On Sotomayor, Rumors of Conservative Hypocrisy are Overblown

ScienceBlogs, which, despite the neutral and academic-sounding name, apparently is a left-wing political blog, has a curious attackon “the Right” today on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. Since husband David and I are in it, mildly, and post author Ed Brayton appears to have a glaring blind spot that causes him to unfairly malign several of my fellow conservatives, I thought I’d take a minute to set the record straight.

Brayton claims there is “glaring hypocrisy” of which some conservatives are guilty. Specifically, Brayton charges, in 2005 (Brayton actually wrote “1995”) quite a few conservatives signed a letter to Republican Senators opposing the use of the filibuster to obstruct up-or-down 50-percent-plus-one votes on judicial nominees. The hypocrisy comes in, Brayton charges, because some of those same conservatives also signed a letter dated June 2, 2009 calling on Republican Senators to consider using a filibuster to, if needed, make sure the Senate debate on Sotomayor is “appropriately long.”

Brayton misses, either intentionally or because he did not understand one or both of the letters, the important common position in each letter: Opposition to the use of the filibuster to obstruct a straightforward up-or-down 50-percent-plus-one vote.

The 2009 letter spells out very clearly that the letter’s signers are not trying to obstruct a majority vote on Sotomayor, but merely make certain a meaningful debate on the nomination occurs. Paragraphs are devoted to the explanation, as well as very clear phrases, such as “the traditional filibuster, not intended to obstruct [a vote].”

It seems so clear to me, I don’t see how Brayton could have misunderstood it.

P.S. The Other McCain rebuts another ridiculous criticism of the June 2 letter. Really, why do certain people feel so threatened by a call for a mere debate?

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