Greg Kaiser, Published June 03 2009
Sotomayor opponents on right a bunch of overmatched scrubsPresident Barack Obama called the Republican arguments against Judge Sonia Sotomayor “nonsense.” While I do not always agree with our new president, I could not agree more with his aforementioned statement.
Sometimes in sports, you have to acknowledge a brilliant play made by your opponent and understand that no amount of defense could have prevented it. The right needs to understand that in the case of Sotomayor, Obama clearly made an absolutely perfect play that the right has no way of stopping. In fact, this play was so good that any attempt to defend against it only makes the opponents seem more foolish and the play seem more legendary.
Sotomayor is the American dream. A Puerto Rican woman raised in the slums of New York. She worked her way through some of the finest and toughest law institutions in America. Despite her challenges, she graduated at the top of her class at every level. She was first nominated as a judge by a Republican president. Many long-standing Republicans have already confirmed her once, citing her respect for the Constitution and her conservative rulings. The woman is credited for saving the Great American Pastime. She has actually ruled quite conservatively in some recent cases. She worked to help young mothers carry their pregnancies to term instead of working for abortion rights groups. She is a devout Catholic with strong religious convictions.
To most legal experts, this was an absolute slam dunk, a grand slam, or fill in your favorite fantastic sports play analogy here. (No, talking heads such as Rush Limbaugh and disgraced politicians such as Newt Gingrich are not experts.) This was a master stroke by a savvy and skilled politician.
So now the victims of the perfect play have a choice to make. The right can either hang their hats on a one-sentence statement made eight years ago taken completely out of context or they can just say, “Hey, good play” and move on to the next play.
We see it all the time in sports. Struggling teams fall victim to a fantastic play and just never seem to recover (see last year’s 0-16 Lions). We also see good teams that take the punch, come back strong and win the game (see last year’s Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers).
The right needs to keep in mind that this was one play in a game that ends with the next congressional elections. Can you really defend against Obama selecting a left-leaning judge? Probably better to just move on to the next play. You are going to need it for the health care fight. Save your energy, and most importantly, your breath. Confirm Sotomayor and quit looking like a bunch of overmatched scrubs with no game plan.