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Why Sotomayor's Confirmation Debate Is the D.C. Equivalent of Rock of Love


Listening to conservatives like Pat "She's an Affirmative Action Pick" Buchanan, Rush "He Picked the Hispanic" Limbaugh, and Tom "Latino KKK" Tancredo play the race card in attacking the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, I've been marveling at just how self-destructive they've become.

They have to know how bad this is for their party -- especially given the shifting demographics in America, and coming on the heels of the GOP xenophobia unleashed by the immigration debate last year. The Hispanic vote was a deciding factor in Obama's win (Hispanics went for Obama over McCain 67 percent to 31 percent), so the last thing the GOP needs is to be alienating Hispanic voters. BUT THEY JUST CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES!

It reminds me of Robert Downey Jr.'s quote after his umpteenth drug relapse: "It is like I have a shotgun in my mouth, and I've got my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of gunmetal."

The GOP attack dogs have an electoral shotgun in their mouth -- and they are addicted to the taste of gunmetal.

This week, I've heard numerous commentators describe the Supreme Court confirmation process as a "blood sport." I think of it more like D.C.'s version of reality TV: a bunch of spotlight-seeking people on their worst behavior in hopes of getting more air time. It's the political equivalent of Rock of Love.

Another thing that always gets me about the process: without fail, every presidential campaign features endless talk about how important the choice is because the next president will get to pick the next Supreme Court Justice -- "so vote with that in mind." So how come everyone then acts shocked and outraged when the guy who won the election then nominates someone who... shares his beliefs! Oh no, not that! How dare he?!

Newsflash people: that's what campaigns are about. To the victors go the spoils.

Here's another question: in 1998 Sotomayor was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate as a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. By a vote of 67-29, she was found worthy of the federal bench. What has she done in the last ten years to make the outcome any different? Joined the Kim Jong Il Fan Club? Voted for Adam Lambert instead of Kris Allen?

Here's the bottom line: Republicans know Sotomayor is going to be confirmed, so the howls of protest are all for show. It's all about fund-raising and rallying the base. But it's already so super-heated, what will be left to get worked up about by the time we get to the actual confirmation hearings?

Unless there are pubic hairs on Coke cans and secret porno rentals ("The Return of Long Dong Silver"!), it's going to be a total snooze.


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