The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thune Says No to Soto... oh-oh.

Come on, John.

The Republican Senators' grilling of Sonia Sotomayer
has been the about the biggest showboating farce
in political TV history. It's as if someone slipped a big
whoopie cushion under the great collective Republican
Senate seat and now John Thune is about to plant his
goofy little rump right in the middle of it on behalf
of the Great State of South Dakota.

And yet, I see my cohort, Mr. Sanborn is on
SDWC stickin' up for him.

Whaddup widdat, Mike? As per our chats below
I disagree that gun ownership is an unalienable right.

I see our pal Newland has weighed on John's side too.
Tsk. I say squirt guns at 10 paces.


lexrex said...

so, even senators who disagree with her judicial philosophies are supposed to rubber stamp the president's picks? i thought you believed in democracy, bf.

lexrex said...

did you complain when johnson voted against alito? just curious, bro.

Bill Fleming said...

Not if they disagree with them for the right reasons, lexrex.

But to say that Sotomayer is wrong about the 2nd Amendment being an unalienable, fundamental right is just silly, because it it is not.

He's also wrong about her record demonstrating that she brings her personal views into her decisions from the bench instead of following the law. It doesn't.

That leaves him siding with the ridiculous racist, sexist crowd that has been attacking her since the day she was nominated for purely partisan reasons.

He can vote as he pleases, of course, but I really was hoping he was smarter, and more non-partisan than that.

Poplicola said...

Let's be honest: votes on Supreme Court nominees are much more about appealing to your base than anything else, and John's base was telling him to vote no. That, and he needs to make sure he doesn't disqualify himself from a Presidential run in the Republican primary.

I'm not mad at him, but I do wish he would have provided reasoning that at least tried to be truthful, and reflected an accurate understanding of the role of an appeals court.

lexrex said...

"That leaves him siding with the ridiculous racist, sexist crowd ...."

thanks for implying that those of us who oppose her nomination are racist and sexist. real cool.

lexrex said...

and i may be mistaken, bf, but i don't recall anyone arguing that the right to bear arms, specifically, was an unalienable right.

i thought i heard the argument, mixed in with discussion on the 2nd amendment, that self-defense was an unalienable right.

do you know differently?

caheidelberger said...

Does the Second Amendment mention self-defense?

Bob Newland said...

In the firefighter case, Sotomayor supported changing the rules when the game was over.

All in all, my reservations, and Thune's, are irrelevant. Al Franken supports her; she's in. And we'll see.

Bill Fleming said...

I'm just going by what John thune said, lexrex:

"After this review I have concluded that Judge Sotomayor has consistently advanced a narrow view of the Second Amendment, providing little reasoning or explanation for her decisions, and twice has ruled that the Second Amendment is not a `fundamental right.’"

Plus, don't you think many of the Republican senators interviewing Sotomayer were being sexist and racist. Don't you think Rush Limbaugh was? And have you heard Thune speak out against any of them for that kind of trash talk? I haven't.

Be that as it may, you're welcome to clear the air here on your own behalf, lr. Because I don't know for sure why you oppose her. So please, tell us.

And while you're at it, maybe also tell us whether or not you condone the ridiculous behavior of some of your clearly racist, sexist fellow conservatives.

Michael Sanborn said...

I'm always fascinated by my liberal friends who believe that their First Amendment rights are worth more than their Second Amendment rights.

Thune understands that without the Second Amendment, the First Amendment has no teeth; with it, it has fangs.

The Second Amendment is not about shooting deer or pheasants or paper targets. It's about shooting those who would take from us our unalienable rights. Thune gets that. I guess Bill doesn't.

That Thune, after observing Sotomayer's responses to Second Amendment questions, came to the conclusion that she cannot be trusted on the issue is reasonable. And, so is his vote.

Thune knows that Sotomayer will be confirmed. There is no reason for him to "sacrifice" his vote (and his principles) just to salve the delicate egos of the party in power.

Bill Fleming said...

Bob, Sotomayor followed the rule of law. The 5 SCOTUS judges overturned it. I think it's important to keep that fact straight.

Bill Fleming said...

Sanborn, are you saying you should get to keep tactical nukes, grenades, BARs and bazookas in your basement, just in case.

And further, that its one of your fundamental rights, endowed by your creator?

If not, then yes, I don't get it.

Michael Sanborn said...

Which Republican Senators were being racist in their questioning of Sotomayer? And how?

Rush Limbaugh does not count. He's not a senator. He's an entertainer...and a boob.

Bob Newland said...

What law did Soto follow in her decision on the firefighters?

Bob Newland said...

Yes, the Republicans were boobs in their questions. So were the Dems. They always are in these campaign appearances disguised as "confirmation hearings."

lexrex said...

ya bf, what did the senators say that was racist?

Michael Sanborn said...

The founders took up whatever arms were available to them to fight the King of England for our independence and their freedom.

Should we, as private citizens, be able to personally possess nukes? No. Should we, as citizens and possible members of a militia, someday choose to take up arms against an oppressive government, then small arms are protected.

There were no nukes at the time. BARs and Bazookas? Those weren't around. So does the fact that technology has advanced weaponry mean that we should sacrifice our right to defend ourselves from an oppressor?

Bill Fleming said...

The law says that tests that are discriminatory should not be used for purposes of hiring, firing, promoting, etc.

The city felt that it's test may have been discriminatory, and so withdrew its results from consideration.

So the firefighters sued. Sotomayor was upholding settled law. The SCOTUS overturned that law (as was their right) because they said the city didn't satisfactorily prove whether the test was discriminatory or not.

If the city had done so, Sotomayors decision would have been upheld. As it was, the vote was close.

Michael, didn't you hear that one Senator (I forget his name, on purpose) tell Sotomayor she's "got some 'splainin' to do?"

And the rest of with all there allusions to "Puerto Rican" this, and LLatino woman that."

Come on, man.

Virtually none of them making all the noise wanted to discuss her record on the bench or her splendid academic record. In fact, some of them implied that the only reason she excelled in school was because she was a member of a minority.

lexrex said...

bf 8:27, i must correct you. she didn't necessarily follow the rule of law, but followed precedent, to which she admitted she is not always committed.

Bill Fleming said...

Like I said, Mike, if you're arguing for state of the art weaponry in the home as I believe the founders were, then I thinnk you're right at least about the intent of the 2nd amendment. But again, as you yourself point out it is a derivative right and a political one, not a fundamental endowment from above, which is all I believe Sotomayor was saying.

So how about it? Bazooka in the broom closet or no?

lexrex said...

bf, in that exchange with senator coburn, she was laughing right along with him, after she brought up a scenario where she shot him. context, bro. context. it was funny. lighten up.

you'll have to come up with some other examples, because if that's all you got, it's weak. weak, i tell ya.

Bill Fleming said...

ok, precedent then.

Thanks, lr.

And of course she would not be so obliged if she were appointed to the SCOTUS would she?

Bill Fleming said...

What was she supposed to do, lr, throw acream pie in his face?

Bill Fleming said...

Ok, people I have to leave for a while. Now be nice around the house while I'm gone. I don't want to have to clean up any messes when I get back, or some of you might have to go sit. (wink)

Michael Sanborn said...


Are you suggesting that if Sotomayer is confirmed, I should hide my Bazooka someplace other than my broom closet?

Poplicola said...


Thune was organizing opposition to Sotomayor before the hearings began, and he's had a website critical of her up since the day after she was nominated.

No one's supposed to be a rubber stamp (we've seen what happens when people like Thune are rubber stamps), but an objective look and an open mind would have been nice.

lexrex said...

okay, i might give you that, pop. maybe. but plenty of people knew plenty about her before the hearings, where nobody really learned anything new.

but, for appearances' sake, maybe he could've held off on the website.

Poplicola said...

Also, lex, Johnson voted in favor of Alito.

Poplicola said...


If Thune is organizing opposition to her before the hearings, isn't he essentially saying the hearings aren't necessary?

lexrex said...

you're right about johnson's vote for alito. it was another of bush's big judicial nominees that he voted against. my mistake.

my point is that just about every senator has come out early against a nominee. obama did. remember the democratic filibuster of miguel estrada? crappy stuff happens all the time, with judicial nominatinos.

was thune saying the hearing weren't necessary? i doubt it. maybe he needed no more information to make his decision, but i'm sure he wasn't saying that the hearings were needless, though, we didn't learn much from them, anyway.

Michael Sanborn said...

Does the constitution give me a right of self-protection? From what? An oppressive government? Yes. From verbal assaults from my angry wife? No.

My point was that the Second Amendment isn't about deer hunting or pheasant hunting or target shooting or shooting burglars in self-defense. It's about shooting those who would oppress me, and that is almost always a politician.

Those rag-taggers who framed our Constitution had no more idea about nuclear weapons or machine guns or bazookas than they had about an automobile.

Does that mean that our right to keep and bear arms is void? I don't think so, and neither does the Supreme Court.

Sotomayer chose to not answer Second Amendment questions. That was her prerogative. She knew going in that she would be confirmed. And she will be.

That Thune has looked at her Second Amendment record and has chosen to vote against her confirmation is why he was sent there. Does anyone here truly believe Thune is voting to salve the Republican right? Or, is there a chance he's voting his conscience?

Michael Sanborn said...


I think Sotomayer left herself open to criticism with her Latino woman vs. white man judgement remark.

I didn't see the "'splainin' to do" remark. Truly stupid. But that didn't come from Thune, did it?

I think it is reasonable to ask a Supreme Court nominee if their race and the experiences relative to their race will color their decisions. I think that is a reasonable question for a white male, as well.

I'm surely no more interested in having a David Duke on the Supreme Court than I am in having someone who thinks Latino woman judgment trumps white male judgment.

I've said before I think she's qualified. And, on the whole, I want Supreme Court justices who err on the side of Liberty. I don't think she's a horrible choice. And, if I were in the Senate (God forbid) I might vote for her confirmation. But I share Thune's stated concerns.

Poplicola said...


Pretty sure you didn't answer the question there.

lexrex said...

boy, pop, you and i are on totally different planes, when it comes to reading comprehension. i'm sorry if i'm being dense.

but you asked, "isn't [thune] essentially saying the hearings aren't necessary?"

and i answered, "i doubt it. maybe he needed no more information to make his decision, but i'm sure he wasn't saying that the hearings were needless ...."

and previously, i answered that maybe thune could've held off on releasing his anti-sotomayor website, until after the hearings. just to avoid the appearance that he was rushing to judgment.

if those aren't answers, then i'm not sure what else to say. is there something else you'd like me to say? were you looking for a simple "yes" or "no?"