Manuel Miranda Makes Republican Enemies

Yesterday we noted that Manuel Miranda and his Third Branch Conference (formerly known as the National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters) had returned and sent a letter to Republican Senators demanding that they carry out a “traditional filibuster” against Sonia Sotomayor.

Though the letter was signed by more than a hundred right-wing leaders and activists, Miranda is and always has been the leader of these efforts … and now he’s taking his demands one step further:

[I]n an interview with POLITICO, Manuel Miranda – who orchestrated the letter – went much farther, saying that 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.

“Limp-wristed” seems to be Miranda’s insult of choice when it comes to sitting US Senators, because it is the same term he used in attacking Sen. Orrin Hatch several years ago when Hatch refused to defend Miranda when he was forced to resign from his positon on the Hill when it was learned that he had improperly obtained hundreds of internal Democratic memos:

I do admit that reading Democrats’ documents on an unprotected server to help defend the president’s embattled nominees was political hardball, and I have learned that one shouldn’t play hardball with a limp-wristed team captain. 

It seems as if Miranda is not only calling out leading Senators like McConnell, but other right-wing judicial groups as well:

Miranda also declined to ask the Judicial Confirmation Network, one of the leading conservative judicial groups, to sign on to his letter, calling the group “an arm of [Republican] leadership” in the Senate.

Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network said the group is not affiliated with the leadership and said she didn’t “really understand” the comment.

Now, we’ll agree that the JCN is essentially an arm of the Senate Republicans, but they have also been among the most vocal critics of President Obama’s judicial nominees David Hamilton and Sonia Sotomayor.  They’ve also led the charge against several of his Department of Justice nominees, including Dawn Johnsen David Ogden, and Elena Kagan.

While we obviously have fundamental disagreements with the Judicial Confirmation Network, nobody can deny that they have been leading the right-wing opposition to President Obama on these issues and have a far greater impact than does Miranda and his gaggle of letter-signers.  

And it seems as if Miranda’s superiority complex is, not surprisingly, starting to alienate people:

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.”