Over the last few days the GOP smear machine has thrown a broad variety of insults at SCOTUS nominee Sonya Sotomayor including racist, bigot, idiot, grammar snob and hot-head, none of which hold up under even the slightest of examination. Karl Rove insisted that despite being 2nd in her class at Princeton and editor of the Yale law journal she's dumb. Yes, the same Karl Rove who backed Harriet Myers for the same court. She was criticized for correcting the spelling and grammar of opinions written by her clerks, which is only a hair's breadth from the racist's favorite back-handed insult "articulate". She's even accused of having the dreaded empathy. Of course Bush 41 praised Clarence Thomas' empathy during his nomination, but because he's a man it's totally different. Most recently G. Gordon Liddy pulled out all the sexist stops in hoping that her female biology doesn't get in the way of her confirmation hearings. What a guy.
Each day there's a new smear from some foaming-at-the mouth commentator who has totally forgotten the previous day's ranting. Sure, they're the opposition party and opposing is what they're supposed to do, but this isn't opposing, it's school-yard taunting. Fortunately the general population isn't buying it. So why do they persist? They know that, failing some unexpected catastrophe, she's going to be confirmed. Does it make sense to alienate someone you'll see in the halls and at cocktail parties from time to time? Someone respected by most of the rest of the country?
It does if you're trying to earn money by the truckload. The far-right has written off the majority of the US population but is throwing bloody, red meat to their die-hard base. Thanks to GOP policies in the early 21st century much of that base has done very well for itself and now the party wants some of that it back. They see this as their vehicle.
However, in the process they're pushing out Latinos, the fastest growing block of voters in the USA. Not to mention the 51.5% of the country comprised of women and those of us with enough sense to wonder WTF they're doing. So even if they are able to capitalize on this nomination fight and rake in the cash what could they possibly accomplish? 79% of voters won't identify themselves as Republicans and 21% certainly isn't enough to win back any appreciable amount of political power.
I just don't think they've thought that far ahead. In fact, they sound a lot like the dotcom business plans of the late 90's. To paraphrase:
1) Alienate fastest-growing swath of voting public
2) Collect money from hard-core base
Now, if you can figure out step three Michael Steele has a job for you.