Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hilda Solis on hold - fight coming

Greg Sargent, formerly of TPM, now apparently running his own blog at whorunsgov.com, asks a very of-the-moment question about the Hilda Solis nomination for Labor Secretary. Some Republican Senator has an anonymous hold on her nomination. Greg's question is - why isn't either Obama or any unions fighting for her to be confirmed? The question about unions was answered by a comment in the thread - they are starting to make noise. I'm sure that Obama will push for her if he feels it's necessary, but since Democrats have strong control of the Senate, I don't think he's worried.

If I were Obama, I would also let the Republicans hang themselves with this opposition. Solis is the only Hispanic woman in the cabinet. Opposing her makes Republicans look racist and sexist. I don't think there are a lot of people paying attention to this issue. But the ones who are paying attention have got to be pissed. They aren't just holding up her nomination - they are disrespecting her, and the people that she represents. That will not be forgotten.

Never underestimate the ability of Republicans to be stupid and self-destructive when it comes to issues of empowering the poor and oppressed. They are fighting Solis because this is the opening salvo in the fight over the Employee Free Choice Act, which businesses are terrified of.

Too bad. Obama has enough political capital that he can spend some on this if he has to. (And I have enough artistic and intellectual capital to end a sentence with a preposition if I choose to.)

Unless she has some weird financial problem, which looks unlikely at this point, Hilda Solis is going to be confirmed at Secretary of Labor. Republicans are sending a message by holding up her nomination. Fine. Message received. As if it weren't already perfectly clear.

What's stupid about Republicans holding up Solis is that they don't get anything out of it. They send their message, but their opposition to EFCA was already well-known. Are they rallying their troops? That's possible, because goodness knows their troops need rallying. But they are also stiffening the spines of their opposition, who are holding all the cards already.

One of the stupidest things anyone can do in politics is confirm their opponent's negative stereotypes. Never a good idea. But that's exactly what Republicans are doing - dissing a Latina. Of course, I'm pretty sure there aren't any Latino women among the Republicans in Congress. So there isn't anyone to explain to them just how stupid they are being.

Not that they would listen.

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