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Sotomayor Debate To Test the GOP - First Shots

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 05/27/2009 at 9:14pm

WH picture We’ve been reporting for some time now that the GOP has a bit of a branding problem when it comes to Latinos.

In the wake of extremely divisive immigration wedge politics that left the GOP sorely abandoned by Latino voters, cooler heads within the Party have called for a ceasefire and for more and better Hispanic outreach. Well, enter the Sotomayor debate.

SotomayorIn “Sotomayor’s Confirmation Hearings Will Be a Trial of the GOP,” New America Media and Of América Editor Roberto Lovato was one of the first to argue:

As she faces what is already expected to be a host of hostile questions from the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in her confirmation hearings, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s first nominee to the Supreme Court, should remember one thing: that it is not she who will be on trial, but the Republican Party.

Rather than allow herself to be put at the center of another racism and sexism-laden political circus around the qualifications of a candidate who brings more real-life prosecutorial and actual judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in the last 100 years, Sotomayor should consider another strategy. She – and we – should instead view those hearings as nothing less than a trial to determine whether the GOP is ready to make restitution for its role in a number of judicial and political wrongdoings perpetrated in the Bush era. Those wrongdoings include unleashing unprecedented and dangerous political attacks on Latinos, and breaching the political and electoral contract the “new GOP” said it wanted with Latinos, one of the country’s most important voting blocs.

And trial it is shaping up to be. 

Henry Porter in,”The sad spectacle of xenophobia run amok,” slices it this way:

Exhibit A: Mark Krikorian’s attack on Sotomayor.

It’s sad Republicans have been reduced to playing the theater of the absurd in their never-ending efforts to whip up xenophobia.  It’s also ironic the word for that is derived from Greek words ξένος (xenos) and φόβος (phobos), but that’s another story.  

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