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Sonya Sotomayor

Cornyn reverts to form

Hey, remember when Big John Cornyn was rebuking the crazy wing of the Republican Party for making race-based attacks on Sonya Sotomayor? Apparently, he’s figured out that this put him in the minority of the GOP, because he’s now joined them.

Since the introduction last week of Sonia Sotomayor, Republican senators wary of attacking the first Latino Supreme Court nominee have lashed out at conservatives in their party who branded the would-be justice a racist and have even predicted a smooth confirmation.

But several of those same GOP senators said Sunday that they would now make race a focus of the Sotomayor nomination fight — and they were far less eager to criticize conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich for their racially tinged critiques.

Fanning out across network television talk shows, the senators in essence pledged to ask a fundamental question: Can a woman who says her views are shaped by her Puerto Rican heritage and humble beginnings make fair decisions when it comes to all races and social classes?

“We need to know, for example, whether she’s going to be a justice for all of us or just a justice for a few of us,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Judiciary Committee, speaking on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

Days earlier, Cornyn said in a radio interview that it was “terrible” for conservatives to be attacking Sotomayor as a racist. He did not reiterate those sentiments Sunday and pledged that he and other Republican lawmakers would investigate Sotomayor’s past comments and rulings to judge her fairness.

Always good to see people about whom one has a low opinion live up to that opinion one has of them. I like the way Kevin Drum phrases it:

Oddly enough, Cornyn has never expressed any concerns about whether a white male judge who rules against affirmative action can be a justice for all of us or just a justice for a few of us. I suppose it just slipped his mind.

I think it’s just a matter of Cornyn remembering who the “us” is and who the “them” is. After all, as others have noted, identity politics is something that happens to white people, not something that is done by them. I’m glad our junior Senator has cleared up where he stands on this.

UPDATE: BOR has more.

Big John versus El Rushbo and The Newt

There’s just not enough popcorn in the world.

As if to magnify what are already major differences between elected Republicans and conservative activists on the question of Sonia Sotomayor, check out what conservative senator (and chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Judiciary Comittee member and former Texas State Supreme Court Justice) had to say on NPR yesterday.

“I think it’s terrible. This is not the kind of tone that any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advice and consent.”

Republican leaders may not have as much sway over their own interest groups as Democratic leaders do over their, so don’t expect the attacks to stop. But it’s a bold statement. He even lashed out at Newt Gingrich and the unassailable Rush Limbaugh.

“Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials [and] I just don’t think it’s appropriate and I certainly don’t endorse it. I think it’s wrong.”

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Of course, any time a Republican official says anything unflattering about Rush, it’s worth asking a couple questions: Will he apologize for it? And how long will he wait?

You know you’ve gone completely round the bend when Big John tells you to dial it down a bit. Not that it matters, as neither Newtie nor the Round Mound of Sound is backing off. Oh, and now the DCCC is joining in the fun by calling out Rep. Pete Sessions, who as Cornyn’s counterpart in Congress has been silent so far. Who needs summer movies when you have this kind of entertainment?

UPDATE: Forgot to add that there’s video of Big John taking on his foes. And as we know, the Rushmeister was in town last night. Here’s a photo of him and some of his fanboys from that event. BOR has more.