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GOP's 7 stages of Grief Over Sonia Sotomayor

This Daily News piece is so poignant I've even ripped off the title to an extent; it's just a spot-on analysis of the lurching the GOP does on practically every issue, and in this case on the Sonay Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination.

The right-wing reaction to Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court was as swift, as it was scattershot, encompassing, it would seem, all 7 stages of grief.

SHOCK AND DENIAL

MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan said the Yale Law grad was "not that intelligent."

ANGER AND BARGAINING

Conservative shock jock Rush Limbaugh predictably pulled no punches.

He called Sotomayor a "horrible choice" and "a racist ... or reverse racist," because she once used controversial words to show how she used her mind and ethnic upbringing to climb from the South Bronx projects to the courts.

Limbaugh was outraged by this comment from a 2001 speech:

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," Sotomayor said.

DEPRESSION, REFLECTION, LONELINESS

Meanwhile, GOP head Michael Steele urged caution.

"You want to be careful," he told CNN Radio on Tuesday, saying the party has to be mindful of potentially alienating hispanics, an important votic bloc. "You don't want to be perceived as a bully."

THE UPWARD TURN

Conservative critics predicted she would face a grilling over a one-paragraph ruling she and two other judges on the 2nd Circuit issued last year.

She backed the City of New Haven for tossing a fire department test for promotions after too few minority-group members participated - a decision being reviewed by the Supreme Court.

RECONSTRUCTION AND WORKING THROUGH

Although hard-right critics and anti-abortion groups quickly voiced their displeasure with Obama's choice to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter, initial signals from Senate Republicans suggest they have no serious beef with Sotomayor.

ACCEPTANCE

Other than procedural griping, there was no strong criticism from GOP senators. "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," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

The blowback in the Senate was more over the timing of confirmation hearings.
Republicans want at least 70 days to vet Sotomayor - which would push the hearings into the fall. Obama wants confirmation hearings to begin before lawmakers take their August recess.

The right is out of control, and the conservative political machine is nothing more than a broken-down wreck of its former self. Once the GOP was removed from power they've never adapted and risen to a constructive, bipartisan role - and now the right wing media machine is just a broken record of Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh spew coupled with the stumbling ineptitude of the GOP leadership repeating 'NO, NO, NO"...

It's been an amazing disintegration, and the 7 stages of grief over Sotomayor is yet another shining example of that.


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Comments (22)

Deke:

I don't know if I would be catorgorized as a "Right Wing Nut" but as a white male coming from a working class background, who had to work his ASS off to get a bit of the American pie, this women and her New Haven decision scares the living daylights out of me.

To think that no matter how hard I work or how much I try to play by the rules I can be passed over for promotion simply because of my skin color? That is pure and simple racism and since this is her position doesn't that make her a racist?

Though of course when it comes to political ideology and that's what the court has become, common sense and logic go out the door, whether on the right or the left. Obama, as president, has the right to nominate who he wants, but PLEASE don't degrade those who have doubts about her abilities to be a fair minded interpreter of the Constitution, she obviously is not with 60% of her decisions being over turned.

As stated it is the Executive Branches perogative to appoint who they want but for GODS SAKE please stop looking at whether or not they fit a profile with the correct skin color, gender, etc., and think about what is right for America. So many of us are growing realllllyyyy tired of both the fringe left, who is now in control and the right playing politics with ourselves and our families and hopefully, when we get a belly full, we'll rise up and let our voices be heard and we can get a new convention, which is desperatly needed.

Paul Hooson:

Pretty entertaining post, Lee. A funny commentary comparison on how persons often cope with death. In my case, a blonde girlfriend nearly half my age helped me cope with two deaths in my family. I'd certainly recommend the same cure to any grieving Republicans here.

Lee Ward:

Thanks, Paul. It'll be fun to see how many 'conservatives' can see past Sotomayor's gender and race.

My guess = none.

Steve:

Seems to me that it's the liberals who can't seem to see past her gender and race. At least some of the Republicans are bringing up actual cases she has decided instead of endless drivel about her 'compelling life story.'

I'm trying to picture what Lee Ward's reaction would be to Clarence Thomas declaring, "I believe a black man more often than not will come to a better conclusion than a white woman."

Lee Ward:

It's conservatives, Steve, who keep bringing up her race and gender.

She was selected on her judicial record, but conservatives keep trying to ignore her record and dig up mud to throw at this brown woman.

what a surprise...

gdb in central Texas:

OK, Lee, please tell me how Ricci v. DeStefano ignores her record and points to a judicially sound decision. How does a criticism of that decision relate to a bringing up her race and gender? Keep in mind that this case is before SCOTUS and, according to many observers, is likely to be remanded to 2nd Circuit.

In my opinion it is poorly crafted and points to a "emphatic" mindset unbecoming a Supreme Court justice, far apart from being based on race and gender.

Lee Ward:

I'm not suggesting there aren't valid concerns for conservatives over Sotomayor's record, I'm saying the majority of the conservative right doesn't give a crap about her record - they are concerned because she's not a white male.

Look at the slate of old white guys who competed for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination....

Not a single female...

Not a single Hispanic...

It's clear that the GOP has no room for women and Hispanics in the party leadership - Hispanics especially. The reason is clear - their base doesn't support women and blacks in positions of authority.

Facts!

The Record!

Let's discuss those, and not her gender and race... but the right wing blogosphere is all over her race and gender, and are largely ignoring her record.

On the subject of Ricci v. DeStefano, conservatives are citing the case without even knowing Sotomayor's involvement and 'hand' in that decision.

They are using white racist fears of reverse discrimination as a weapon against Sotomayor.

Gee, I'm surprised.

You, and the rest of the trolls out there, aren't citing 'why' Ricci v. DeStefano is relevant.... because you don't have a fucking clue.

You're just repeating what Michelle Malkin has told you to repeat.

Thanks for proving my point...

The right is out of control, and the conservative political machine is nothing more than a broken-down wreck of its former self. Once the GOP was removed from power they've never adapted and risen to a constructive, bipartisan role - and now the right wing media machine is just a broken record of Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh spew coupled with the stumbling ineptitude of the GOP leadership repeating 'NO, NO, NO"...

It's been an amazing disintegration, and the 7 stages of grief over Sotomayor is yet another shining example of that.

Your comment, GDB, is a shining example also. You haven't a clue as to why you should hate Sotomayor, but Malkin and Limbaugh are telling you that you should, and so you do...

Broken, the GOP is a broken record of outdated conservative principles driven by ideologues who make millions off of pushing your racist, bigoted, buttons with fear mongering.

ke_future:

actually, lee, everybody is talking about her race and gender. in the case of the left, it's how her race and gender will give her more empathy and a different perspective. and on the right they're talking about how obama chose her, not because of her qualifications, but because of her race and gender. and given what those on the left are saying, they're correct.

lee, she doesn't have that great of a judicial record. yes she was a judge for a long time. but she has a high percentage of cases over turned. she is notorious for her lack of judicial temperment. can you honestly believe that the fact that she is a hispanic woman was not the primary determiner of why she was selected?

Lee Ward:

Sotomayor has already been confirmed twice by the Senate:

Sotomayor has been confirmed twice by the Senate. Republicans who voted to confirm her in 1998 included Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and former senators Bill Frist of Tennessee, Jesse Helms of North Carolina and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

If you want to point to her record since 1998 and explain why Republicans can no longer support her feel free.

Arguing that she should not be confirmed in this nomination because she's a woman and Hispanic isn't a valid reason.

Arguing that she shouldn't be confirmed because Democrats weighed her race and gender in her selection isn't a valid argument against her either....

Conclusion -- the right is failing to mount any valid arguments against Sotomayor's confirmation.

Conclusion -- while Sotomayor was confirmed by Republicans for a lower judicial post, they seem to have a problem with Sotomayor in a higher post.

What are the reasons why? I'm not seeing any valid arguments - just right wing noise. Stupid, idiotic noise... the same old broken "NO, NO, NO"....

Sorry, ke - that's how I see it.

Sue:

The more liberals claim that conservatives are racist and don't want someone who is "brown" (the new liberal buzz word when claiming racism)to serve in some position the

MORE They lose Credibility and the less I listen to them.

Often I don't even bother checking out their claims because they are simply spin, lies, or as in this case claims of racism when there are no indication of any truth to the accusations.

Lee. Maybe she was fine for a lower court nomination, but her recent judgments and how she conducts herself show that she is not suited or qualified for the Supreme Court.

Go ahead and continue whining that the "right is out of control".

We'll keep laughing at your hyperbole considering how the left acted when President Bush nominated someone for the Supreme Court.

Lee Ward:

Feel free to keep spewing the same nonsensical non-arguments, Sue.

"Lee. Maybe she was fine for a lower court nomination, but her recent judgments and how she conducts herself show that she is not suited or qualified for the Supreme Court."

Really, How?

When?

Who?

What?

Where?

(crickets...)

No examples.

Just right wing noise...

ke_future:

seriously, lee. she may have been fine for lower courts, but the more i look into her case history, the less i like her. what part of 60% overturn rate don't you understand? if someone is making that many mistakes, why on earth should we promote them?

i don't oppose her because she's a woman, or a hispanic. i really don't care what her race and gender are. i'm not arguing that she shouldn't be confirmed because the democrats took them into account. you said only republicans are talking about her race and gender, and i'm merely refuting you.

i oppose here because of her judicial ideology. i oppose her because she gets it wrong at the appellate level most of the time.

steve:

She backed the City of New Haven for tossing a fire department test for promotions after too few minority-group members participated - a decision being reviewed by the Supreme Court.

Should read "too few minority groups PASSED"

Lee Ward:

Really? She let a court case move forward without deciding the case one way or the other.

She didn't decide the case, she let it go forward to be decided by another court.

Oh my god - she gave minorities their day in court! No wonder Republicans hate her.

ke - show us what she got wrong. Quit repeating the talking points you pick up in the Nut-O-Spehere and get specific.

Quit whining like a putz.

Lee Ward:

by the way, ke-future, what is the average reversal rate for the Supreme Court?

I've seen data that says 70%, making Sotomayor's 60 percent BELOW AVERAGE.

lol - try fact-checking your 'objection' next time.

ke_future:

as far as reversal rate? if there are other judges that have high reversal rates, i'd object to them as well, for the same reason at this point. i will readily admit that i don't know the reversal rate average. if it really is 70%, then there is something seriously wrong in the system.

and yet i still object to her judicial ideology. which is my main problem with her. and not her race. nor her gender.
and you are a fine one to talk about "fact checking", lee.

Rich Fader:

If George Bush had sent up a white male conservative appointee, and it was found he believed white males were intrinsically better at judging because they were white males, he'd have been withdrawn inside of the first week. Or faster.

ts:

Lee - She did not "let a case move forward without deciding the case." That may be one of the biggest lies you've posted, and you have posted some whoppers. The panel she was on rendered a summary order, affirming a summary judgment in which the District Court chose not to publish the opinion. The Second Circuit turned down an en banc hearing of the case, but one outcome of that was the dissent authored by Judge Cabranes (in which he was joined by 5 other judges, including the Chief Judge)which pretty much took the three judge panel to the woodshed for not acknowledging the Constitutional issues involved. So the petitioners applied for cert to the Supreme Court and they accepted, which pretty well endorses Judge Cabranes view.

I would encourage you to read the dissent. It is a well written discussion of the complex issues involved. Incorporated within is the summary order, which they removed and replaced with a per curiam opinion just days before the circuit decided against an en banc hearing of the case. That alone is unusual, and Judge Cabranes explains why. Here's a link so you don't have to go chasing around -
http://www.newhaven20.com/cabranesonlydissent.pdf

And for what it's worth, Cabranes is a Clinton appointee.

Certainly that's not going to derail her nomination, so why can't you be truthful about it?

Steve:

It's always fun to see Lee twisting in the wind, crying "racist!" and "nutjob!" when he's confronted by intelligent, level-headed conservatives who disagree with him. "Check your facts!" he whines constantly. Well, I am of the opinion that the charge of RACISM is a pretty damn serious charge and should be based on fact, not just assumption. Where are your FACTS, Lee, that this racism against "brown" is the major motivation of all who have anything the least bit negative to say about Sotomayor? If there wssn't a woman in the Republican line-up of presidential candidates, you cry "sexism!" When one was chosen as the vice-presidential candidate, you called her a "wacko diva". I'm trying to remember how long it took you to say something negative about Palin ... SEXIST!

Lee Ward:

"if it really is 70%, then there is something seriously wrong in the system."

No, it isn't. Letting a case move forward is key to the American justice system, even when it's as simple as affirming a previous decision and letting a higher court decide the matter.

I'll research the 70% number further ke -- but it would appear that this is yet another example where racists and bigots are running off looking for evidence and citing examples merely to cover up their biases.

My suggestion is to look at decisions Sotomayor actually *made* and judge her on those merits. Attacking her for some arbitrary (and un-fact-checked) percentage statistic has -- once again -- shown that the base is being lead into a losing battle, and moderates see this blind goose-stepping behind Malkin, Limbaugh, et.al. for exactly what is is - ideologues leading the unknowing base.

steve:

I'm trying to remember how long it took you to say something negative about Palin ... SEXIST!

Yea, and how long did it take you to attack Miss California.......HETEROPHOBE!

ke_future:
No, it isn't. Letting a case move forward is key to the American justice system, even when it's as simple as affirming a previous decision and letting a higher court decide the matter.

lee, if the average reversal rate is 70%, that doesn't mean that cases are just passed along. it means that judges at lower levels are making errors. in a lot of cases, no matter who wins, there will be an appeal to a higher court. what a 70% reversal rate (that you posted) would tell me that the lower judges are deciding cases incorrectly 70% of the time. that would be a SERIOUS problem. reversal numbers are NOT just affirming a decision and passing it on. if that's all that appellet court judges do, why do we have them?

and i have looked at cases she has presided over. some of them i agree with, some of them i don't. but in general i don't like her approach. she seems more interested that the outcome matches what she wants than in actually applying the law to cases.

to be fair, this appears to be obama's philosphy in regards to the law as well, so it doesn't surprise me that he would nominate someone who shares that view.

i just happen to think that a judicial philosophy more concerned with achieving a particular result rather than impartially applying existing law is horribly bad.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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