Seen from a normal perspective, the Sotomayor hearings had to be a disappointment to rightbloggers. She appears on course to be confirmed (Renew America saw the writing on the wall even by Monday: “RACIST ANTI-CONSTITUTION SOTOMAYOR TO BE CONFIRMED TO SCOTUS”). And despite some hard questioning, none of the Senate RINOs even tried to get her to address her alleged call for white males to be castrated, the product of a joke site which nonetheless has been making the internet rounds as an actual quote.
Nonetheless rightbloggers got their licks in. Atlas Shrugs found her testimony unimpressive, which judgement she defended with insults. “Is it me? Or is Sotomayor an idiot?” she said. “She can’t speak, she can’t defend her opinions… She is so out of her league. I won’t live blog it because it’s a fait accompli, but this woman is not, by any stretch of the imagination, supreme court material.”
They had some more substantive complaints to offer when Sotomayor referred to Roe v. Wade as “settled law.” “Given her race-centric ideology that Latinos are elevated above the rest of the rabble,” said Cary Wesberry at the Pat Gray site, “you would think she would at least offer a break to unborn children that belong to the race of her preference.”
But in general Sotomayor was exceedingly cautious in her answers, causing some rightbloggers to resort early to the old EvenTheLiberal backup plan.
“The reviews have been, to put it mildly, awful,” claimed Ed Morrissey, “and not all from the Right, either.” Jennifer Rubin recounted some liberal complaints about the honesty of Sotomayor’s self-representations, and claimed “that concern does in fact seem to be taking hold among at least Republican senators,” a sentiment shared by Byron York (“After a night of studying Sotomayor’s testimony,” he said Wednesday, “Republicans will have more questions about what they view as her misrepresentation of her record”).
At the American Spectator Quin Hillyer went further, and suggested “so-called ‘moderate’ Democratic senators ought to be sweating buckets,” because their nominee’s radical views “should make Sotomayor anathema to the broad middle of the American electorate.” Hillyer claimed this call for Democratic abandonment of Sotomayor was “not, in the end, a matter of political posturing. It — the larger issue of what a judge’s role is and of what the Constitution actually means — is a matter of national survival.”
As much of Hillyer’s essay lamented that Republican senators weren’t getting the job done, we may take this with a grain of salt. (Even the previously hopeful York was admitting by Thursday that Republican committee members were “down to their last chance to make the case that there are serious questions about Sonia Sotomayor’s fitness for the Supreme Court.”)
Whether senators of either party found this a big deal, rightbloggers made it clear that they did. “By now it has become obvious to almost everyone watching her confirmation hearings — including ardent Sotomayor supporter Maureen Dowd — that Judge Sotomayor is deliberately lying about her remarks under oath,” said a RedState analyst. “Why would she say things she clearly, obviously does not mean?” asked another RedStater. “It is pride. This is a woman who, like so many leftists, knows that what she does is wrong, but doesn’t want to be called on it.” Race42008 saw this as part of a wider lying liberal conspiracy: “They wink at each other knowing they have to obfuscate their views to pass muster when in the glare of public examination lest they ignite a firestorm across the Fruited Plain.”
As hope dwindled some rightbloggers, instead of being outraged that Sotomayor had misrepresented herself as they colleagues had been, affected to be pleased that she had done so. “One might take heart in the amazing fact that–as the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee, with a filibuster-proof Senate, and a popular president—Sotomayor felt the need to pretend to be John Roberts,” said John McCormack. “At what cost to judicial liberalism? Won’t it now be much more difficult for Obama to defend a more demonstrably activist nominee in the future?” National Review‘s Jim Geraghty found it interesting that “in neither [a 2005 Duke Law speech] nor her testimony before the committee this week did Sotomayor dispute the notion that judges’ ‘making policy’ — or effectively rewriting it by ruling how it is to be applied and enforced — is a bad thing,” and that “the Obama administration and Sonia Sotomayor didn’t even try to defend her past speeches.”
Half Sigma made the bold claim that “These hearings are the biggest victory for conservative judicial philosophy I could have hoped for given who’s president and who controls the Senate.”
Well, that’s one way of coming to terms with it. Not all of them were ready to make lemonade, though. When Sotomayor interrupted Al Franken’s reference to Perry Mason, recalling that there was only one episode where Mason lost a case, Reihl World View complained that she may have been tipped to Franken’s crucial line of questioning. “Did she know he was going to interject some levity there?” asked RWV. “If so, it makes his one spotlight moment scripted, just like SNL.” Not as important as lying under oath, but one goes with what one has.
The American Spectator‘s Hope Hodge pulled out another nugget that “that has not come up during the hearing cycle” — namely, “Sotomayor’s membership in the women-only private club Belizean Grove. Last month, TAS‘ Jeffrey Lord wrote about how membership in a similar men’s club had become a dealbreaker for Sen. Pat Leahy and others in the confirmation of Bush Third Circuit Court nominee D. Brooks Smith. Leahy’s silence on the issue during this cycle of hearings speaks loudly.”
This egregious show of reverse racism, alas, is unlikely to shake things up. Soon this will be just another thing to hate Obama for. There remains, however, for rightbloggers who want to make something of it, a topic for further discussion: the small number of Republicans who will vote for Sotomayor. “RINOs Endorse Sotomayor,” cried Giovanni’s World. “Richard Lugar Supports Sotomayor,” said a poster at USA Carry, “You should withdraw yours from him.” “This is why we need either A) a wholesale purge of the Republican party or B) a new third party dedicated to conservative principles,” said The Freeholder.
If just beating up a few RINOs doesn’t do it for them, they can heed Free Republic founder Jim Robinson’s call to send an army of conservative citizens to Washington to demand Obama’s removal, the dissolution of social security, instant repeal of Constitutional amendments, etc. Thus may they strengthen the conservative cause, despite the increasing number of defeats it continues to suffer at the hands of the so-called “government.”