Reuters reports that Senate Judiciary approved the Gonzalez nomination by a 10-8 vote, with all Democrats voting against. Good to see such unity, but that wasn't the most interesting thing to me.
CongressDaily (sorry, subscription only) reports the indignation of chair Orrin Hatch that anyone dare oppose him:
Senate Judiciary member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, scolded Democrats for opposing Gonzales, who would become the first Latino attorney general. "You may not agree with Judge Gonzales," he said, "but, my gosh, this man deserves to be confirmed. Every Hispanic in America is watching how this man is being treated."
Kennedy's response was that if the committee were voting on the "story" and not the record, then he would have been approved unanimously. Nice response, and they'll need some variation of it during the floor debate when Republicans again try to play the ethnicity card.
Am I surprised Hatch did so? Dismayed, but not surprised. Not just because Gonzalez is part of Rove's strategy to bring Latinos into the GOP coalition, but because this kind of hypocrisy is par for the course. Just recall their attempt to tar Democrats with being "anti-Catholic" for opposing the William Pryor nomination for the 11th Circuit bench.
Yes, I'm sure Trent Lott and Rick Santorum, among others, can tell us precisely how the GOP is the party of inclusion. But to make the claim that opposition to Gonzalez is somehow related to his ethnicity? It's all just too offensive.