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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

1

That's the number of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who voted for the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court today. (Thanks to C-SPAN for the video above.)

Both Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) cast "no" votes, the first time either man has ever voted against a Supreme Court nominee -- a fact that provides some sense for how partisanship has crept into the debate over Court nominees in the last few years. (Not a single Judiciary Committee Democrat voted for Samuel Alito although three Democrats voted for John Roberts.)

Wendy Long, head of the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network, released a statement in the immediate aftermath of the vote praising Republicans on the committee for taking such a partisan stand. "Republicans will no longer defer to confirmation of liberal judicial activists," said Long. "The overwhelming, almost-unanimous Republican opposition to the nomination of Judge Sotomayor is a historical first."

That trend toward partisanship in all things Washington bodes poorly for President Barack Obama's much-touted bipartisan approach -- particularly in regards his efforts to win Republican support for his health care reform proposal.

Republicans are clearly placing a big bet on the idea that standing in (near) unified opposition to Obama's priorities -- whether on Sotomayor or health care or the economic stimulus package -- gives them the best chance to begin rebuilding their party's electoral strength.

What Republicans seem set on doing is drawing a bright, broad line between how they see the direction of the country and how Obama and Democrats see it -- ensuring that the American people know there is a significant difference between the two sides.

The danger in placing all of their chips on the anti-Obama bet is that Republicans run the risk of losing big if the American public rejects that approach.

The White House has long believed that voters want to see Obama attempt to bring on Republican support but don't feel strongly about whether or not he is actually able to achieve that goal.

Republicans seem ready to put that theory to the test.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 28, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/Police%20report%20on%20Gates%20arrest.PDF

OFFICER CROWLEY’S ARRESTING POLICE REPORT ABOVE…CLICK FOR YOURSELF.

UH OHH OFFICER CROWLEY… WHY IN YOU’RE POLICE REPORT… YOU REPORTED THAT THE 911 CALLER ‘LUCIA WHALEN’, AT THE SCENE DESCRIBED TO YOU THAT THERE WERE TWO BLACK MEN WITH BACKPACKS?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS TYPO IN YOU’RE POLICE REPORT?

IS THIS THE CAUSE OF THE RACE CARD BEING PLAYED?

Posted by: opp88 | July 30, 2009 2:17 AM | Report abuse

A point that hasn't come up is that, in the after the fact descriptions, Crowleys are the formulaic Police responses they are used to giving. Like testifying on a DWI stop. "How did you decide that he was intoxicated?" "There was a storng smell of alcohol, his speech was slurred..." Sit in court watching the normal run of indictments of drunks, speeders, domestic cases, and you hear such a standard litany that you eventually realise that these are legal formulas, between the cop and the judge, of words and phrases that have been worked out to be legally exact. Any cop who regularlu testifies uses them.

Crowley's description of what happened has that same legally exact sound to it. Like Officer Steve Roach defending himself for killing a fleeing teenager, "I felt afraid..." At best it is insincere, and it so often verges on untruth, (How could Roach have actually been afraid of a teenager who's instant flight from cops was legend all over Hamilton County?)

Crowley felt dissed, and demonstrated that he could punish the act.

And Gates now has a lesson from the MAN that Gates' home is no longer Gates'

SGT Crowley is under no compulsion to respect Gates' home, his rights, or anything else that is his.

And non whites in Cambridge have one more reason to distrust and avoid Cambridge's finest. Castle.

We learned today's lesson in diversity training very well, Officer Crowley. Now we keep our mouths shut and don' say nothin' NEVER.

And the relationship between the people and the cops grows apace.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 29, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

If Gates had punched the cop in the face then the arrest would have been legitimate.

Arresting someone for hurting one's feelings is an abuse of police power. But if your whole approach to evaluating this story is to weigh your esteem for cops against your esteem for educated minorities I really don't expect you to grasp that.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Is there ANYTHING that Gates could have done that you libs would agree the arrest was legitimate?

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"So, you have two guys, both right, from their own point of view... and both wrong, too. And an unfortunate situation hat simply got out of hand. Hopefully they will sit down for a beer or four and realize that. In the meantime, I think all of us need to butt out."

Gene Weingarten said it well. He said that no one is 100% to blame for what happened, but one person is at least 51% responsible and that is the cop. Gates acted like an idiot, but Crowley abused his power.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 1:23 AM | Report abuse

People with mixed brown skin are the human world.

==

sto-o-o-o-o-o-op you're making me horny

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

cf8, got it. Friends are good.

But?

People with mixed brown skin are the human world. We are mixing, matching, mixing and matching. We need to have a rational discussion about the purpose of national borders that is not racial. Racial boundaries are going away, but if borders are set to go away, that is something no one on the smart side of reality has considered.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't see the point of turning our armed forces into a social experiment,

==

If you mean allowing gays to serve without hiding, that's not an experiment. "Experiment" implies the outcome is uncertain, and given that so many other countries don't even think about whether to do this or not, and they have no problems, the outcome is all but certain.

The only reason for excluding gays now is squeamishness. You want to stand behind squeamishness as a national imperative?

By the way, the whole "middle of the road" thing doesn't make you look particularly individualistic anymore. Just conceited.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

The republicans are standing for something, alright. But the opinion polls show that what they are standing for is about as popular as an infectous desiese. It doesn't really matter what the dems do at this point, succeed, fail, either way the political deck is stacked in their favor because the GOP is intent on self destructing in order to prove a point.

Posted by: theamazingjex | July 29, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

@shrink2: Mike and I have exchanged numerous emails and spoken on the phone. No not the same as someone I've driven out to help with a stalled car at 3AM but something more than co-bloggers.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

douglasbarber, re: "The police don't know but what you've just stabbed your wife in the bedroom. That consideration alone should sink your argument."

The police weren't called because of a threat to women or children, screams, blood, anything of the sort. They were called because someone thought the man standing before them entered the home illegally. Don't confuse the issue with irrelevant hypotheticals. No one knows but that I might have a death ray pointed at Moscow in my house, but even if I do they still can't drag me out of my own house just because I'm rude.

Posted by: nodebris | July 28, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

I just don't get where folks get the idea it's socialists and nazis who are for gun control. You couldn't take your guns into Tombstone, either. For good reason. And the Erps weren't no communists.

I'm all for people being able to have guns, and rural folks being able to have guns up their whazoos and carry them into kindergartens, if it suits them. But anyone who thinks it's a good idea to allow guns in urban bars and schools is a pure idiot or selfish beyond description. They certainly don't have anyone they love in an urban bar or school.

I'm totally in accord with the notion: make weapons legal in Congress and your children's private schools, then lets talk about how guns are good everywhere all the time. Let me take a concealed weapon into the next Republican Presidential inauguration, then you can pass whatever laws you want about it.

Christ, people. This is just common sense, not ideology.

Posted by: nodebris | July 28, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

"Hopefully they will sit down for a beer or four and realize that. In the meantime, I think all of us need to butt out."

We don't agree on everything at all, but I kinda understand and like your thinking, mibrooks, and this was a great post. Snap.

Posted by: nodebris | July 28, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I see the mindless chrisuxcox has crawled out of his dark hole to entertain us with his ignorance and putrid humor.

I know, how about a new palin insult. You seem to be brimming with propoganda and mindless hate.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | July 28, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

The dogmatic wings (left and right) would love to just ignore everything they know when an inconvenient situation poses questions that don't flatter their ideology.

I prefer people to ideologies.

I like Mike Vick. PETA, not so much. I like the arresting officer in Cambridge, the professor not so much.

I like single payer national health care, insurance companies not so much.

I like card check for signing up union members, "right to work" Taft-Hartley laws not so much.

Basically, I guess I'm an unreconstructed New Deal liberal. I don't see the point of giving up health care for the working poor because the losing party insists that women on welfare must be allowed to use Medicaid to use abortion as a means of birth control.

I don't see the point of turning our armed forces into a social experiment, I'd prefer that they be a sharply pointed dagger putting fear, not laughter, into the hearts of our enemies.

I don't see the point of letting bureaucrats appointed by elected officials tell me what I may eat, smoke or drink.

I don't see the point of free trade, when that means that American steel makers, for instance, can shop the globe for the most repressive government on earth, then locate their plant there, and be assured of labor peace.

I'm not married to either political party. There are members of both for whom I have a great deal of respect, and members of both whom I hold in utter contempt.

My respect list includes Edward Kennedy and Charles Grassley.

My contempt list includes Arlen Specter and Dianne Feinstein.

Go figure.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 28, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

There would appear to be two blocs of voters that these republicans have written off, both of whom would have been reasonably available to careful campaign oratory, both essential to getting Republicans elected, and both contemplating the outstretched hand they will be offered to discern how many fingers on it are erect.

Hispanics, of course, and they are more of the swing portion of the [population every year, (and becoming more unmovable as Republicans keep marginalizing them), but also the old undecideds who were so unhappy with the Democrats for being so opposed to Roberts and Alito.

The Question, tghough, is, "Did this class of voters ever exist?" If a big move in the truly independent ranks goes Democrat in 2010, and stays Democrat in 2012, it may be an indication that there was real centrist unhappiness over politicizing the Court nomination process. If there isn't much of a swing, then all the clamor may just have been the "Independent" Republicans who are willing to claim to be registered something elses for sounding off.

It was a fatuous fight to pick, since it changed nothing, never stood a chance to halt Sotomayor's rising to the Supreme Court, and isn't even much of a warning shot, because it really tells Obama that he needn't even bother checking with the republicans, because they wouldn't be on his side if he nominated another Rehnquist.

Just six grumpy white men who probably need more fiber in their diets.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 28, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks27 wrote, "Now, can we leave them to their beer?"

Sure.

But let's not be too quick to send law enforcement away with tail betwixt legs once greeted with angry male at front door. That proposed policy could have devastating consequences for women and children.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 28, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"chrisfox8 - you are one of the most thoughtful people I know"

I think cf8 is smart too.
But dude, you need to meet some people in real life.

You do not know cf8.

You know there is someone pa troll ing here who is really smart on the left side.
That is all you know.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

douglaslbarber, From everything I heard, broadwayjoe has it pretty correct. The police office confirmed that this was Gates' home and that should have ended the situation. But Gates was angry, rightfully angry, and he yelled at Crowley. It was Gates' yelling at him that led to Crowley's arresting him. And Crowley was not, is not, a racist. He is a cop and he did exactly what any cop does in that situation, what they are taught to do. Now, I don't like it, but I don't yell at police officers because I know that I will be arrested and charged with "disorderly conduct". It was an unfortunate situation with both guys acting like anyone in their positions would do. You have two honorable men, both right, neither backing down from their being right, and this is the result. Now, can we leave them to their beer?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 28, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe, hijacking the thread, wrote, "My problem is talkin' smack at the police from your home is not a crime."

The police don't know but what you've just stabbed your wife in the bedroom. That consideration alone should sink your argument.

Crime reports are often grossly inaccurate, ditto eyewitness testimony. An officer dispatched to a home would be negligent to leave it before ensuring that everyone therein is safe and sound.

Encountering a belligerent male at the front door is not, from an honest policeman's point of view, a good sign.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 28, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

"Now, I don't agree with that policy, but it IS the policy of police all over the country and Gates should have expected it."
_______________
My problem is talkin' smack at the police from your home is not a crime. Gates was not smart to have talked junk, true, but it still was a false arrest.

But it's over now (everywhere but Fox News)and hopefully BHO, Gates, and Crowley will throw back some cold ones on Thursday...:)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 28, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I would love to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, gang members, and kids ... and NRA members, too, for that matter. I just cannot figure out how to do that without violating the Second Amendment.

==

You mean, without violating an extreme and far-right interpretation of the Second Amendment that ignores the opening clause, which its authors regarded as so important they distorted the grammar to put it first.

If we can't keep guns out of the hands of people who would abuse them without violating the Second Amendment then something is way wrong. I regard violent nutbars killing people to be infinitely more important than the freedom to own guns, which I regard as hypertrophied in importance. There are simply too many other countries where people and the press are freer than here. I think if we got the RKBA behind us we would learn to think about freedoms that matter, and to my mind the RKBA doesn't.

Trust me, I do appreciate your respect for fine workmanship, but requiring a license to own guns and denying them to people with mental problems need not take yours away.

I never said military service was dishonorable, but I would never agree it's for everyone. Being in the military means accepting a rigid authoritarian outlook, and is very much a program of indoctrination, which I oppose in principle because it would close far too many doors. Creative people would be destroyed. And I would emphatically counsel against the armed forces as long as the US is engaging in wars for reasons other than response to attack.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

lufrank1 wrote, "It should be obvious to all that Hatch, who is viewed by many as a wise leader is a charter member of anti-health reform because of family connections, and is 100% GOP to ruin Obama (a sophisticated Limbaugh)."

Hatch strikes me as a tad unbalanced, as though his liver emits little bursts of tetrahydrocannabinol at random intervals. Grassley, by contrast, seems to have his liver in order, though his bile ducts occasionally hyperventilate.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 28, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 - you are one of the most thoughtful people I know and I respect you, so I will think about it. But, I really did doubt Sotomayor when she refused to answer the question put to her about guns. And, as everyone should be aware, I would love to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, gang members, and kids ... and NRA members, too, for that matter. I just cannot figure out how to do that without violating the Second Amendment.

As for military service, I really did mean it. I am a patriot. I love this country and serve it whenever and however I can. I believe that every youth needs to spend a few years in the military. It buys them standing as citizens and that service is honorable. Sure, hacks like Bush mis-used our troops, but that does not demean the honor of their service nor it's value. This socialist flies a flag made in the U.S.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 28, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Crowley, in turn, being a police officer resorted to a long standing policy of police officers everywhere, when confronted by someone yelling at him, he arrested him

==

... and charged him with a crime as an excuse to make his life miserable for a few hours, a charge which was dropped. Sounds like harassment to me.

I agree with the general cant of your post thought . going off on cop isn't smart. Speaking as a guy who speeds like mad yet never gets a ticket, because I'm scrupulously polite to cops.

Honestly don't see why this story was national news.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry mibrooks but I think you're off the deep ed on this one. On Sotomayor you're taking her refusal to take the bait as evidence she supports gun control. Absence of evidence isn't evidence of anything nefarious, and she has left no trail to support the NRA's paranoia. The Second is safe.

But gun control? Come on, get real. Do you wand convicted stalkers, mental cases, violent criminals, drunken ex-boyfriends, to have guns? I don't. Do you want wild-eyed guys with beards carrying guns onto airplanes? I don't. I think to require a license to drive a car but not to own a lethal weapon is insane, and no I am not saying driving should be unlicensed. We have too damned much murder in this country and guns account for most of it, and no I am not interested in John Lott's bizarre parsing of the data.

As for military service, not in this decade, throwing lives away so chickenhawks can act out their ideological follies. And I grew up in a military family.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe - From what I understand, Crowley asked Gates for identification and proof that this was his home and Gates went off. Now, if a police officer asked me if it was my home I and I was black, I would likely go off on them, too. In any event, every witness to this event says that Gates raised his voice and was extremely angry. Crowley, in turn, being a police officer resorted to a long standing policy of police officers everywhere, when confronted by someone yelling at him, he arrested him. Now, I don't agree with that policy, but it IS the policy of police all over the country and Gates should have expected it.

So, you have two guys, both right, from their own point of view... and both wrong, too. And an unfortunate situation hat simply got out of hand. Hopefully they will sit down for a beer or four and realize that. In the meantime, I think all of us need to butt out.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 28, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised by Sen. Grassley's vote. I don't know his rationale, but tit-for-tat response to the party line vote against Alito would be adequate explanation. A polarizing protest against polarization - that's what we've come to in this downward spiral within which the notion of a "loyal opposition" has been turned, over the last 30 years, into a joke.

I'm a partisan Dem at this point but I regard Grassley as the paradigm of a plain spoken straight shooter.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | July 28, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't think "1" is that important.

The GOP lost the Latino vote some time ago when they got on the Lou Dobbs and Rush ("Send em back to Mexico") bandwagon. What little support they still had after that vanished when they race- and sex-baited Judge Sonia.

One. Two. None. What difference does it make? Did the self-absorbed MSM take a look at how the Sonia bashing played in Spanish language media? Hasta luego.

Pat ("White folks built the U.S.") Buchanan said to write off the Latino vote. So let it be done...
_____

Also great take on the bogus "Gates-gate" story from Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Robinson (who never quite seems to make "Fix Picks"--oh well). From today's Post:

"I lived in Cambridge for a year, and I can attest that meeting a famous Harvard professor who happens to be arrogant is like meeting a famous basketball player who happens to be tall. It's not exactly a surprise. Crowley wouldn't have lasted a week on the force, much less made sergeant, if he had tried to arrest every member of the Harvard community who treated him as if he belonged to an inferior species. Yet instead of walking away, Crowley arrested Gates as he stepped onto the front porch of his own house."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/27/AR2009072701907.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 28, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I hit return too soon.
For me and others of my ilk, the deal breakers are racism, a gay or lesbian hater. I also loathe economic internationalists (free trade) nd pathetic "liberals who are anti-military (I raised my children to be patriots AND warriors - military service in my family is mandatory). That's about it

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 28, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 _ I don't have any evidence of her stand. She was asked but dodged the question and that is what has me worried. I don't mind her position on any other issue, though, but gun control is sort of a deal breaker for me. There are lots of liberals, leftist, and socialists (me!) hat feel the same way, too, on a whole host of issues.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 28, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

"Someone needs to bring a bill to the floor to allow handguns on airplanes. Watch the GOP leap onto their swords."

EJ Dionne suggested a bill allowing guns in the Capitol.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Sessions is probably worse than Wallace. Wallace wasn't really a bigot at heart, he just knew how to get out the cracker vote. Sessions is the real deal.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

It should be obvious to all that Hatch, who is viewed by many as a wise leader is a charter member of anti-health reform because of family connections, and is 100% GOP to ruin Obama (a sophisticated Limbaugh).
Sessions, of course is a George Wallace Alabama Bigot.

Posted by: lufrank1 | July 28, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

There was a recent bill proposed to prevent terrorists from purchasing firearms. I'm not sure if it passed or what happened, but many Republicans opposed it since the NRA did.

==

Someone needs to bring a bill to the floor to allow handguns on airplanes. Watch the GOP leap onto their swords.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Palin will be another entertainer for the Rush group. Hell, they're tired of bulbble-butt. Palin is pleasant on the eye althought still a pig in lipstick if you ask me....

==

She may be pleasant on the eye but she's murder on the ear

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Shame on Orrin Hatch. But he represents one of the tiniest constituencies in the country, for the most part, rightwing conservatives. Wasted vote.

Posted by: dudh | July 28, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to say all those heavy breathing overweight men over at the Chris Matthews show right now

This ain't 1972 which compared to this high tech 24 hour news cycle we have today - it seems like it was (Nixon)1952 vs. (Palin)2012

You cannot compare them two as far as news cycly goes it's like doing a comparison of apple and oranges - oil and water!

Palin will be another entertainer for the Rush group. Hell, they're tired of bulbble-butt. Palin is pleasant on the eye althought still a pig in lipstick if you ask me....

Anyway Pat and Chris I wonder how your wives take to the way you guys just falter all over this woman

She may be attrative
But Obama is much more handsome!

OH YEAH THOSE CONSERVATIVES NBC/WSJ POLLSTER ARE COMING BACK OUT WITH THEIR LOP-SIDED POLLS AGAIN

WHO WANNA MAKE A BET THOSE WHO WERE POLLED WERE SUBURBAN WHITE FOLKS WHO MAKE OVER $200,000

Posted by: danson1 | July 28, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"nodebris: "He should immediately release the "Puppy Dog, Apple Pie, and Mom" bill. Then follow it up with the "Giving our Children a Better Future" bill, and the "Don't Trust Bad People" bill."

ROFL! That's just cruel. You are an evil genius. :)"

There was a recent bill proposed to prevent terrorists from purchasing firearms. I'm not sure if it passed or what happened, but many Republicans opposed it since the NRA did.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Guess it's safe to say "one very wise Latina woman scared (no make that "mortified") a few frustrated old, white men." LOL

Posted by: JaneB08 | July 28, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

When are you going to add Texas to the line?

From Brad Jacksons column

"Democrats are looking to take advantage of an open Senate seat in Texas with the likely departure of Kay Bailey Hutchison as she gears up to run for Governor. Fundraising numbers came out this week, and the results may be a cause for concern among the Texas GOP. Bill White, the Mayor of Houston has raised more than $2.1 million at the end of the first quarter. The other heavyweight Democrat in the field is longtime Texas politician John Sharp, who also has $2.4 million in the bank, although $2 million of that is a loan from his personal funds.

Bill White should be a particular concern for Republicans in what has been a reliably red state for a while. White is a popular mayor from the nation’s fourth largest city, and Democrats have made some serious gains in the Lonestar state’s urban areas over the past several election cycles. The city of Dallas has swung blue in recent elections, pushing out many longtime GOP judges (who are elected in Texas) as well as county and city officials. Democrats also have made gains in the Houston area, and are strong in the Rio Grande Valley where Texas has it’s highest numbers of Hispanic voters.

A well funded candidate like White, or Sharp, with some national attention from the DNC, DSCC, MoveOn, and other liberal interest groups could make a 2010 special election a real hassle for the GOP. It would undoubtedly make it a mightily expensive campaign in a state with a lot ground, and a lot of media markets to be covered."

After John Cornyn's vote today we are going to have a great hispanic voting drive down here in Texas. To hell with the Alamo.... Remember Sotomayor! Texas is 45% minority who will vote 90-95% Democratic so it only takes 20% of the white vote to elect a Democrat.

Posted by: bradcpa | July 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Well it looks like the lines are drawn. There is no point pursuing bipartisanship anymore, it's a waste of time. If Orrin Hatch votes against a perfectly sound justice to suck up to the GOP, it's all over. Obama should just steamroller over them from now on.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

For the life of me I can't see why more Rep's did not vote for her. The most qualified justice in the last 40 odd years with a depth of experience as a judge, trial court as well as a prosecutor.

ABA rating-Well Qualified

Just for the record Clarance Thomas received a ABA rating of Qualified and he is a hero on the right.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | July 28, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is desperate and this is the only approach they can think of to resurrect their party. Their ideology has failed both domestically and internationally and they no new ideas so they are doubling down on their old failed ideas. This is a fairly safe issue since most people, other than Hispanics, will forget this vote before the next election. As to the thought that the Hispanic voted doesn't matter in Iowa, don't be so sure. We know that angry white males still dominate in Alabama and Kentucky so there is no risk there. This does demonstrate what the GOP thinks about bipartisanship which is you do it our way or we just say no. Obama gets high marks for trying to achieve bipartisanship.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | July 28, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

What week -- republican alienate the hispanic vote and Obama alienates the white vote.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | July 28, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why Obama doesn't just tell the GOP to stick it where the sun don't shine. Who needs those useless wastes of space called republicans, anyways? Lord knows you've tried bipartisanship, Mr. President - they want nothing to do with you. Time to bury them in progress and render them impotent in 2012.

New Sarah Palin bumper sticker:

PALIN 2012 - 2014 1/2

Posted by: jfern03 | July 28, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, mibrooks, what evidence do you have that Sotomayor threatens gun ownership? Everything I've heard of originates with the NRA, and the NRA is no more a reliable source of information than the Republican Party. They're hysterical fanatics.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 28, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

who needs the ass-backwards, gun loving, birther crazy, scandal addicted, policy challenged party of no. Funny how 50 or so political dinosaurs can keep millions from progress.

It's about time we had government by the people, for the people, not the republican brand of government by corporations for the corperations - which they still peddle.

Birther resolutions?
Apology resolutions?

Sirs: how is unemployment in your state?

Posted by: jfern03 | July 28, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Then again...

Republicans painting Sotomayor as a far-left liberal might make it easier for Obama to nominate a true hard-core liberal to the Supremes next time.

It's a bit like the story about the boy who cried "Wolf!" when there wasn't really a wolf around. If Republicans yell "Liberal Activist!" for every nominee when they have no solid evidence to back it up, they may not have any credibility left if Obama really does nominate one.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 28, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The GOP just said no to a Hispanic female candidate who was one of the most highly qualified nominees I've seen in my lifetime. I hope that plays real well with Hispanic and female voters in upcoming elections. Obama should forget about bi-partisanship. He has put his hand out and made compromises only to be spit on. It's time he and the rest of the Democrats just started getting it done, overruling their obstructionism. Most thinking people know it was the Republicans helping their uber-wealthy friends amass even more wealth that drove us into this ditch. That crowd won't be happy until the entire planet is enslaved.

Posted by: SarahBB | July 28, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

nodebris: "He should immediately release the "Puppy Dog, Apple Pie, and Mom" bill. Then follow it up with the "Giving our Children a Better Future" bill, and the "Don't Trust Bad People" bill."

ROFL! That's just cruel. You are an evil genius. :)

Posted by: Gallenod | July 28, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

-pamela,

I don't think Obama will nominate any "Liberal Lions" to the bench, mostly to avoid giving conservative Republicans any traction to ramp up the judicial activism argument. He will likely nominate more judges like Sotomayor--moderate, reasonable and very slightly left of center people with a solid, middle of the road portfolio of decisions and writings.

Because if he nominates a firebrand left-winger he proves the Republicans' case for them. Unlike the repudiation of Robert Bork, where Bork essentially told the committee, "I'm a conserviative, this is how I will vote," and they rejected him, Sotomayor didn't ruffle any feathers. Since the only thing that Republicans could find in 17 years on the bench was here "wise Latina" comment and a couple of reversals of panel decisions by the Supremes (which happes to every Appellate Court judge at some point), it's pretty clear to most Americans that the Republican opposition, principled or not, is mostly partisan posing.

On the other hand, if Obama nominates someone like Lawrence Tribe, you'll see a real hysterical frenzy on the Right, particularly if it's to replace a conservative.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 28, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"The Most Important Number in Politics Today" . . . Whew! Not a Palin number.

The GOP willingness to unanimously contradict anything that the administration promotes essentially puts the GOP's destiny into Obama's hands.

He should immediately release the "Puppy Dog, Apple Pie, and Mom" bill. Then follow it up with the "Giving our Children a Better Future" bill, and the "Don't Trust Bad People" bill.

Then we can all sit back and watch Republicans argue how real Americans hate pie, puppies, Mom, their children, and the future, and how it's foolishly naive not to trust bad people.

Posted by: nodebris | July 28, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

dbitt says:

President Obama will have to decide how far he's willing to go in courting Republicans and having nothing to show for it. At some point, he will have to gather up his forces and say "I tried" and then govern as if the Republicans don't matter. Because if the Democrats can act in concert-- well, they don't.

------------

I think the Sotomayor appointment really represents Obama trying to be bipartisan. Sure, appointing the first Latina is big, but she's hardly a flaming liberal. In general, her rulings seemed pretty mainstream to me, regarless of her speechmaking. If Obama really wants to move the court (and I hope he does) his next appointment should be a true counterweight to conservatives like Thomas and Scalia. Bipartisanship, in this environment, gains him nothing.

Posted by: -pamela | July 28, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"AndyR3,
The thing is that the Blue dog senators don't want to push a liberal agenda. Max Baucus honestly doesn't think that a public health option is a good idea. Its not that he doesn't like the President or wants to help Republicans he just wants to get the best bill out that he can. The article in today's Post about the six senators that are working on Healthcare is a good one on how the Senate is supposed to work."
----------------------------
The problem is that Max Baucus has also taken more money from the private health insurance industry than any other Senator. How does that enter into the workings of the Senate? Baucus is from Montana, hardly a powerhouse of political fundraising, yet he's the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which is arguably the most lobbied committee by corporate interests because of its control over business regulations. He knew he would be Chairman of one of the main committees with jurisdiction over health care reform.

I don't mean to impugn the man's motives, but he either is the poster child for the corrupting perception of our privately funded electoral system because he will side with his donors over 70% of Americans who want a public option and the majority of his caucus? Or he has taken all this money from hundreds of companies; knowing full well that he would support something he knew these companies would not support?

I don't think any of us can say for sure what Sen. Baucus's motives are, but right now his committee is the lone hold out in reporting out a bill and THE obstacle to Obama's top priority.

Posted by: johnnyspazm | July 28, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Gallenod is correct. Democratic infighting is where CC should be getting fixes for us. Republicans are irrelevant, will be marginalized for a long time.

Yet the most important political battle of the Obama administration is shaping up right now, right under our noses. I'd love to know how these bills are being built. At least as of this morning (I have, sadly, had to work all day), no one had a clue what was going into the Senate Finance bill.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Stop saying how amazing it is that Hatch and Grassley have never before voted against a Supreme Court nominee. They have only had THREE Democratic nominees to the court to vote on - in fact, there have only been three since 1969. The fact that they are going 1 out of 3 is not a big deal - especially since it was Hatch who recommended Ruth Bader Ginsburg to President clinton. When you say that this is the FIRST time, it implies they have had many other times they would have realistically voted against a nominee - but since they have all been Republican nominees besides JUST THREE, it is not a big deal that this is the first. It is also the first time for Sessions, Coburn, Cornyn, and Kyl - why not say that, too??? Oh yeah, they have only had ONE Democract nominee to vote on, not the big number of THREE.

Posted by: tjs_dc | July 28, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"The danger in placing all of their chips on the anti-Obama bet is that Republicans run the risk of losing big if the American public rejects that approach."

Sheesh, another penetrating glimpse into the obvious. The only way Republican irrelevance changes is not one, but a series of disasters for Obama. That is what Republicans want, because that is what they need. They have no choice but to predict disaster and work to disable Obama's agenda, no matter how popular or successful it is. Allowing bipartisan success for Obama would simply give him another arrow to shoot them with at election time.


Posted by: shrink2 | July 28, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The interesting thing about the Sotomayor confirmation is that, come November, most voters won't remember or care about it.

Except Latino voters. Commercials will run on Spanish-language radio and television stations reminding them of who voted against the first Latina Supreme Court justice.

I love it...the Republicans keep alienating every group except gun-owning, middle-aged white males.

And I also have to give some mad props to Lindsey Graham. Sure, he may have his "personal secrets," but I'm impressed with his vote. It takes some guts to stand up to the nutcases in his own party in South Carolina.

Posted by: Bondosan | July 28, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, I'm surprised at this. Lyndsey Graham is the only Republican senator willing to vote on a judge based on judicial philosophy instead of personal views. I thought John Cornyn would vote for her, as well as Hatch & Grassley. Let's face it, it's politically popular for both Iowa & Hatch to vote no in their home states and nationally. Utah & Iowa are primarily white, and Iowa has a large focus on social issues right now based on their court ruling to legalize gay marriage in Iowa. Both Hatch & Grassley gain from this. Graham, if anything, will receive heat from the racism in South Carolina from Republican circles. He's not up for reelection until 2014, but reelection isn't an issue in Lyndsey Graham's votes, as he votes for what he actually believes. Kudos to Lyndsey Graham! This NRA & property rights issue for Sotomayor may keep alot more Republicans from voting for her than I thought, but she is still likely to get some votes. Marteniz, Snowe, Collins, Graham and a few more will likely vote for her confirmation. Senators to watch: NC Sen. Burr, Nevada Sen. Ensign, Arizona Sens. McCain & Kyl. These senator's will have tough choices to make.

Posted by: reason5 | July 28, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

AndyR3: Unfortunately, Baucus has left the majority of his caucus out of the crafting process. All that does is accentuate the divisions within the Democratic caucus and makes a potentially nasty intramural Democratic fight between the House bill, the HELP bill, and Finance's bill.

Republicans have been much better at enforcing party discipline than Democrats, partly because they have a much narrower range of views within their caucus. My main point was that if you have two parties, one where all its members are in agreement and the other where its members can't seem to agree, the former looks like they know what they're doing and the fractious one looks indecisive and muddled. Many voters may simply vote for the one with less internal division.

Democrats won big victories in 2006 and 2008 because large majorities united against the Bush administration. Bush is gone, so if the Democrats don't publicly unify around something else, the electorate may start having second thoughts. Baucus, who represents a conservative state with a microscopic percentage of the national electorate, isn't doing his party any favor by shutting the majority of his caucus out of the health care planning process.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 28, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Most voters probably want to believe that lawmakers can put aside partisanship and come together for the national good.

This is clearly not the case on very large items.

President Obama will have to decide how far he's willing to go in courting Republicans and having nothing to show for it. At some point, he will have to gather up his forces and say "I tried" and then govern as if the Republicans don't matter. Because if the Democrats can act in concert-- well, they don't.

(Until the voters decide otherwise, of course.)

Posted by: dbitt | July 28, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

SO NOW LET'S PLAY HARDBALL

Obama made a good-faith effort at bipartisanship.

He was rebuffed. His entreaties have been greeted with scorn and contempt.

Now, hopefully, he will stop compromising with those who are attempting to subvert his agenda, whether openly or back in the cloakroom, and stick to his principles.

He can start with Harry Reid!

***

THE PROF. GATES 'COME OUT ON THE PORCH' POLICE HOME INVASION:
EMBLEMATIC OF A POLICE STATE GESTAPO ENABLED BY A SECRETIVE FED PROGRAM OF EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING AND VIGILANTE INJUSTICE

• President Obama must dismantle the multi-agency nationwide GPS-activated extrajudicial targeting and punishment "torture matrix" and remove from power the federal officials who continue to oversee it.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 28, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

"At some point, Obama will stop playing nice and start pushing for unilateral solutions."

You know, I think the whole appeal of having a bilateral based approach on Capitol Hill is that the partisan approach was preventing things from getting done.

However, I don't think people could really care less as to how Senators behave towards each other if they have jobs and health care. It might be time to ditch the bilateral approach. The way things are looking, if Americans do bad, then Republicans do well. If people stay jobless, that's good for the GOP. In this frame of mind, the Republicans scored a victory when they watered down the stimulus. Most economists say that it wasn't enough.

So as someone who wants Obama to serve two full terms and wants to see a robust Democratic majority in the Senate, perhaps Obama should maintain bipartisanship in approach (listening to people), but not worry about getting 85 Senators or 450 Congressmen to agree on anything. It's just not politically prudent for Republicans to be doing things to improve the lives of Americans right now.

I'm well aware of the azzholish way I framed it, but I do think it's accurate and I do think its in the mindset of GOP leadership.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Gallenod,
The thing is that the Blue dog senators don't want to push a liberal agenda. Max Baucus honestly doesn't think that a public health option is a good idea. Its not that he doesn't like the President or wants to help Republicans he just wants to get the best bill out that he can. The article in today's Post about the six senators that are working on Healthcare is a good one on how the Senate is supposed to work.

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 28, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"The danger in placing all of their chips on the anti-Obama bet is that Republicans run the risk of losing big if the American public rejects that approach."


They will lose that bet. The people want a functioning, competent government. That is not yet an alternative the GOP is offering.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 28, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Hispanic constituents will view it in a negitive way no matter how you slice it. The more republican's that vote against her the worse it will be.

Posted by: ModerateVoter | July 28, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

fairfaxvoter - It will be even more interesting see how how all of the gun owning Democrats view a vote for confirmation. I expect a whole slew of Western Democrats are squirming right now. And, as you well know, it around half of Democratic voters are as much "gun nuts" as any NRA member, so quit pretending that the NRA represents us on this issue. They don't. But the 2nd Amendment is a *very* big deal to us and we don't trust Sotomayor on it. If she turns out to be anything like the gun control nut that I suspect she is, it is going to cost the Democratic Party dearly.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 28, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

If your from Alaska the sun does rise in the north around this time of year.

I think as CC puts it that the unified front only makes the GOP look more and more out of touch. The majority of Americans will tell you that Sotomayer was extremely qualified (which BTW so was Roberts and Alito although I disagree with their views). The Senate and the White House need to quit politicizing the Judicial nomination process. First, the Senate should abolish the Filibuster rule for Judicial nominees. Every nominee deserves an up or down vote on the floor, and I said the same thing when Bush was president.

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 28, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

This will play well with the Republican base, but the rest of the country may find it as annoying as when Newt Gingrich & Co. shut down the government in 1995.

It will hinge on what the Democrats do in response. If, desipite large majorities in both houses of Congres, they keep bickering among themsleves and fail to pass the Big Bills (including health care), the electorate may start thinking they really are not as a party prepared to lead and start turning back to Republicans.

If Democrats stop playing footsie with each other, find stuff they can agree on and ram it through without worrying about the New Nattering Nabobs of Negativism (the Republican minority), regardless of what they pass they will be seen as leading and acomplishing something.

There is absolutely no reason for the Republican Party to cooperate with or aid Obama in any way. Individual Republicans may sign on for some things, but by and large Republicans will object to anything Obama or the Democratic Party proposes. At some point, Obama will stop playing nice and start pushing for unilateral solutions.

If things fall apart this year on the Dem side in Congress, look for Obama to take a more active roll earlier in the process either next year or with the next group in 2011.

And after Sotomayor, look for the Dems to start pushing other court nominees through Judiciary. They've let Republicans block most of them by trying to be bipartisan, but since the Republicans are playing partisan politics, look for the Dems to push back.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 28, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

After the hearings, predictions of far more Republican votes, on the committee and off, were common from observers on all sides of the spectrum. The face of American politics has not changed drastically in the short time since then.

The difference between then and now is simply that the NRA decided to "score" a vote for Sotomayor as anti-gun, based on weak, convoluted logic to be sure, but basically as a way to show its power.

Sure enough, most Republican Senators have obeyed the NRA. That's not partisanship or strategy, and certainly not principle. It's expedience. It will be interesting to see how their Hispanic constituents view that calculation.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | July 28, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Incidentally, it was Lindsey Graham who voted for her.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 28, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Nobody who participated in the pool thought SS would receive only one R SJC vote. My prediction of 14 R votes on the floor now seems as likely as the Sun rising in the north.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 28, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

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