Monday, July 20, 2009

Should Burr vote for Sotomayor?

One thing Richard Burr's going to have trouble with next year is producing examples of his ever pursuing an independent course from the Bush or Republican agenda. Jesse Helms excluded, North Carolinians tend to vote for centrists and Burr's actions and votes during his term in the Senate have been pretty universally conservative.

That's why I wonder if he should vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor. There's no way she's going to get rejected anyway, and it would provide a high profile example he could tout to Democrats and independents next year as an example of his being cooperative with the President in some instances while opposing him in others. Obama's approval rating may be down but he's still a lot more popular in North Carolina than either of the state's Senators. Having examples to show he doesn't just serve in Washington to be an obstructionist would help Burr down the line. And while some Republicans would doubtless be antagonized by Burr voting to approve Sotomayor, there's really nowhere for them to go.

It will be interesting to see what he does.

1 comment:

jason, asheville said...

Your analysis is wrong on several different points. First of all, regardless of Obama's relatively high (although dropping like a lead balloon) popularity, most Americans believe Sotomayor is unqualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Burr would be foolish to vote for her. Obama won this state by a razor thin margin and much of his core support will stay home next year. Burr needs to shore up his base. Dole was invisible and didn't have the base. Burr, by voting for this unqualified affirmative action candidate, will not only alienate his base but will do nothing for himself with so-called moderates, Blue Dogs or the small group of liberals. Your analysis is convoluted.
So, on to my next point. You claim we North Carolinians tend to vote for centrist Senators? Huh? Not only was Jesse Helms not a centrist but John Edwards is VERY liberal and Kay Hagan is quite a bit more liberal than centrist. I've lived in North Carolina all of my 41 years of life and the one thing that amazes me is how fickle we are when it comes to voting for U.S. Senators. Richard Burr is right of center (you do realize that he voted for the stimulus bill that many on the right oppose, correct?) but probably the most centrist Senator that I've ever seen in my lifetime. He has nothing to prove to the small liberal core in this state and will only suffer the fate of Elizabeth Dole if he tries. His obscurity should be worked on by appealing to the right-of-center nature of North Carolinians. To answer your question, voting for Sotomayor will be a disasterous mistake!

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