Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was on CBS’ Face the Nation today, and he continued to back of the failed Republican talking point that Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is a racist. Gingrich said, “It’s clear that what she said was racist, and it’s clear — or as somebody wrote recently, “racialist” if you prefer.”
Here is the video from Think Progress:
After being rebuked by some leading Senate Republicans for labeling Sotomayor a racist, both Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have back off of this line of attack. Of course calling a Democratic nominee a radical is another old time Republican buzz word designed to motivate the base to action. Republicans may call Sotomayor a radical, but they have yet to offer any proof of her radicalism in her writings and rulings.
Republican activists were hoping that the wise Latina quote would stick, and that no one would realize that they had taken the quote out of context, and applied their own interpretation to it. The point of labeling Sotomayor a radical or racist isn’t to derail her nomination. She is going to be confirmed. The true intention here is to revive the culture wars in time for the midterm elections of 2010.
Senate Republicans have made it clear that many of them will likely end up voting against Sotomayor, but they will cast their votes based on their disagreement with her judicial philosophy, not because some on the right have attempted to label her a racist. I think this whole episode demonstrates how little real power people like Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have in the GOP.