By Emily Geiger
Deace had an interesting post on his WHO blog yesterday. Essentially, the gist of it is that Chuck Grassley and his fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate had better be prepared to be called racists if they stand up and oppose Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
The rationale for this position is that, given that Grassley and his GOP cohorts didn’t stand up to previous (arguably suspect) nominees (like Souter and Ginsberg), it’s going to appear that the only reason they are standing up to Sotomayor is because of her race.
I think he’s probably right about that. Of course, there are lots of people, several of them with big platforms and bigger voices, who will absolutely sling mud at any Republicans who dare question the great Obama and his chosen one.
The irony of the whole thing is that these Republicans will probably be called racist for pointing out the fact that this particular nominee has said some pretty racist things herself.
But I think the question that Deace doesn’t necessarily answer is whether the racism accusation is a big enough concern to affect the Senate Republicans’ course of action.
Here’s the thing. Republicans are called racist everyday anyways. If this plays out the way Deace predicts, it will pretty much be just another day that ends in “y.”
I think the more important thing is to take a stand for what is right. Yes, as Deace points out, it’s true that there have been nominees in the past that the Republicans should not have given a pass. But I would also point out that, until relatively recently, proper and polite Senate decorum mandated that, if a president’s nominee was reasonably well qualified and not a child molester, everyone said yes.
That changed with Bork, Thomas, and also with several of George W. Bush’s nominees (particularly to lower federal courts). Unfortunately, it took the Republicans a bit longer break from decorum than it did Democrats.
Have the Republicans been perfect in regard to judicial nominees in the past? Absolutely not. But they are trying to do better now. Will it make a difference? Unfortunately not.
But, I’m glad they’re trying.
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