But even within the conservative coalition, there is another schism. This one is between those who want to do something versus those who want to be somebody. ... Unfortunately, there are too many conservatives out there who are more interested in getting press than in being effective.
One who appears to be more of self-promoter is Manny Miranda. Miranda's efforts to gain publicity via the Sotomayor confirmation are actually hurting responsible conservatives who are attempting to have a mature debate over the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor. Miranda, however, realizes that the way to get press is to be controversial -- and to attack fellow Republicans. So that's what he has been doing. Sadly, he's also using the confirmation battle as an opportunity to settle old scores.
As Politico reported:
... in an interview with POLITICO, Manuel Miranda ... went much farther, saying that Senator Mitch McConnell should “consider resigning” as Senate minority leader if he can’t take a harder line on President Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee.
Miranda accused McConnell of being “limp-wristed” and “a little bit tone deaf” when it comes to judicial nominees.Miranda, now the chairman of the conservative Third Branch Conference, served as counsel to McConnell’s predecessor, then-Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist. He left that job in 2004 amid allegations that he improperly accessed thousands of memos and emails from Democratic staffers – circumstances McConnell’s supporters recalled as they pushed back hard against Miranda’s arguments Monday.
“It’s unfortunate that one disgraced former employee of previous Senate leadership has decided to air out his grievances rather than join the conservative effort to examine Judge Sotomayor’s record,” said a senior GOP Senate aide. “Not only did this guy steal the Democrats’ playbook, he seems to be implementing it.”It’s important to note that much of the Politico story revolves around a coalition letter (h/t Chris Field) that Miranda put together. The letter was signed by many prominent conservative leaders who have good intentions. The problem with Miranda isn't this one letter -- as much as it is his continued efforts to advance this circular firing squad. For example, Miranda spoke at a bloggers briefing and from what I'm told from a reliable source...he spent most of his time attacking the RNC and Republican Senators -- not in talking about Judge Sotomayor's troubling record. Another reliable source has told me that many of the influential conservative leaders who agreed to be named in the letter don’t agree with the tactics Miranda is using in going after Senator McConnell.
This only exasperates the problem he has of being a bull in a china shop, without having a strategy in mind other than a throwing the baby out with the bathwater and a huge craving of media attention – which will end up harming the conservative movement in the process.
UPDATE: Much of the talk about Sonia Sotomayor has been the infamous comments that she is more qualified to make rulings on the Supreme Court because of her being latino and whether or not that was racist, thus possibly being one tool to deny her confirmation. Now comes this statement from Miranda that is equally unimagineable:
"Hispanic polls, Hispanic surveys, indicate that Hispanics think just like everyone else. We’re not like African-Americans. We think just like everybody else. When I was on the leader’s staff, someone called me once and asked me: ‘What’s Senator Frist’s Hispanic agenda?’ I said, ‘low taxes, better education, more jobs … what are you talking about?’ And that’s how Hispanics are. This is an opportunity to educate them on all of our issues and they will resonate in the way that they resonate with everyone else."