McConnell Got NRA to Whip Sotomayor Vote
by Jonathan Singer, Sat Aug 01, 2009 at 12:46:21 PM EDT
This report from NPR's Nina Totenberg contains a fairly remarkable piece of news: So determined to block Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina ever nominated to the Supreme Court, McConnell took the unprecedented step of getting the NRA to do his dirty work.
One top aide to GOP leader McConnell confirmed that McConnell, at a meeting of conservative groups, asked the NRA about scoring the Sotomayor vote as a key vote hostile to gun rights. The aide conceded that in asking the question, McConnell was promoting an unusual step that the NRA then took.
You have to wonder how it is going to play in the Hispanic community around the country that the Republicans were so diametrically opposed to the nomination of Sotomayor, the Supreme Court nominee with the longest resume in nearly a century, that they called upon the NRA to twist Senators' arms -- even though they knew they didn't have the votes to stop her nomination.
Why the Republicans are so knee-jerkedly opposed to Sotomayor, who is apparently more moderate than other potential choices by the President and whose overall judicial perspective appears to be largely consistent with that of David Souter, whom she was nominated to replace (very much unlike Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, both of whom are more conservative than the Justices they replaced), doesn't make a whole lot of sense outside of being a raw political gamble -- and it's not one that I'm convinced is going to pay any dividends whatsoever.