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Tilting at Windmills

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May 29, 2009

TESTING THE LIMITS OF CORNYN'S DISAPPOINTMENT.... Newt Gingrich doubles down.

Newt Gingrich grabbed cable news chatter all week after Twittering that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was a "Latina woman racist." The ensuing controversy has not moderated his opposition.

Today, Renewing American Leadership, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that he heads, sent out an email to supporters calling on them to both "send blast faxes" to U.S. Senators demanding opposition to Sotomayor and contribute money to help the fight.

Gingrich's email repeats a series of debunked lies, before arguing that Sotomayor is "a bigot" who should be "FORCED to WITHDRAW." His letter goes on to say that Sotomayor is "a judge who will interpret the law based on her ethnic background, rather than based on the LAW.... [T]his judge is making it CLEAR that she thinks she SHOULD be biased and partial, based on her ethnicity and gender!" (All-caps in the original.)

Chances are, Gingrich is throwing a ridiculous tantrum because he thinks it will help fundraising. The more hysterical he gets, the more checks come in.

But I'm curious about what Newt's buddies might think about this. Late yesterday, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, denounced Gingrich's attacks as "terrible" and "wrong" -- and that was before today's hysterics. Cornyn told NPR, "This is not the kind of tone any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent.... I certainly don't endorse it."

As it turns out, Cornyn will have a chance to show how much he means that.

Lost in the hoopla over NRSC Chairman John Cornyn's (R-Texas) criticism of Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh is that fact that one of these men is set to help him raise lots of money. [...]

[O]n June 8, Gingrich is the headliner for one of the biggest GOP fundraisers of the election cycle, where the NRSC and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) will raise millions.

So, Sen. Cornyn, is Gingrich still invited? Should Republican candidates seek fundraising support from someone who engages in these ugly, race-based smears?

Steve Benen 2:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (20)

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Comments

before arguing that Sotomayor is "a bigot" who should be "FORCED to WITHDRAW."

Can anyone imagine rooting for a presidential candidate who writes this way? He certainly isn't positioning himself to say he's a uniter. He'll never be able to talk about the importance of diplomacy.

Gingrich isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can't help but think he's not really interested so much in being a presidential candidate as being a lobbyist or talk show host.

Posted by: Danp on May 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK
Newt Gingrich grabbed cable news chatter all week after Twittering that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was a "Latina woman racist."
The first thing these people should do, including Judge Sotomayor herself, is stop saying "Latina woman," because all Latinas are women, except maybe for the ones who haven't reached adulthood yet. Posted by: navamske on May 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Did Obama and his advisers nominate Sotomayor knowing that it would provoke this division in the GOP? Can they really be that smart? They must be laughing their heads off.

Posted by: davidp on May 29, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

is there a pool on whether gingrich will be dis-invited?

Posted by: karen marie on May 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

once a bomb thrower always a bomb thrower.

by the way, Newt, how's the wife?

Posted by: andy on May 29, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

It was Gingrich, more than anyone else, who got elected Republicans to talk this way. It was quite a shock to the Washington insiders when he started out. The use of over-the-top hate-filled rhetoric by respectable establishment figures in suits was a Gingrich invention. OK, it was really a re-invention, there was Joe McCarthy before him.

Posted by: Joe Buck on May 29, 2009 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

davidp: my guess is that she didn't get on the short list because of these kinds of considerations, but maybe after they saw the Rosen piece and the cranking up of the GOP machine against Sotomayor even before anyone was named, they might well have decided that a Sotomayor fight would be great politics for the Dems and self-destructive for the Republicans.

Posted by: Joe Buck on May 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Did Obama and his advisers nominate Sotomayor knowing that it would provoke this division in the GOP? Can they really be that smart? They must be laughing their heads off.

I think they used to refer to Reagan as a "teflon president" because none of the attacks from his critics ever seemed to hurt him. Reagan's teflon now looks like tissue paper by comparison. They can't touch Obama, and actually hurt themselves much more when they try.
Of course it's hardly a fair fight. I only worry about team Obama becoming complacent and getting burned by Repubs due to the broken clock theory.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on May 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

...a Sotomayor fight would be great politics for the Dems and self-destructive for the Republicans.

Plus, given her background, they figured she would be able to stand the coming heat of teh confirmation hearings without wilting.

Posted by: AfGuy on May 29, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

There is a better than 50-50 chance that Cornyn will crater. If not, he will just shut up and let The Newt do what The Newt will do. Cornyn is basically a hypocrite, which is to say unprincipled, without The Newt's go-for-the-throat instincts.

And yes to one of the other comments: Team Obama is smart enough to have tossed this Puerto Rican bomb right into the middle of the Republican Party. I love it.

Posted by: doran on May 29, 2009 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, Gingrich sent out an email with all those randomly capitalized words?

*Seriously*?

Holy crap, the man writes like an internet troll.

Posted by: Shade Tail on May 29, 2009 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Gingrich makes me want to believe in hell.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on May 29, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Cornyn's chance for a "Sister Souljah moment". Yeah, right...

Posted by: Juanita de Talmas on May 29, 2009 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Should Republican candidates seek fundraising support from someone who engages in these ugly, race-based smears? -- Steve Benen

Pecunia non olet. Emperor Vespasian knew it and Cornyn knows it too.

Posted by: exlibra on May 29, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

What a tribute it is to the strength of our democracy that it could survive Newt being Speaker of the House.

Posted by: clb72 on May 29, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Newt has just said in a very direct and public way to Big John: "Shut the f*ck up, you don't matter at all." It's one thing for someone like Limbaugh to say this, since he's never been an elected politician. He's never been "in the club." It's quite another for a former GOPer like Gingrich to flip off a current GOPer like Cornyn. If Big John doesn't respond in kind, then he's been completely "newtered" by Gingrich. That's gotta hurt.

Posted by: bluestatedon on May 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

If John Cornyn is a RINO...? words fail me, the Republicans really are in the last days at Jonestown now, or maybe the Branch Davidian compound is a better synecdoche.

Posted by: kth on May 29, 2009 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Newtie is a blister on American politics and his actions hurt the Republican party AND (no pun on Newt's emphasis) the entire political process. He is the antithesis of the Obama post-partisan politics.

Posted by: MarkH on May 29, 2009 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think the obvious point of this pushback coming from Jon Cornyn is that it's coming from Jon Cornyn of Texas.

Lotta Latino voters down that way, enough to make Big Jon a little nervous.

Posted by: MikeN on May 30, 2009 at 5:20 AM | PERMALINK

by the way, Newt, how's the wife?

An appropriate question for Limbaugh as well, except you might want to ask "how's the wives"?

Posted by: Pug on May 30, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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