ORIGINAL POST: Well, it didn't take long for the "partisan conversation" (is that a diplomatically acceptable phrase?) to begin. And considering we're only about 24 hours into the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, can you imagine what the "partisan conversation" is going to look like in a few weeks?
From the Democratic/liberal side of the aisle, there are these pearls of political punditry:
1. New York senator Charles Schumer says the GOP will challenge the judge, but it will do so at its "own peril."
2. "Radicalbytes" offers this "tweet" -- It's hilarious that old straight white men in the congress are suddenly "concerned" about race an gender bias from Sonia Sotomayor.
3. The White House offered this statement from one of Sotomayor's Yale Law School instructors: “She’s always a very forceful and powerful judge. She has, not on an insignificant number of occasions, caused me to change my mind.”
And from the Republican/conservative side of the aisle, there are these pearls of political punditry:
1. The Judicial Confirmation Network suggests she has a "personal political agenda."
2. Alabama senator Jeff Sessions believes Judge Sotomayor "has serious problems."
3. The National Right to Life Committee suggests "(p)ro-life concerns are reinforced by the knowledge that Judge Sotomayor has been nominated to the Supreme Court by a president who himself criticized the Supreme Court majority for upholding the ban on partial-birth abortion."
4. At least one Libertarian group argues that "on the hot-button issues of affirmative action and Second Amendment rights, her record suggests a decidedly illiberal vision of constitutional law."
5. Finally Newt Gingrich offers this "tweet" -- Imagine a judicial nominee said "my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman" new racism is no better than old racism
Perhaps the voice of reason belongs to Republican strategist Mark McKinnon.
UPDATE: For an important "bigger picture" discussion, consider Mike Allen's comments on his Politico.com Playbook:
Veterans of Supreme Court battles will remind you that they often take surprising turns. And Senate Republicans are keeping their options open, with plans to turn over all the stones they can find. (One option being considered is a focus on Second Amendment cases.) But Republicans tell us privately that Judge Sonia Sotomayor was a smart pick that may leave them relatively little to work with. Obama is picking a fight he has already won. She has no abortion opinions, and Bill Frist and Rick Santorum voted to confirm her as a federal appeals judge in 1998. In an overnight appeal to supporters, Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, stopped far short of opposition: 'Contact your two senators today and urge them not to rush to judgment on Sotomayor or approve her based on her biography.'
Republicans recognize that the party has to do better with Hispanic voters if it has any hope of winning a national election, and party officials know that waging holy war against the first Latina nominee to the High Court carries high risk. Worst-case scenario: cementing of stereotypes, and further minority alienation from the GOP. So there'll be lots of posturing and theater and phony outrage. (One veteran tactician explains that both sides use these fights to set markers and send signals for the next pick.) And of course lots of conservative groups are depending on a 'fight' to raise money and jump-start the movement. But barring one of Rummy's unknown unknowns, White House officials expect a relatively painless and swift confirmation, with a bunch of Republican votes. It even looks likely that they'll get it on the president's timetable. Although Senate Republicans are not yet committing to a confirmation before the August congressional recess, our high-level soundings found little appetite for dragging out what looks like a foregone conclusion. As conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt told us: 'I don't believe in charging up a hill when you're going to be completely mowed down.'