There’s a lot of chatter, locally and nationally, over Sen. Orrin Hatch’s vote against confirming Justice Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, and deservedly so.
The woman is qualified. There’s nothing against her except that “wise latina” remark. Senators who protest she’s not going to be “objective” are playing games, forgetting their own past histories of using “Roe v. Wade” as a litmus test because, obviously, if you won’t overturn Roe V. Wade you aren’t being objective.
Since he can’t cite any real reason she is not qualified, there’s a couple of reasons Sen. Hatch could be voting no on Sotomayor, neither good: She was nominated by Obama and Hatch is just never, ever, going to vote for something Obama wants, or he’s a coward.
Several other members of congress have made it clear that, following the lead of Rush Limbaugh, they want Obama to fail even if it means taking the country down with him. I’ve often said we’ll know the country is in real danger when the partisan divide goes away in Congress, but lately I’m not so sure. Partisanship has grown so strong that it overwhelms common courtesy, intelligence, even the good of the nation.
Which is not to say that Hatch, or anyone else, has to accept Obama, but there must be discussion, there must be compromise, and then there must be a certain level of acceptance. Voting for someone who is qualified should count for that. This is called running the country responsibly, and as a voter I demand it.
Yes, I know, Democrats did the same thing during the Bush administration. I abhored that then, I abhore it now. The GOP claims it is better than the Dems, so it should not use Dem abuses to justify their own. This tit-for-tat descent into Hell is why Congress has such low approval ratings.
Is Hatch a coward? That’s also possible. In fat, that’s the way I lean.
It is very likely, since he is an intelligent man, that he does see Sotomayor as qualified. If the vote were tied, he might vote for her.
But it’s not, and his “no” vote is extremely safe. He can allow Sotomayor to be approved while still keeping his bonifides up with the GOP donors who keep him funded, even though it means voting in a way he knows is wrong.
Which is cowardly.
Sen. Lindsay Graham is getting a lot of kudos for taking the high road here, voting for the betterment of the Justice system that has, too much, been riven by the Bush administration’s attempts to politicize it. It is sad that Hatch doesn’t have the spine to see the greater good and vote for it as well.
He could have gone a long way toward improving the reputation of Congress, but I’m sure the GOP is happy with him, and that’s all that seems to matter.