CommunityFDL Main Blog

SCOTUS: Is NRA Already Backtracking on Sotomayor Opposition?

sotomayor.jpg

The full Senate will take up debate on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the SCOTUS. A vote on the nomination is likely sooner rather than later, since a filibuster or other lengthy opposition strategy is not expected.

It’s almost as though the GOP wants to rush the vote off the floor. Too bad Sen. Jeff Sessions can’t vote everyone’s stance by proxy to avoid on camera footage of individual Senators casting their votes, I suppose.

Here’s the intriguing political kabuki question of the day, though: Is the NRA already trying to reframe or back away from it’s Mitch McConnell-inspired ginned up oppo?

Because nothing says "pressure fail" like a cave-in on the perceived pressure point before the vote even occurs:

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the Sotomayor vote was important but might count for less than a future Senate vote on gun control. "The NRA has yet to determine the weight of this vote, but we have informed people that this vote will count," he said.

Sounds to me like the NRA has been getting some pushback of its own. You?

This is the first time the NRA has taken the unusual step of applying pressure on a SCOTUS candidate vote. Ever. In their rampant history of applying pressure to votes that had only marginal application to gun issues just as a raw exercise of lobbying power, the NRA has never touched a SCOTUS vote because the rule of law — up to now — has been considered more important than petty political bullshit.

Up to now, anyway.

This was a great catch by Jonathon Singer on some fantastic reporting from Nina Totenberg. The question of "why now?" was answered by the Mitch McConnell staffer admission of the direct request and nudge from McConnell himself at a meeting of conservative groups and GOP leadership:

"One top aide to GOP leader McConnell confirmed that McConnell, at a meeting of conservative groups, asked the NRA about scoring the Sotomayor vote as a key vote hostile to gun rights."

Two questions leap to mind here, in no particular order: who attended this meeting and how many of those groups are supposed to be tax exempt?

Beyond that, though, is that reek of desperation from McConnell: having to resort to using an outside interest group to whip the vote on Sotomayor for him in a vote scoring action the NRA has never, ever taken on any SCOTUS candidate. Digby is absolutely correct that this makes no sense unless this really is a desperation hail mary to shore up the dog whistle crowd. And if that’s your bottom line?

The next time some worn Beltway rube raises the term bi-partisanship about some GOP whine when they don’t get their way? I hope we all shove this craptastic partisan maneuver down their throats.

More than that, this ought to be a freeing moment for Democrats. The GOP is not going to vote for anything you want. More than that, they’ll use their proxy groups to try and cheat their way through a vote to provide them cover. Instead of negotiating, why not try doing what you really want to do instead: real health care reform, serious environmental regulation, judges whose passion for the law is only exceeded by their willingness to stand up for it.

If we’re dreaming, we might as well dream big. Just because the GOP is stuck in their own hell of petty and small doesn’t mean we all have to be.

Christy Hardin SmithCommunity

SCOTUS: Is NRA Already Backtracking On Sotomayor Opposition?

sotomayor.jpg

The full Senate will take up debate on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the SCOTUS.  A vote on the nomination is likely sooner rather than later, since a filibuster or other lengthy opposition strategy is not expected.

It’s almost as though the GOP wants to rush the vote off the floor.  Too bad Sen. Jeff Sessions can’t vote everyone’s stance by proxy to avoid on camera footage of individual Senators casting their votes, I suppose.

Here’s the intriguing political kabuki question of the day, though:  Is the NRA already trying to reframe or back away from it’s Mitch McConnell-inspired ginned up oppo?

Because nothing says "pressure fail" like a cave-in on the perceived pressure point before the vote even occurs:

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the Sotomayor vote was important but might count for less than a future Senate vote on gun control. "The NRA has yet to determine the weight of this vote, but we have informed people that this vote will count," he said.

Sounds to me like the NRA has been getting some pushback of its own. You?

This is the first time the NRA has taken the unusual step of applying pressure on a SCOTUS candidate vote.  Ever.  In their rampant history of applying pressure to votes that had only marginal application to gun issues just as a raw exercise of lobbying power, the NRA has never touched a SCOTUS vote because the rule of law — up to now — has been considered more important than petty political bullshit. 

Up to now, anyway.

This was a great catch by Jonathon Singer on some fantastic reporting from Nina Totenberg.  The question of "why now?" was answered by the Mitch McConnell staffer admission of the direct request and nudge from McConnell himself at a meeting of conservative groups and GOP leadership:

"One top aide to GOP leader McConnell confirmed that McConnell, at a meeting of conservative groups, asked the NRA about scoring the Sotomayor vote as a key vote hostile to gun rights."

Two questions leap to mind here, in no particular order: who attended this meeting and how many of those groups are supposed to be tax exempt?

Beyond that, though, is that reek of desperation from McConnell: having to resort to using an outside interest group to whip the vote on Sotomayor for him in a vote scoring action the NRA has never, ever taken on any SCOTUS candidate. Digby is absolutely correct that this makes no sense unless this really is a desperation hail mary to shore up the dog whistle crowd. And if that’s your bottom line? (more…)

Previous post

Today is the Day

Next post

Shut It All Down

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com