LEAVE IT TO LIDDY…. And here I thought Tom Tancredo, Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh would be the most offensive conservative critics of Sonia Sotomayor. How could I forget this clown?

Yesterday on his radio show, conservative host G. Gordon Liddy continued the right wing’s all-out assault on Judge Sonia Sotomayor. […]

“I understand that they found out today that Miss Sotomayor is a member of La Raza, which means in illegal alien, ‘the race.’ And that should not surprise anyone because she’s already on record with a number of racist comments.” […]

“Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.”

So, according to this prominent conservative media personality, the Spanish language is synonymous with “illegal alien,” and women are, by nature, poorly suited to serving as justices.

I’m not sure what I expected, exactly, from the right during this confirmation process. It was easy to imagine them attacking Sotomayor, but I more or less assumed they’d be subtle. The racist and misogynistic attitudes would be there, I assumed, but they would be vague, indirect, and phrased in a way to make deniability plausible.

But here we are, just a few days after Sotomayor’s introduction, and some corners of the right just can’t seem to help themselves. They know it’s hateful, they know it’s offensive, they even know it’s likely to do long-term damage to their party.

And yet, they do it anyway. It’s like a sickness.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.