No matter how craptastic their myriad sins may be — stealing from public coffers, ethical lapses out the wazoo, being a race-baiting bigot, whatever — they continue on your teevee and in print. Why?
Because that assholery gives them notoriety. In today’s tabloid media environment? Toxic sells.
Tom Tancredo. Pat Buchanan. Bill Kristol. Newt Gingrich. Ann Coulter. Manuel Miranda. Rush Limbaugh. Barbara Comstock. Karl Rove. It’s an endless list of asshats with crummy tricksterism, fraud, and outright racial crapitude, parading across my teevee and newspaper pages with their wankery.
The media thrives on a circus. And all of these people — and more — are happy to give them one. Why?
None of this rightwing attack machine crapola is about Sotomayor alone. It’s designed to throw up an artificial wall on Sotomayor as the "most liberal" judge the right will accept without a big, honking fight. It’s meant to warn off the Obama administration and the Dem leadership in the Senate.
Since Sotomayor isn’t what I’d consider "liberal" — she’s really a moderate to centrist judge — that’s a big, fat "bright line" marker to throw down.
The wingnutty number crunchers know the Sotomayor battle is likely lost. This is setting the stage for every following SCOTUS nomination, federal judgeship, DOJ appointment, and important policy position to come.
They are staking out their ground, trying to edge everything as far to the right as they can from the start. If you don’t see that, then you haven’t been paying attention to the OLC nomination of Dawn Johnsen and the federal bench nomination of David Hamilton.
Moreover, this is designed to make the Democratic leadership and the Obama team understand that they will have to pay a price for every judge that doesn’t get the wingnutty seal of approval before nomination.
Knowing that the spine on Dem leadership isn’t exactly a strong one — and that Team Obama has not exactly been fighting for its nominees out of the gate — it’s a pretty sound strategy from the right, frankly.
Which is all the more reason to publicly call bullshit. Because this is designed to push the Democrats into not undoing all the far right tinkering the GOP has done with the federal bench the last few years. Nothing more, nothing less. (more…)