In today's hearings for Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) put to rest any serious problems for the nominee. Graham indicated Sotomayor had "said some things that have bugged the hell out of me," however, her judicial record "been generally in the mainstream." Despite the GOP's claims, Graham told Sotomayor, "to be honest with you, your record as a judge has not been radical by any means."
Considering all of the ranting of Republicans and their pundits, for someone like Graham to come out and say that is pretty telling of what they really think of her: Sotomayor might be someone they try to score political points over, but there is no doubt she is a judge that is qualified and not one they can oppose based on her record. So what does that tell us about the GOP today?
Today's Republican Party isn't concerned with actually putting good justices on the court as much as scoring political points. Instead of being concerned with today's major issues of our time, they want to rally the base by taking political shots at her statements that have nothing to do with her judicial record.
The reason Barack Obama has been so successful thusfar is because he has shown leadership. He has shown the desire to figure out a plan of action and take action on issues that Americans care about. He has taken on issues that aren't easy, but has made inroads in ways that help Americans. Those that are Obama Republicans can appreciate his efforts, even if they don't believe in every single policy because of that leadership.
When those Republicans look to their own leaders, what do they hear? A focus on the "wise latina" comment instead of a focus on her judicial record. A focus on "market economics" that don't advocate any change from the status quo, where they are feeling the crunch of today's economy. A focus on shrinking government in their language after so many years of Republican actions to grow government and at a time which would be the worst to shrink government: in the middle of a recession.
When you look at the GOP solutions, they include privatizing education instead of coming up with a solution to education. It is an abrogation of leadership where they pray someone else will find an answer, even if not everyone gets the opportunity.
They include a privatizing of Social Security instead of coming up with a solution to make it more solvent into the future. It is an abrogation of leadership where they hope someone can figure out how to take care of our elderly instead of finding an answer themselves.
They include "health savings accounts" which are little more than saying "save your money, you will need it," as if it was the most brilliant idea that everyone would have done if only they had thought of a savings account. It is begging for others to find answers because they don't have one.
The Sotomayor hearing only exemplifies the strategy: score political points in rhetoric, however, actually advocating some kind of change that solves a problem... look for someone else for those answers, because the GOP's answer is always, "let the market do it."
That isn't leadership. It is an absence of leadership.