The fact that the GOP has no clear plan to win the election next year other than hoping President Obama fails so miserably that people will feel no choice but to vote Republican became more apparent yesterday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 6 to confirm Judge Sotomayor as the next Supreme Court Justice. And only one Republican voted in favor of the nomination. The GOP got shellacked by Hispanic voters last year - losing 3 out of 4 votes compared to getting nearly half of those votes in 2004. And political analysts are in general agreement that the loss of so many Hispanic voters cost the GOP dearly both in the congressional and presidential races last year. Some even credit this shift in votes to giving Obama the electoral votes to win the White House.
So one would think that the GOP would be scrambling to win some of those voters back. They certainly were sending the opposite message yesterday when they overwhelmingly opposed the well-qualified Sotomayor who will become the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. They didn't help by declining invitations to attend the annual La Raza conference, an absence being noted in the Hispanic media.
The last major litmus test for the GOP on an issue Hispanic voters will be watching is the vote on immigration reform that will come later this year or early next year. It is far from clear whether any GOP members of Congress have shifted their views yet. But what is clear is that the Hispanic community is starting to become a reliable Democratic bloc of voters and as the nation's fastest growing ethnic group, the GOP can't survive as a national party without them.