The first SCOTUS pick is a gimme for the opposition party, after that, all bets are off...
So following the general rule and looking back, these are the president's first picks, all nominated:
Johnson: Abe Fortas
Nixon: Warren Burger
Reagan: Sandra Day O'Conner
Bush: John Roberts (note, the opposition party didn't end the Miers nomination, quite to the Dems surprise, the president's own party did...)
You have to go back to Hoover to find a first nominee rejected by Congress... and that's too far back to apply to my point today. ;)
So for 79 years there has been this unspoken agreement between the parties that the first pick is a freebee. Then comes President Obama who not only picked a highly qualified (although pretty moderate for my taste :) and highly experienced justice to nominate to the court in Sonia Sotomayor.
What happens? Conservatives go ballistic. We liberals waited. Bush won the election, was president and he got the first pick without much ado. In fact, I've searched my blog several different ways and I couldn't find one reference to the Roberts nomination. If you find a post, let me know... We went ballistic over Alito (and my blog history shows that blow back), but the first pick we respectfully declined comment on.
The key word here is "respect". A certain deferrence to the president, but more importantly a deferrence to the voters who elected him.
That said, "respect" doesn't seem to be the GOP talking head's best subject lately.
Conservatives on Sotomayor this week:
Limbaugh: "reverse racist" and a comparison to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke
Gingrich: "new racism is no better than old racism." and a "Latina woman racist"
Tancredo: When speaking about her called the National council of La Raza "Latino KKK without the hoods and nooses"
Coulter is on the "racist" rant as well, but she's irrelevant as her insanity is well documented
And my personal favorite insane quip of the week was by G. Gordon Liddy:
LIDDY: Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.
Another choice comment by Liddy is that she "speaks illegal alien".
Makes me wanna show him a real PMSing woman...
Cornyn and Hatch have sort of freaked out and realized that losing the female and the latino vote entirely wouldn't be good for the GOP's attempts to rebuild the party and have condemned these types of attacks to their credit both politically and personally, but the insanity rages.
Where is the decency of these men?
The simple answer is that they do not have any decency.
The GOP needs to give up these attacks immediately. They are not substantive, not in any way. They are so revealing to the ugly nature of these men as to be truly nauseating and disgusting. These comments are horrible on their face loaded with blatant racism, sexism and hatred and underneath are just inhuman.
As the false veil of the now clearly dead compassionate conservatism and outreach to women, Latinos and African Americans has been raised, the ugliness underneath is truly stunningly awful and a place more than 57% of Americans never want to return to again...
Just keep digging that enormous hole back to political relevance deeper conservatives...