GOP must show its PR smarts with strong, enthusiastic support for Sotomayor
Here’s some sage PR advice for the Republican Party: Barring any scandalous revelations about her past you should enthusiastically support the candidacy of Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court. The GOP needs Sotomayor on many levels and here’s why it’s smart PR to not merely support her but to do so with gusto:
– Sotomayor is well qualified for the post. This is the most important fact because if she’s not then she’s merely a political gift from Obama to Hispanics. In Sotomayor we have a candidate for the high court that was not only first elevated to the bench by the elder Bush but that has a long and worthy legal resume to boot. She’s paid her dues, has the legal acumen and deserves the same opportunity to serve her country that many former Supreme Court nominees with much less experience have had.
– Rejecting Sotomayor, the first Hispanic EVER nominated to the Supreme Court and Obama’s ONLY major Hispanic appointment thus far in his administration, would be genocidal and not merely suicidal to the Republican Party. With midterm elections around the corner and the Hispanic vote already deciding all three of the previous general elections it’s hard to imagine the GOP gambling to be even worse off than it is now. If the GOP thought the presidential election left them hurting with Hispanics and other multicultural communities, refusing Sotomayor will take the party to new depths of despair. Sotomayor’s nomination is the first, post-election test Latinos are applying to the GOP to see if the party really is serious about inclusion.
– Voting against Sotomayor would also hurt the GOP’s chances with women and key multicultural communities (“voters”) like African Americans and Asians. All of these long disenfranchised groups believe that, much like Obama, Sotomayor in many ways reflects their hopes and aspirations for a better life in the United States.
– Sotomayor’s got a terrific, GOP-friendly personal story. Her blue-collar-daughter-of-a-widow story exemplifies the ideals of family values, hard work, perseverance and independence that Republicans and Latinos share. The GOP should embrace this part of her story.
There’s no doubt that the Republicans find themselves in a tough bind. None of this medicine will be easy for the GOP to take and already Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney are doing what they can to stir opposition. None of this is comes as a surprise, especially because Sotomayor is a liberal jurist. Even moderate Republicans don’t like that. Whatever one wants to say about this situation, however, this battle is bigger than it appears and the GOP cannot stick to its losing ways. The only path Republicans can take to gain PR ground with Hispanics, women and other vital multicultural communities who will vote in the 2010 and 2012 elections is for the party to step out of its recent ways and support Sotomayor. To make a convincing statement of solidarity and inclusion to the other 40 percent of America that is of a diverse background, the GOP must give Sotomayor’s nomination two enthusiastic thumbs up.