How smart is this move? How dumb are the true believers on the Republican Right? We shall see.
After months of trying to gain traction on something, anything, against the Obama administration, they finally had something going. The closing of Guantanamo problem and, even more effective, the possibility that Pelosi knew a little more, and a little sooner, about water boarding than we would like to believe. That has been hurting, don't kid yourself. Cheney's approval ratings are up from about 21% to about 37%. Panicky Democrats, with local polls near 80% against, have been trotting out NIMBY arguments opposed to stashing a couple of dozen terrorists in Supermax prisons anywhere near their constituents.
But now? How perfect is Sonia Sotomayor? She may be a red flag inches from a crazy bull's eyes. Not just because of the couple of things they have on her--the tape where she says stuff about judges making policy and the slightly hairy New Haven firefighter decision. No, not just that. Good old Sonia has a look and style that crypto-racist/sexist elitists hate with a visceral immediacy they may not be able to control. If that happens, they will find themselves attacking an Hispanic woman--probably the dumbest political thing they could do in this political environment.
Why would they do that?
At the deep pre-policy level, where venom is brewed, this is why: no effort by Sonia to look stereotypically "attractive." No gesture in clothing or hair style or manner to signal anything approaching the submission to expectations that is the identifying calling card of women hired by Fox and paraded in right wing political and religious venues. Think Sarah Palin, just for one example.
No. Good old Sonia doesn't do half-conscious cultural submission. She just stands up there in all her slightly dumpy glory and says what she thinks. God bless her, the perfect lightning rod. And maybe a good judge as well.