Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The New Racism Isn't So Popular Either: Public Opinion and Judge Sotomayor

As one of the nation's more visible victims of affirmative action, I've experienced a lot of good, old-fashion indignation as I read up on Judge Sotomayor and her decision in the Ricci v. New Haven case, the case where she allowed reverse discrimination to run free. I was especially saddened to read that Obama got a nice positive bump in the polls when he announced her nomination. Nevertheless, it takes time for the public to pay attention to even the worst forms of injustice.

Thankfully, Obama's bump in the polls has now faded away as people learn the reality of Sotomayor's unpredictable, self-indulgent judicial philosophy.

For example, Rasmussen Polls show 41% now favor her confirmation while 36% are opposed. This is in dramatic contrast with the situation a week ago when those numbers were 45% and 29% respectively. What was positioned by the Obama administration as a slam-dunk nomination now appears to be less and less popular with the people who matter the most - the voters.

In terms of promoting affirmative action, Obama and his liberal allies are on the wrong side of history and contemporary public opinion. Quinnipiac University, for example, released new polling data showing that affirmative action is a losing issue for Democrats. The Quinnipiac poll shows Americans reject affirmative action policies based on race by a 55% to 36% margin. This result, of course, is consistent with electoral results including the rejection of affirmative action by voters in both California and Nebraska.

Likewise, the respondents reported that they disagreed with Sotomayor's ruling in Ricci v. New Haven by 71% to 19%.

Most important, the Quinnipiac poll - a random sample of 3,000 voters - shows divisions within the Democrat party base on this issue. Only a plurality of black voters support affirmative action in government hiring, while a majority of Hispanics oppose it. By taking a principled stand against Judge Sotomayor's racist comments and her position on affirmative action, Republicans have an opportunity to win back majority support and take a stand on behalf of all the teachers, police officers, and firefighters who are harmed by affirmative action on a daily basis.

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