McConnell Got NRA to Whip Sotomayor Vote

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.

Tags: Mitch McConnell, NRA, Sonia Sotomayor (all tags)



Re: I, too

cannot figure out why the GOP leadership is fighting against Sotomayor, but I don't want them to stop. She is obviously a well qualified, reasonable, intelligent judge who happens to be an Hispanic woman with a remarkable life story. The GOP frantically and nastily vilifies her, By itself, their characterization of her will guarantee that the GOP will not grow their Hispanic membership in the future at nearly the rate they might have if they handled this differently. The Republicans appear to be attempting mass suicide.

Bottom line: I don't need to know how they think, I just need to remember:

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

by QTG 2009-08-01 01:00PM | 0 recs
Is Roberts more conservative than Rehnquist?

Rehnquist was pretty conservative. By what metric is Roberts more?

I didn't like Rehnquist and I don't like Roberts from what I can see, but I am not sure of the accuracy of the statemet.

by molly bloom 2009-08-01 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Is Roberts more conservative than Rehnquist?

Campaign finance is at least one area where Roberts appears to have positioned himself significantly to the right of Rehnquist, but there are other areas as well.

by Jonathan Singer 2009-08-01 01:14PM | 0 recs
getting the NRA involved serves one purpose

Persuading at least one Senate Democrat to vote no on Sotomayor. McConnell knows she's headed for the court, but he would very much like the media narrative to be that both Democrats and Republicans were divided on Sotomayor, as opposed to all Democrats plus a half-dozen Republicans supporting her.

McConnell is not stupid. Getting the NRA to make this a scorecard issue is probably the best wedge to use against red state Democrats.

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-01 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: McConnell Got NRA to Whip Sotomayor Vote

I'd be curious about what this means for the image of the NRA, if it becomes common knowledge they did this. Maybe I just missed something but I don't really seem to remember gun rights being an issue during her confirmation, not even the right was really pushing a narrative that Sotomayor had anything to do with gun rights until like this week. You heard more from conspiracy theories she'd be radically pro-abortion than theories she'd be anti-gun. What does it do to the NRA if they present an appearance of interfering in things that the public does not view as gun-related?

by mcc 2009-08-01 05:03PM | 0 recs


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