Skip to content

The Party of Preemptive NO

The GOP is taking their role as the opposition party very seriously. In fact, they have already come out against Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, despite the fact that nobody (probably not even Obama) has any idea who that nominee will be. In fact, Souter only confirmed that he will be retiring a few days ago, but already the Republicans are gearing up for an epic fight.

Salon has an interesting article called “The Republicans are against it! Whatever it is” that features some of the negative chatter coming out about Obama’s nominee. According to one Senate Republican, the person Obama wants to put on the Supreme Court is “far to the left”. A conservative group says they are a “hard-left judicial activist”. And another Republican Senator warns that the nominee better remember that judges have to “subordinate themselves to the law”.

As the article says, imagine what they’ll say when they actually know who the nominee is.

Of course, this preemptive posturing is the standard tactic of framing the conversation. For example, the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network is trying to define the current Supreme Court as liberal, even though a majority of the members were appointed by conservative Republican presidents. According to a memo distributed by the group:

While President Obama has said he intends to nominate a moderate or a pragmatist, not a liberal activist, it is advisable to take that statement with a grain of salt. Remember, he thinks that the current Supreme Court — the majority of which is a liberal judicial activist Court — is ‘right-wing’ or ‘conservative.’ If that is his frame of reference (‘liberal judicial activist’ equals ‘right-wing’), then his definition of ‘moderate’ may be equally skewed.

In addition, hit pieces are already being written about some of the potential nominees, using anonymous gossip and innuendo to discredit them, even before Obama even mentions them as potential nominees.

All in all, a classic example of how the media is often manipulated, in order to manipulate public opinion. Given that recent GOP attacks on Obama and his policies have largely backfired, making Obama’s approval ratings soar while painting Republicans as the party of no, it will be interesting to see if it will work this time. The conservatives are definitely pulling out all the stops in a last ditch effort, but that might just make it backfire even worse.



  1. Sammy wrote:

    It’s kind of like the NRA’s pre-emptive strike, warning of dire and draconian new gun laws under a supposed tyrannical Obama administration.

    Just last week, the very conservative Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, admitted that no such legislation is in the pipeline and none is even being discussed. He was also forced to admit that the run on guns the past several months was due to NRA and gun activists’ collective fear-mongering (my words, not his).

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  2. Sammy wrote:

    After a second read of the article mentioned in my previous comment, I must revise to say some of that is my own commentary, based on my memory and opinion, than the second listed “admission” on the part of Crapo. However, the first admission on his part is accurate.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Can you provide a link to the article?

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink
  4. Sammy wrote:

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  5. K!m wrote:

    I like how the GOP is whining about how liberals are “taking over” and warning about radical leftist judges. Need we remind them of the prior administration’s 8 years of tyrannical Republican rule? Need we even mention the far right judges that republicans have put on the bench–Kennedy, Rehnquist, SCALIA?? whine whine whine whine whine

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  6. starluna wrote:

    Minnick is right though that the dividing line on “gun rights” is urban v suburban but there is some research that found that rural folks have similar views of gun control as urban people. Urban people are more likely than others to be in favor of complete bans of most guns, but most urban and rural folks actually don’t have a problem with hunting rifles or licensed and registered hand guns. The idea that anyone should have the ability to own assault rifles and purchase kevlar penetrating ammunition is largely found in suburban places.

    As an urbanite, I’m disturbed at the notion of any expansion of the ability to purchase guns and ammo. We have tough gun laws in my state but much of the guns that are circulating on the street were purchased in the surrounding states that have little to no regulation of gun purchases.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    I know that everyone probably thinks I’m a raving liberal (probably because Republicans seem to have more than their fair share of political irony these days), but I think of myself as a moderate. And gun rights is one area where I think you have to take the constitution at its word. I believe people have the right to own guns (yes, even assault rifles and such). If we decide to restrict the ownership of guns, we need a constitutional amendment, and I for one would not be in favor of that.

    On the other hand, I think it is quite reasonable to keep guns out of the hands of felons, and so I am strongly in favor of closing the loopholes that allow people to buy guns at gun shows without a background check. I would even be in favor of requiring people to get a license to own a gun, just like a driver’s license (or a concealed weapon license). Such a license might even require taking a test, say on gun safety, but it shouldn’t be so difficult that it keeps any normal citizen from passing.

    And just to further confuse everyone, even though I think people have the right to own guns, I have never, and will never, own one. I think it is stupid for most people to own one. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the right.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
  8. Sammy wrote:

    Iron K, I pretty much ditto your gun sentiment, although I still haven’t sorted out the whole “regulated militia” part of the 2nd Amendment in my own mind yet.

    Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink