Diana West

But no one on the right is supposed to mention it, or so the conventional wisdom would have it. That's because Sotomayor, in addition to being a Latina -- or, rather, as a function of being a Latina -- is also a sacred cow. As a woman (check one) with parents from Puerto Rico (check two), she is by accident of birth virtually above criticism, a condition of neo-royalty that is death to a democratic republic. Worse, she is seen in these sacred terms by far too many Republicans, thus revealing the extent to which they, too, have bought into the dehumanizing givens of identity politics.

In other words, it's one thing for Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to say, "They (Republicans) oppose her at their peril." It's quite another to hear the very same theme echoed by GOP professionals. "Republicans who pick a fight with an up-from-the-bootstraps Hispanic woman do so at their own peril," said GOP consultant Phil Musser. "If Republicans make a big deal of opposing Sotomayor, we will be hurling ourselves off a cliff," said former George W. Bush aide Mark McKinnon. "It's a bad visual. It's bad symbolism for the Republicans," said Matthew Dowd, another former Bush aide. "You want to be careful," said GOP chairman Michael Steele. "You don't want to be perceived as a bully."

Such shallow, pointless politicking, devoid of philosophical principle, reveals the crisis in conservative circles: namely, the lack of understanding of what is required to mount the philosophical arguments against the leftist social engineering, as practiced by Sotomayor and as promulgated by Obama, that has derailed the lives of countless Frank Riccis, stripping them of the protections of the Constitution in the name of perpetual resentment and unslakeable grievance.

Making this moral, conservative case isn't jumping off a cliff. It isn't "bad symbolism" and it isn't bullying. It's leadership based on fundamental, core principles. We'll find out if there is anyone left with any such principles when the Senate confirmation hearings for Sotomayor begin.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).