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Pundits & Editorials

Brooks examines the judicial empathy issue, and Steven Chu faces criticism. Plus: What does the road ahead look like for GM?

• "Despite the best efforts of" Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh "and others," Sonia Sotomayor's "confirmation process probably won't be about race," Eugene Robinson predicts.

Charlie Cook describes the back-and-forth about Sotomayor as a "ritualistic Kabuki dance, a rehearsal for the no-holds-barred brawl we can expect if one of the four conservatives on the Court retires while Barack Obama is president."


• "What conservative Republicans don't like about the Supreme Court can be summarized as the three, or maybe four, A's: abortion, affirmative action and activism," remarks Michael Kinsley.

• "It is a trap," Michael Gerson declares. "Republicans are poised to oppose an accomplished Latina federal judge for the Supreme Court, further alienating Hispanic voters the GOP has recently driven away in droves."

Peggy Noonan believes that "there's a new and fresh opportunity" in this nomination "for Republicans in the Senate to be serious, and, in their seriousness, to be seen and understood in a new light."


Charles Krauthammer also has some advice for Republicans: "Use the upcoming hearings not to deny her the seat, but to illuminate her views....The argument should be elevated, respectful and entirely about judicial philosophy."

• "The big question" moving forward to the hearings "is whether Republicans agree to play by rules that neither Mr. Obama nor his party have themselves followed," Kimberley Strassel notes.

• "Underlying" Sotomayor's "most controversial decision" -- the New Haven firefighters alleged reverse discrimination case -- "is a painful conflict between two civil-rights principles that were once seen as complementary," Stuart Taylor Jr. maintains.

• "Sotomayor will be a good justice if she can empathize with the many types of people and actions involved in a case, but a bad justice if she can only empathize with one type, one ethnic group or one social class," David Brooks opines.


• The Washington Post wants the administration to formulate more specific plans for long-term economic stability.

• "Does the big inflation scare make any sense? Basically, no -- with one caveat" that Paul Krugman will "get to later. And I suspect that the scare is at least partly about politics rather than economics."

• The New York Times isn't so sure municipal debt legislation Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has introduced, which "would make it easier and less costly for state and local governments to borrow," is necessary at this point.

• "Politicians wouldn't be politicians if they didn't trim their sails to the prevailing winds. Even so, the emerging 180-degree turn by Democrats on taxes and health insurance is one for the record books," the Wall Street Journal scoffs.

• "The feds' support has been crucial to keeping GM running while it struggles to reorganize... But once it gets through this process, the best thing the administration can do for the company is to sell it to someone else," the Los Angeles Times argues.

• In the Wall Street Journal, consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Robert Weissman, editor of Multinational Monitor magazine, put forth 10 concerns they have about the administration's plans for GM.

• The Financial Times describes a recent interview the board conducted with Energy Secretary Steven Chu as "sobering" and is concerned about the progress -- or lack thereof -- Chu has made so far.

• Obama has "implicitly" challenged Congress to "responsibly share the political risks inherent in balancing liberty and security during the age of global terror. On that," Ronald Brownstein asserts, "the jury remains out."

William Schneider examines polling that shows Americans are divided on torture issues.

• "When it comes to Guantanamo, few talk rationally of the options" about where to put the detainees, Ann Woolner opines.

• Recounting a recent meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jackson Diehl, remarks that Abbas is playing a "waiting game" on Middle East peace -- largely because of Obama.

Margaret Carlson doesn't think Washington D.C. is fit for a show like "Real Wives Of," which is reportedly going to be filming in the city.

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