Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's the Point?

Karl Rove has an editorial up at the Wall Street Journal regarding the Sotomayor pick.  Although he admits that she'll probably be confirmed, Rove says that Republicans can "win the argument by making a clear case against the judicial activism she represents." I find that highly unlikely. Everyone already knows that Republicans are against "judicial activism." It's far more likely that the weak Republican leadership we have in Congress will just  manage to look bad if they attack Sotomayor. I'm not sure why Rove thinks the current GOP has the skill and ability to turn a defeat into some sort of victory. This appears to be a no win situation for the Republican party.

No doubt political operatives are busy poring over every word she wrote, and searching for dirt that could derail the nomination. But in my opinion the whole thing is pointless from a Republican perspective. Why start a fight you can't win? President Obama is a liberal Democrat with a Democratic majority in Congress. He's going to nominate liberals to the court. That's a consequence of the election. There is very little the GOP can do about it, especially since he picked an obviously qualified candidate. Even if something comes up that disqualifies Sotomayor, we are just going to get another liberal nominee, possibly someone even worse.

Right now the GOP should be working relentlessly to build alliances with moderate and conservative Democrats to generate effective opposition to the president's domestic agenda. Picking a losing fight against a Supreme Court nominee -- who is replacing a liberal member of the court anyway -- is useless and possibly counterproductive.


  1. Rove says essentially what I said on my own blog yesterday. I believe the only way Party A ever wins is by relentlessly hammering Party B, even if public opinion prefers Party B at the moment.

    That's how Jeffersonian Republicans put their namesake in the White House and utterly destroyed the Federalists. That's how Democrats put Obama in the White House and, for now, have beaten the GOP into near-impotence.

    I agree Republicans shouldn't actually try to defeat Sotomayor, but I think an opposition party must oppose if it wants a shot at retaking the reigns in the future.

  2. I don't see it. I'm not saying they should roll over and applaud the nomination. And they should vote against her on principle. A reasonable amount of opposition & resistance is expected. But that's different than launching a major campaign against her, trying to use a filibuster, etc.

    As for how the Democrats put Obama in the White House, I think that had as much or more to do with the GOP imploding than anything the opposition did.

  3. But that's different than launching a major campaign against her, trying to use a filibuster, etc.Agreed. That's why I suggest doing nothing more strenuous than pointed questions and control of the narrative. I don't think actively campaigning against her is anything but counterproductive.

    ...GOP imploding...No argument there. One reason they imploded, though, was because Bush barely tried justifying his policies to the American people, and the Democrats never quit hammering at him. They controlled the narrative due mainly to GOP negligence, and boy howdy did it work out well for 'em.

  4. "though, was because Bush barely tried justifying his policies to the American people"

    All too true. I just wrote something the other day asking why it took until 2009 for Dick Cheney to give any kind of effective defense of his administration's policies.