The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

27 May 2009

Rush Limbaugh Predicted Sotomayor's Rise In 1997


Crystal Ball Saw Sotomayor's Nomination 12 Years Early

Is Rush Limbaugh psychic?

As his prognostications eerily come to pass days, weeks, or months later, we've asked this very question in the past. During the election season, for example, he saw the GOP's nomination of John McCain coming at a time when the Arizona senator's presidential campaign seemed to be sputtering.

This time, Rush's crystal ball has astonished nearly everyone with a newly-unearthed New York Times piece from 1998 which detailed his prediction that Sonia Sotomayor would be headed to the US Supreme Court. In fact, he characterized it as a "rocket ship" ascension, according to the paper.

From the June 13 1998 story

It also remains unclear how some Senate Republicans came to believe that Judge Sotomayor was being considered as a candidate for the Supreme Court. Hispanic bar groups have for years pressed the Clinton Administration to name the first Hispanic justice, but White House officials said they are not committed to doing so. The Hispanic National Bar Association has submitted a list of six candidates for the Supreme Court to the White House. But Martin R. Castro, a Chicago lawyer and official of the group, said Judge Sotomayor's name is not on the list.

On Sept. 30, the day of her confirmation hearing, Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talk show host, warned the Senate that Judge Sotomayor was an ultraliberal who was on a ''rocket ship'' to the Supreme Court. That day, Judge Sotomayor was questioned closely by Republicans.

Credit for uncovering
this long-buried gem goes to The Hill, which reported their discovery earlier today:

In 1997, when President Bill Clinton nominated Sotomayor to become a U.S. Circuit Court judge, Limbaugh urged Senate Republicans to block her confirmation.

The conservative radio host said, on the day of Sotomayor's confirmation hearing, Sept. 30, 1997, that she was extremely liberal and was on a "rocket ship" to the high court, according to a 1998 New York Times story on GOP efforts to stop her confirmation.

The Times suggested that Limbaugh's Supreme Court warning was a key reason why GOP senators delayed a floor vote on her nomination for months even after several Republicans on the Judiciary Committee supported her.

During today's show, Limbaugh himself said that he'd forgotten all about his prediction and apparently, the NYT story itself. What isn't clear is what led him to that conclusion at a much earlier stage of Sotomayor's judicial career.

At the same time, El Rushbo is using her nomination and the GOP's tepid response as an excuse to attack the party for what he sees as its "compliant" nature:

Barack Obama thinks of himself as a member of an oppressed minority, but he's not taking it, he's fighting back. He's going to go so far as to desecrate the Constitution to address his grievances. The Republican Party, they've mastered it, they've got it down pat. Washington, DC, may as well be -- (interruption) what, Snerdley? Washington, DC, is the old south for Republicans, if you want to draw the analogy. They have gotten comfortable being an oppressed minority and they play the game; they don't speak out; they shut up. And when they do get gutsy and try to shut up or speak up, they do so in a way that won't offend anybody.

The Wall Street Journal, November 15th, 2003, Review and Outlook: "'Why The Democrats Borked Estrada, In Their Own Words.' -- Now that the Senate has concluded its 30-hour talkathon on judicial filibusters, we thought readers might like to peer inside the filibustering Democratic mind, such as it is. This plunge into the murky deep comes from staff strategy memos we've obtained from the days when Democrats ran the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2001-02. Or, rather, appeared to run the committee. Their real bosses are the liberal interest groups that more or less tell the Senators when to sit, speak and roll over -- and which Bush judges to confirm or not. Here are some excerpts."

This is a memo to Dick Durbin. "You are scheduled to meet with leaders of several civil rights organizations to discuss their serious concerns with the judicial nomination process. The leaders will likely include: Ralph Neas (People For the American Way), Kate Michelman (NARAL), Nan Aron (Alliance for Justice), Wade Henderson (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights), Leslie Proll (NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund), Nancy Zirkin (American Association of University Women), Marcia Greenberger (National Women's Law Center), and Judy Lichtman (National Partnership). ... The primary focus will be on identifying the most controversial and/or vulnerable judicial nominees. The groups would like to postpone action on these nominees until next year, when (presumably) the public will be more tolerant of partisan dissent."

November 7th, 2001, memo to Senator Durbin. "The groups singled out three -- Jeffrey Sutton (6th Circuit); Priscilla Owen (5th Circuit); and Caroline [sic] Kuhl (9th Circuit) -- as a potential nominee for a contentious hearing early next year, with a [sic] eye to voting him or her down in Committee. They also identified Miguel Estrada (D.C. Circuit) as especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment. They want to hold Estrada off as long as possible."

There are other memos in the story to Senator Kennedy telling him who to meet with and how to react and how to behave. But here's a memo to Dick Durbin from the special interest group saying that Miguel Estrada on the DC circuit must be opposed because he's Latino. Why? The Democrats get away with opposing people because they're Latino. We get punished if we oppose somebody because they're Latino. And we have to shut up because somebody's Latino.

We have gone out, we've had two people in our party literally, John McCain and George W. Bush, grant amnesty to how many millions of illegal Hispanics in the country. Did it get anybody anywhere, electorally? Estrada, nominated for a high court position, Alberto Gonzales, they were opposed because they're Latino, by the Democrats. Now, they didn't say so publicly. These are internal memos. But the Democrats can oppose Latinos left and right and they can oppose blacks left and right, and they never seem to pay a price for doing that. Why is that? Why does nobody get concerned if Democrats may be alienating voters from these various groups?

Why when they opposed Clarence Thomas did they not suffer one loss of a black vote? Why? And yet the Republicans have been made to believe, in their currently extinct status, that opposing Sonia Sotomayor simply because she's Latina will ruin their chances for the Hispanic vote, a vote they don't have anyway and a vote they're not going to get this way.

They're behaving like an oppressed minority. Whatever their masters tell them to say or do, not say or don't do, they say or don't say, they don't do. They are entirely compliant.

Will Republicans listen, or are they too afraid of the next Colin Powell Sunday morning TV appearance? If they don't, we won't need Limbaugh's crystal ball to know what's coming next: complete political oblivion.

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  • So. Rush is another Karnak the Great eh? I can also see Rush falling all over himself on the stage on this one. The woman is no ultra liberal but you righties won't stop with the lies AND the labeling. After all..anyone and anything center to left of you is considered ultra liberal. Thank God you think that way. Keep on thinking that way! You will lose every election for the next 50 years with that mentality!

    By Anonymous Deever Dave, at 28 May, 2009 05:57  

  • Rush was right then. Sotomayer is a racist member of a racist organization, "La Raza".

    Also, where's the outrage to this?

    By Blogger PCD, at 28 May, 2009 09:00  

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