Fox News: Republicans Divided Over How to Attack Sotomayor

An article on is lamenting the difficult position in which Republicans find themselves with regard to President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court:

“Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court, is posing a conundrum for Republicans who are struggling to unite against a woman they presume will be a reliable vote for liberal causes.

“The GOP doesn’t want to give Sotomayer (sic) a free ride, because they believe she is a judicial activist who will legislate from the bench.”

So what’s the problem? Why don’t they just attack her as a liberal judicial activist? If that’s really their objection to her, it seems that there would be nothing controversial about taking that approach. All they have to do is fire up their slogans about Socialism and set Glenn Beck and his posse loose, and they have the makings of a conventional rightist campaign of obstructionism. The truth is, that isn’t really their objection. The article states that they are…

“…concerned that if they launch a no-holds barred attack on Sotomayor, the first Hispanic to be nominated to the court, they risk alienating a growing minority they want on their side in the voting booth.”

The only way that they can alienate the Hispanic electorate is if they were to oppose Sotomayor on the basis of her race. Consequently, they are inadvertently admitting that that is precisely what they want to do. The argument within the ranks of Republicans is not centered on Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy or record. Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and others have already staked their claims that she is a racist, and that her gender renders her susceptible to that peculiarly feminine characteristic of empathy.

It becomes crystal clear that the dilemma facing Republicans, and Fox News, is tied solely to race and gender when you consider this simple scenario: If the nominee were a white male, would they have any hesitation to executing a straightforward campaign criticizing his record as a jurist?

The fact that there is a debate going on in the party at all, and trumpeted in right-wing media, is conclusive evidence that the real subject of the controversy is the nominee’s race and gender. They just don’t want to admit it. And we can count on Fox to obfuscate that truth and to portray the internecine squabble as something more benign. But if they were truly worried about how Sotomayor would rule as a Justice, then why would criticizing that risk their standing amongst Hispanics?

The answer? It wouldn’t. They’re lying. As usual.