2009 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I suspect you're right about that. Along with employers that don't want to pay for benefits for gay spouses.

June 10, 2009 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous the anonymous one said...

PAPER: Sotomayor once described herself as 'product of affirmative action'...

...admitted to two Ivy League schools despite scoring lower on standardized tests than many classmates, which she attributed to 'cultural biases... built into testing'...

this is on drudge, so does this wise (lol,not as wise as the white man) latina woman going to be our first product of affirmative action to hold that seat?
Please, anyone out there explain to me cultural biases on a written test? 2 bottles of captian morgan + 2 bottles of captian morgan isn't 4 captian morgan bottles?

June 11, 2009 at 6:30 AM  

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