Because it’s going to be two or three months before the Senate actually holds a vote on the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, I’ve been a little reluctant to respond to every lunatic comment that comes down the pike. I mean, if you want to go after a nearly 55-year old woman for menstruating then you either need a biology lesson or a crash course in political sensitivity…or both.
What’s becoming clear, though, is that a certain element of the Republican Wurlitzer is severely off-key. To a certain degree, there are always fringes on both wings that do little service to the people actually responsible for winning elections. Caught up in their own echo-chamber of self-righteousness, MoveOn.org put an ad in the New York Times accusing our commanding general in Iraq of betraying his country. The pulse of the anti-war movement was gone the next day. MoveOn’s huge mailing list isn’t really fringe at all, but they were marginalized (and essentially censured by Congress) by tin-ear leaders who let their strong sense of right and wrong overpower their political senses. At the same time that catastrophe was unfolding another catastrophe was unfolding among right-wing activist groups who let their hatred of Latinos overpower a cool analysis of demographic reality. In shooting down President Bush’s effort at immigration reform, the right did severe damage to John McCain’s campaign, and to the campaigns of Republicans all over the country. It’s likely to be lasting damage, and their treatment of Sonia Sotomayor indicates that they are content to drive over the same cliff more than once.
With Republican talking heads calling Sotomayor a ‘racist’, a ‘schoolmarm’, a member of the ‘KKK’ without the hoods or the nooses’, stupid, and temperamental, there is no way for either women or latinos to conclude anything else but that the GOP doesn’t like them. And here’s the thing. Normally, political advocates argue their case in a way that they think will ultimately help their party win elections. Sometimes, their desire to win leads them to trim their sails a bit about how they really feel. But these Republicans are letting it all hang out without any regard whatsoever for the essentially suicidal rhetoric they are using.
A lot of liberals are almost gleeful to see them take all the rope and hang themselves with it. Well, I’m not gleeful. I really don’t like having an openly racist party in this county, let alone one that is the only realistic alternative to the Democrats. It’s not healthy and it’s not safe. And I want someone to come along and put this GOP party out of its misery before it comes back to power through the power of inertia.
Libertarians need to get their crap together. Or someone.