September 16, 2007

Mukasey Works, Too

From the armada of trial balloons floating from the White House the last two days, it appears that the Bush administration has shifted its favor from Ted Olson to Michael Mukasey for its choice to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. Mukasey had been rumored as a potential Supreme Court pick earlier, and has a solid record as a conservative jurist -- which he'll need after getting Chuck Schumer's blessing:

One source close to the White House, describing Mukasey as the clear "front-runner," said Bush advisers appear to have decided that "they didn't want a big fight over attorney general" in the Senate, especially when other qualified candidates are also available. The source said Olson, who represented Bush in the Supreme Court fight over the contested 2000 election, would be seen as "very political," despite his outstanding legal credentials.

Another well-connected GOP source, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity in discussing internal White House deliberations, said that Mukasey is "the leading candidate." He described Mukasey -- the former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York -- as a conservative on counterterrorism issues, such as electronic surveillance, and said that he has a solid reputation and is seen by Bush aides as "confirmable."

That posture may not sit well with some conservatives in the legal world, who have relished the prospect of a confirmation fight over Olson. But it may signal a White House desire to restore order to the Justice Department, which has experienced considerable turmoil because of controversies surrounding Gonzales, including his handling of the firing of federal prosecutors.

"I think Mike Mukasey would be a first-rate pick. He's really a tough-as-nails judge. He has very strong law-and-order values," said Jay P. Lefkowitz, a former White House domestic policy adviser who practices law in New York. "The Justice Department has been really beleaguered over the last few months, and bringing someone in like Mike Mukasey will be a real shot in the arm for the department."

"Conservatives might have some serious concerns with Mukasey," said one Republican close to the White House. "He's not well known in the community." On the other hand, this Republican noted, it would be a one-year-plus tenure as attorney general, not a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, and, therefore, conservatives may decide it is not worth bolting from Bush.

It's not just Schumer who will give conservatives a headache over Mukasey. Nan Aron of the Alliance for Justice also recommended Mukasey as a pick for the Supreme Court. The AJ actively opposed Samuel Alito and John Roberts for their confirmations to the Supreme Court, and they're usually about as reliably Left as these organizations get. Aron has opposed the appointment of Leslie Southwick to the appellate bench. This is an endorsement that the White House will hope fades from memory after conservatives review his record.

William Kristol hopes so, too. He urges conservatives to look past Aron and Schumer to see the benefits of a Mukasey appointment at Justice:

Some of my fellow conservatives will be disappointed that the nominee won't be former Solicitor General Ted Olson. Olson would be a superb AG--and there is a case for nominating Olson, and inviting a Senate confirmation fight over issues of legal philosophy and executive power. There is also a case, though, for nominating an AG equally as first-rate as Olson, but one who'll be easily confirmed--and who will, I believe, come to judgments similar to Olson's on key issues of executive power and the war on terror.

While it's unfortunate that the first thing many conservatives will hear about Mukasey is that his home-state senator Chuck Schumer has praised him, that shouldn't disqualify him. Knowing Mukasey wasn't on Bush's Supreme Court short list, Schumer felt free to list him a few years ago as an acceptable "consensus" candidate for the Court. And in fact, I for one don't know enough about Mukasey's constitutional views to be sure I'd recommend him for a lifetime Court appointment. Nor would he perhaps be the best pick for AG at the beginning of a term, with hundreds of court appointments and other personnel and policy decisions in a wide range of areas ahead. But this is an appointment for the last fifteen months of an administration whose basic policies are set and which has few judges left to appoint.

Ted Olson would have made a fine Attorney General. The short period of time left in the Bush administration would have been perfectly suited for a man of his stature and accomplishment, and I believe that he would have eventually won confirmation. Like Kristol, I believe that a case could be made for having a confirmation fight, mostly on the grounds that a President should be given wide discretion in political appointments, especially those without lifetime tenure.

However, Mukasey works for the same reasons. Even if he doesn't prove as solidly conservative as Olson, he has a solid record on the issues most important to the Right, on terrorism and war. Andrew McCarthy, who fought terrorism as a US Attorney and worked with Mukasey, strongly endorses him as AG. Kristol and McCarthy both see him as an advocate for the Patriot Act and the new FISA legislation. If so, the AJ and Chuck Schumer may be the ones disappointed in the end.

While an argument can be made for having an argument, an equal and better argument can be made for quietly working for a candidate who will not inspire immediate partisanship. For one thing, Justice is a mess, and a smooth transition will make its recovery more quick. Also, having these partisan fights for the sake of having them does damage to political discourse and in the end achieves little more than increased rancor -- especially if other candidates will push for the same policies and objectives. That's more a knock on Congress and the Democrats, whose knee-jerk opposition to Olson is both substanceless and insulting. In the present climate, and with the administration rightly focusing its political strength on keeping the mission going on Iraq, it makes more sense to give a little on this appointment as a balance.

If the White House thinks Mukasey will represent its policies and goals at Justice as well or better than anyone else, we should be supportive of the nomination and hold Democrats to their word on his confirmation. It puts Schumer and his colleagues on the spot and almost guarantees a low-key confirmation hearing. If they renege on their promise of bipartisanship after nominating what they have described as a "consensus candidate", it will demonstrate much more clearly where toxic partisanship originates.


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Comments (38)

Posted by RS | September 16, 2007 9:51 AM

We'll see how long it takes for Schumer to "discover" previously unknown and damning facts about Mr. Mukasey. Mr. Schumer has no shame, so "putting him on the spot" is impossible.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | September 16, 2007 9:57 AM

My strategy, if I was President Bush, would be to cram the most conservative AG candidates down Chuck Schumer's throat for months and months. Tie Schumer up in duct tape and rants for the duration. At the same time, direct the current U.S. Attorneys to revive the investigation into Chuck Schumer's theft of Michael Steele's credit history and personal financial information.

In this way, Chuck Schumer will be going from Senate committee confirmation hearings over to Federal court hearings and back and then back again. It's time to test the mental, physical and emotional state of Senator Schumer.

Posted by pilsener | September 16, 2007 10:14 AM

My first question upon reading that Schumer & Aron approve of Mukasey is: What are his views on special prosecutors?

The Bush administration would be better off with no AG rather than have one who would appoint a special prosecutor.

The second question is: What are Mukasey's views on executive privilege?

Having the justice department contradict the Bush adminstration's position on executive privilege would be counterproductive?

Posted by The Yell | September 16, 2007 10:19 AM

We already have demonstrated where the toxic partisanship comes from, when Gonzales was hounded out.

RS is right that anybody nominated is going to get smeared. The Gonzales debacle has "proved" that Justice is a "mess" because it was too loyal to its constitutional superior. Whoever is put forward is going to be asked "What would you have done to halt the known crimes of the Bush Administration?" in front of a Senate committee. There is nothing to be said or not said that can possibly be worth more to those donkeys than that inquisition.

Posted by Terrye | September 16, 2007 10:28 AM

Conservatives did everything they could to get Gonzales kicked out of out his job, now maybe they should stand back and let Bush nominate who he wants without the usual kvetching.

I would have supported Olson, but not only do I think he would not have been confirmed...I doubt if he would have made it past the committee.

Posted by doug | September 16, 2007 10:38 AM

"If they renege on their promise of bipartisanship after nominating what they have described as a "consensus candidate", it will demonstrate much more clearly where toxic partisanship originates."

After the Bush Admin. has politicized the DoJ to an unheard of degree, forcing rats to jumped ship weekly, you have the nerve to talk about where "partisanship originates"?

Please. You're one of the more rational conservatives here... you know where it really originated.

Posted by coldwarrior415 | September 16, 2007 10:45 AM

I always thought that members of the Cabinet were chosen and kept on the payroll at the pleasure of the President, that old Executive Branch/Legislative Branch divide written up somewhere a long time ago.

I can't find anything in my small library of Constitutional history that says that Cabinet members has to agree with Congress or necesarily be clean virgins when they are appointed. Only in the past few decades, since the about the Carter Administration, has there been such heavyhandedness on the part of the Congress [both sides] to pick and chose who gets into the Cabinet or sub-Cabinet and who doesn't. The track record of Dem's shooting down GOP candidates for Cabinet-level posts is much higher than the other way over the past couple decades.

If a President cannot chose who he/she believes would do the job, and have their full trust and confidence and vice-versa, why not just amend the Constitution and make Congress identify, appoint and approve ALL political positions within the Executive Branch. Make it a matter of law.

Then, down the road a few years, when there may be a Democrat President and a GOP Congress, let them eat cake...having GOP annointed and approved Cabinets serving Democrat Presidents....wonder how that would work out? You can bet the Dems would howl to high heaven.

Schumer and his ilk are a major part of the problem. What has CHcuk done lately that actually advanced anything positive anywhere in government? If he wants all the power, why doesn't he toss his hat in the ring and run for the big prize? He can't. He knows he couldn't even carry new York. So, like a petulant peevish little spoiled rich kid, he makes life hell for those who do not kow-tow to his every whim just to prove he can.

Posted by jpe | September 16, 2007 10:55 AM

I can't find anything in my small library of Constitutional history that says that Cabinet members has to agree with Congress or necesarily be clean virgins when they are appointed.

By the same token, you can't find anything to deny Congress the authority to demand whatever it wants from nominees.

Because of your unfamiliarity with our Constitution, I take it you're new to our fine nation. Good luck on passing the citizenship test; study up, and I'm sure you'll do fine.

Posted by coldwarrior415 | September 16, 2007 11:24 AM

Been a citizen since birth more than a half-century ago, but thanks for the advice.

Witch hunts have been a New England tradition since before we became a nation, and Schumer is just carrying on the tradition. Congress can advise and consent...that is their job when it comes to relations with the Executive, or they can pull funding. They do not appoint. There is no Constitutional basis for a litmus test, either. Prior to the 70's for the vast majority of Cabinet appointees the mere fact that the President selected an individual for a Cabinet post was sufficient, barring of course criminal activity or treasonous acts on the part of the appointee. At what point did the Constitutional mechanisms change so that Congress, an opposition Congress for that matter, can dictate before the fact who serves the President/Executive branch and who does not?

Posted by L88SS454 | September 16, 2007 11:49 AM

Mukasey=Olsen and Schumer opposes Olsen but not Mukasey? Nope. Can't happen. Schumer,and the rest of the Democrats,will FIND ways to oppose Mukasey for one reason...Bush appointed him. The confirmation hearings are yet another opportunity for free face time to the nation on C-SPAN. Don't think for one minute that the Democrats aren't going to take full advantage of it to bash Bush and push their own agenda. I'm not fooled by Schumer and I'm surprised anyone else would be.

Posted by richard mcenroe | September 16, 2007 12:09 PM

I'd feel better if Mukasey had a record that would lead me to think he would actually investigate criminal Democrats like Feinstein and Hillary, too...

Posted by Carol Herman | September 16, 2007 12:09 PM

Nah. Not really. Both Bush's, brought up to the aristocratic lifestyle, seem to refuse to make risky bets. It's almost as if the disappointment is palpable, because Bush let Petraeus get spit on. By Vietnam era war freaks. (Well, during that period of time, this Bush was high on Coke.)

So, what just past is an opportunity NOT taken.


Bush got involved in Iraq, in the first place, because he was operating for the Saud's. And, some really crazy inside-the-beltway folk had told him that Chalabi had American trained goons. The Iraqis, never led by the Shi'a, would be a ripe fruit, set for plucking.

Want more background? ENRON.

Those practices were not unknown to Bush. But the surprise still went to Kenny-Boy. Since Bush wouldn't have risked a hair on his head for others.

There's a good lesson in that.

Because Bush has been slow-mo, himself, while over a period of 3 years, the Saud's couldn't make their sale in Baghdad.

The really brave people, over there, get killed by the thousands each and every month; and, now, with American military help, (not being goofed up by the "boy in charge") things are actually looking up.

And, Bush is already planning his own "exit strat-e-gerry." HE wants what his dad's got. Which isn't all that much. It's a presidential hat. And, "invites" to an insider's club, where poppa gets $75,000 per speech.

But small potatoes works for Bush. It's less risky.

And, you just saw, again, another commotion over nothing. This Mu-kaka-sey isn't "exactly" a catasrophy. It is, however, ANOTHER PROMISE BROKEN. Another stall. And, another "safe" move; when BOLD would'a been better.

Mu-ka-ka-sey has absolutely NO experience at JUSTICE! So, as far as Bush is concerned, it can lay there and die. Like ENRON. What does he care? It's not part of HIS family's business.

Is this a good step for Guiliani?

Of course, you're kidding me!

Guiliani is a hand's on fighter! And, that's a lost riskier than these guys who refuse to dirty their hands. Or worse, bleed a little when they punch.

Of course, it's not the only fight left. Even if all Bush wants to do is "goody-two-shoes" dance steps. He never did become Fred Astaire.

And, in all likelihood, other opportunities will slip. But we'll get to recognize his "grasp" isn't even near the opportunities. Why not? Because servants don't bring ya this stuff on silver platters. It's just ain't catered.

Does Stevens and/or Ruth Bader Ginsberg get to "retire?" Seems Rehnquist made it plain ya DIE, seated. Deosn't mean in the months ahead another opportunity may present itself?

Would Ted Olsen be the nominee the White House sends? Don't even bother to answer this. Bush wants to be top dog among midgets. He tolerated Petraeus, because Petraeus only has 4 stars.

Seems Washington DC's "charades" hasn't been dealt much of a setback.

And, Iran still has its nuke factories.

So, no matter what else, including the relief that comes when Bush leaves office; we've got to pay lots more attention to the FIELD. And, what's being offered.

Can Hillary still win it? Hugh Hewitt knows the numbers she needs to steal, to "get in."

But let's say this comes to pass? The Bonkeys have enough lawyers to scare us all? You don't think Code Pink wouldn't get shoved out of the way by outraged American People?

Bush, and his picks. What rot.

Posted by patrick neid | September 16, 2007 12:10 PM

here's the real mind blower

....Mukasey, 66, worked under Rudolph Giuliani as a federal prosecutor in New York and is supporting the former mayor for president. Mukasey's son is a law partner with Giuliani.

A White House official said Mukasey, who retired from the bench last year, was recommended by both Republicans and Democrats when President Bush's emissaries sought advice on successors to Gonzales, who resigned following a blizzard of complaints about the firing of several U.S. attorneys.

Mukasey's supporters include Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.....

If the Justice department looks into the Hsu affair, as AT, Mukasey could have an impact on the Hillary campaign. At the least I would expect to hear from Ms. Clinton.

Posted by Sara | September 16, 2007 12:10 PM

Anyone out of the Southern District of New York is a no no for me. I don't care how qualified that person looks on paper. If Schumer isn't opposed, then that person is under Schumer's control. Look at what Schmucky's boy Comey did. No, the President needs to looks somewhere other than the So. District of New York.

Posted by patrick neid | September 16, 2007 12:17 PM

nope, not good enough for you Sara,

"He is a member of the Justice Advisory Committee of Giuliani's presidential campaign. His son Marc L. Mukasey is a partner at the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani, where the former mayor is a senior partner.

Michael Mukasey, who was born in the Bronx in 1941, got his undergraduate degree from Columbia College and his law degree from Yale Law School.

He was nominated to the bench by Reagan in 1987, and was chief judge from 2000 to 2006. He then rejoined the Manhattan-based law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, where he is a partner.

As judge, he presided over the trial of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

Mukasey also signed the material witness warrant authorizing the arrest of terrorism suspect Jose Padilla in 2002.

Posted by viking01 | September 16, 2007 1:55 PM

Counting down the seconds until Schumer or other Lefty degenerate begins throwing mud at the chosen nominee.

The Dems cannot be trusted. Hillary and Obama Hussein realize that as they openly distrust each other.

Ever since Saint Bubba with his Vestal Interns was crowned Worshipful Master (perhaps Mastur-) of their Democrat party it has been everyone against anyone who questions Slick's true believers and their god of Socialism.

To restore credibility to the Attorney General's office the next one will have to demonstrate a willingness to go after the Sandy Burglars, Washington state election fraud, illegals in light of the current Constitution, and bribe brokers like Hsu and Huang. Gonzo and Ashcroft came across as casual if not indifferent though fortunately still in strong contrast to the master of the Waco massacre Janet Reno. Gonzo and Ashcroft were too much like Frist and Hastert. They liked their fancy offices and stationery but forgot why they were there. Of course, all but the Clinton's most rabid Koolaid drinkers realize Reno was little more than a perimeter defending and diverting from Slick's endless blunders and wanton escapades.

To restore confidence of the American people in federal law enforcement the next AG will have to show greater gumption and work ethic than the Chappaquiddick homicide bureau showed Ted Kennedy.

Posted by jpe | September 16, 2007 1:58 PM

There is no Constitutional basis for a litmus test, either.
The Congress's power to consent is plenary; they can refuse a nominee for any reason.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 16, 2007 2:14 PM

Some people, here, expect a "special prosecutor?"

Well, ain't that special?

Cause there's no time for any grand entrance. The President is on his "last run." And, considering his behaviors, it's more of a walk.

Full of soft pitches.

Typical for the Bush family, in any case.

So, up ahead, when these 8 years are finally over; we will get to see the BOOKENDS.

First one went down in 1988. Bush, the non-entity veep to Reagan; got to know all about primary levers.

That's how he got the nomination. In 1988.

Then, in 2000? The same. Old. Same old. Because the apparatus could be "fixed" from within. In just a few primary states; which, if you'll notice NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO!

Because, among other realities; there are so many angry Americans, that there's a "bumping up" of primary dates. (Just like you'd do if your bride was pregnant, nobody wants to wait for June to roll around, anymore.)

So, yeah, there's Iowa. With their payoffs in "pork." And, there's New Hampshire, where the voting's been rigged, before. (Which is how the elder Bush "out-performed" McCain. In 1988.)

Tricks like that, folks, die on the vine. I'd guess they won't be applicable, ahead. Not that politicians aren't always looking for "edges."

This Bush? Can't say I haven't been disappointed, before.

But he plays the "weak hand." Never bold. And, he got involved in Irak for reasons that never panned out. And, for three years he sat on his arse; having, eventually, to fire Rummy.

The Saud's are still responsible for 9/11.

And, the best we can say is that they didn't profit. Iraqis hate them more than you can imagine. And, the sunnis, there, are very slow learners. (But they can smell success. To them, they've lost their bets. But are getting much more terrified of reality. Hence, they'll make better playmates, when Maliki's government takes shape.)

Maliki is to Irak, what George Washington was to us. (An aristocrat, who figured out the presidency would be "that" kind of a system, Americans would always be voting in one aristocratic family. Or another. Andrew Jackson, in 1824, broke this mold. But typical of "tradition," Henry Clay "tossed" the votes into Congress; manipulated the outcome of Floriduh's electoral votes. Made a deal with John Quincy Adams. And, when it was over? 4 years later, the first MAN OF THE PEOPLE, meaning he wasn't educated at Haarvard. DIdn't go to the "right" schools. Won again. 1828. And, 1832. WHile the WHIGS hung themselves out to dry.)

People don't like hanky panky.

And, there's a low tolerance for weakness, too.

For Bill Clinton? The weakness was in his zipper. But it still counts.

And, for this president? He treats his job as if all he wants, when he leaves, is a hat. His dad got a hat. Oh, and speaking engagements. Funded by the Saudis. SO he can be their refill when Jimmuh Cawter flips the bucket.

Let the countdown begin. There won't be a "special prosecutor," do you know why? Hillary can't afford the diversion.

2008 is gonna be a theater piece. And, a Mu-kaka-sky ... showing up to ruin the party ain't gonna happen.

While I think Larry Craig stays. Too many politicians are very fearful of backstage reviews.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 16, 2007 2:21 PM

Viking01, I can't compliment you, enough. Your views are such a joy to read.

I think this proves, somehow, that the republican party did change. What with people coming on board, here, who never possessed "conservative" credentials.

BUt a full swelling knowledge of the "game" of politics. And, why so many Americans are waiting for decency to show up.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | September 16, 2007 2:57 PM


If you do not have a blog, you really should get one started! Your comments are always top notch and your writing style is addictive. If you do have a blog, please ask Capt. Ed if he can add you to the blogroll, because I'd love to visit it.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 16, 2007 3:36 PM

White House balloons?

Seems to me Bush is just light in his loafers.

That he avoided the fate that befell Nixon? Very true. But Nixon had brains. This guy? We're lucky he's not tripping over his feet when he's walking into a room, and the band plays "Hail To The Chief."

Could'a done more. Too bad for all of us, his poppy read him "it wouldn't be prudent," when he was a youngster. Who snorted cocaine. So that's been the big one he "overcame." Most people aren't rich, enough, to stick up their noses, what flew up Dubya's.

Not exactly a brave president.

Sure, he could be "saving it" ... Meaning Ted Olsen, for when one of the supreme-bench-warmers bites the dust. If such an event falls while Dubya's president.

But why bother? The congress will put up a fuss; and to get the 9th person seated; it will be just easier to let Sandra Day O'Connor, flay.

Yeah. Disappointed, yet again, in Dubya. What does the playing field have to look like for this idiot to shoot a basket? Oh, just you wait. When it's over, he will go to the same oblivion that took his dad in tow. That's my current guess.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 16, 2007 3:42 PM

Doug: Mu-kaka-sey has absolutely NO experience at Justice! There's no way he's "up and running." Like the president, himself, however, there's always the "baby pool" where there are no rough waves. And, kids go in to pee in the water.

The Bonkeys will not do anything, but approve the jerk.

And, they get a two-fer. Since this will wash over Guiliani the same way Bernie Kerik did.

Doesn't pass the smell test.

And, it doesn't produce beauty contest winnahs, either.

It sure does deal a blow to conservatives. And, it shows ya that in the swamp of DC, conservatives really don't matter. (I say this here, in all sadness.) There really is such a thing as GOOD heavy lifting.

But it shows ya; people can't get through the upper echelon; were bush stays hidden behind an army of servants. And, "yes, er," lesser people. No wonder Tony Snow dropped the ball. How much can any one person be asked to take?

Posted by onlineanalyst | September 16, 2007 4:05 PM

I cannot help but think that the Hillary Clinton machine is in the background in putting the kibbosh on Olson's nomination. Didn't Barbara Olson write some damning books on Hillary, rightfully describing the danger that she embodies? The confirmation fight would be nasty with Dems rallying around their gal, who wrote the book on payback.

I trust Andy McCarthy's judgment.

Schumer may end up appearing the fool that we know him to be.

Posted by Terrye | September 16, 2007 4:16 PM


The problem is that the Democrats have control of the Senate now. Conservatives are acting as if that is just some important detail, and it is not. It means the president has to decide if he wants a partisan battle he can not win or if he wants to nominate someone who can actually go about the business of running the Justice Department. Demanding that Bush nominate and the Democrats confirm someone who will put Berger in jail might be fun, but it ain't gonna happen.

Posted by clara | September 16, 2007 5:49 PM

At least George Wilma Bush didn't name Michael Jackson for Attorney General. What a relief! But even if he had, it wouldn't have surprised too many people. Most of America is so weary of your "conservative" greed and he-hit-me-first mentality. You guys are in the solid minority now, thank God.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 16, 2007 6:12 PM

Okay, Clara, you're funny. I like the "original" touch of "Wilma," too. And, that line that he could'a just as easily nominated Michael Jackson. Cute.

But not astute.

I think conservatives actually gave Dubya some pretty good free advice. That there's talent on the team. And, that Ted Olsen also wanted the job.

Instead? Well, whatever Mu-kaka-sey'z. He'll get approved, just in time to show up for the Christmas party.

The new boss being even less experienced than the old boss. But nobody's walking into Justice to "clean anything up."

As a matter of fact, the only agency in government that functions is the IRS. Their hires can add and subtract. And, you can't fool 'em.

While, it's true. Dubya functions on the theory that you can fool all the republicans most of the time. And, this is from a man who hasn't, yet, given a single good speech. Do ya think he cares? He just wants to "coast" to the hat he gets as his prize, when someone else gets sworn into office.

Meanwhile, Fred, as a lightweight, has to fix what he's doing; or he won't be taken seriously.

What Mu-kaka-sey does, however, is show ya the "internals" over at Guiliani's team. I wouldn't give ya a plug nickel for this guy.

Nobody, it seems, wants to come to bat against the scoundrels in the swamp of DC. (Heck, they'll re-install Larry Craig in a minute.) Which is probably the next "entertainment tonight" up on their agenda.

Posted by Carol Herman | September 16, 2007 6:23 PM

If there's anything over-hyped in DC's world it's the Bonkey's senate majority. Where a bunch of men, who'd much prefer showing up to work in drag, preside.

Yeah. They've got fancy rituals. Big deal.

They've also got Johnson with a stroke: Out. He's one of theirs.

And, the GOPsters still have to deal with larry Craig. About a "business" that knows no words. (As a matter of fact, according to Laud Humphreys' TEAROOM TRADE, words are never spoken! As soon as a word IS, the men zip off and run out of da' room.

So? Well, if two guys are agreeing to do an adult behavior, what's the law that's stopping them? And, why is Larry Craig willing to change his plea? (Because he can get away with it!)

Bush just diddles. No fiddles for him.

And, yes, Bush let another fantastic opportunity slide right through his fingers. No longer surprised.

By when you point to 50/50; or pie slices pretty close to even-steven ... I gotta tell ya, fear shouldn't be your major lack of motivating 'factor.'

Posted by vnjagvet | September 16, 2007 6:48 PM


What is wrong with making a decision not to lose a battle that cannot be won? How does Olsen get out of the Judiciary Committee. Please tell me which Democrat on that Committee will vote for him:


If you can't identify one of these and supply for him/her a good reason to vote for the nomination, all of the rest of it is whistling (pardon the cliche') Dixie.

Sometimes practical politics is necessary; but not as much fun for us kibbetzers.

Posted by Frank S | September 16, 2007 6:54 PM

I have one reaction to this appointment. Rudy Giouliani would have appointed the person he thought best for the position. And he would have fought tooth and nail for him or her. I do not and will not believe Bush has or will ever do this. I, and many conservatives have learned that Mr. Bush will trim, tack, and back up. He has put himself in this weakened position. Rudy won't do this. I disagree with a number of Rudy's position, but dammit, Rudy is strong and a leader. Mr. Bush isn't Period.

Posted by vnjagvet | September 16, 2007 7:05 PM

Even Rudy can count noses, Frank.

Granted, fighting while sure to lose sometimes makes sense to make a political point, but I am not so sure it does in this instance.

Hell, even Roosevelt bowed to political reality from time to time throughout his long presidency. While he wasn't perfect, few accused him of being a weak leader.

Posted by Terrye | September 16, 2007 7:25 PM


Bush's biggest problem has not been an unwillingness to fight, it has been a cry baby base who turns on him every chance they get and then whine that he does not have a majority to work with.

Read clara's post up there, does she sound like someone who wants a strong conservative AG? No, the majority of Americans are center right and too many conservatives in this country have given too many Americans the impression that the GOP is turning into a bunch of extremists who don't want to do anything but have one partisan fight after another.


I am an Independent and whatever you might say about the Republicans, their greatest asset is the Democratic party. The Democrats have turned into a caricature of their former selves. They can not get out of their own way. So considering the fact that the current Democrat controlled Congress is polling below Bush I really don't think Pelosi and the gang need to be getting all that damn cocky right now.

Posted by jpe | September 16, 2007 7:49 PM

too many conservatives in this country have given too many Americans the impression that the GOP is turning into a bunch of extremists

That's why Clinton will destroy whatever GOP opponent she's up against. Conservatives seem to have some chip implant that makes them go nutty in the presence of Clintons. As soon as "Vince Foster" is uttered, the election will be over.

Posted by L88SS454 | September 16, 2007 8:43 PM

" As soon as "Vince Foster" is uttered, the election will be over."

I think the HSU may be on the other foot. The arrogance of the Clinton Machine may very well be catching up to them.

Posted by jpe | September 16, 2007 9:02 PM

That's fair; I'd have thought ex ante that the Clinton machine would be more careful, but apparently not.

Posted by capitano | September 16, 2007 9:21 PM

I see Ted Olson as a recess appointment to one of the Federal Appellate courts -- if Chuck isn't going to approve any judicial nominees for a Senate vote, might as well let someone do the job for the balance of Bush's term.

Posted by brooklyn - hnav | September 17, 2007 12:18 AM

Really would have been best if we weren't wasting time with this appointment.

The former AG, the one so vilified for a poor 'testimony' which displeased Democrats, actually went to the hospital to insist to have Ascroft maintain the order for an essential tool to keep Americans safe.

When you study the imperfect former AG, he would have been just fine to finish out the day.

But then some never see the big picture, as this could end up to be another circus, distracting everyone from the need to fight the GWOT.

Hey, if this turns out for the best, it is welcome, but it remains doubtful.

Maybe Olsen didn't want to go through the Democrat Machine, especially when he has seen so many Conservative critics actually aid in the character mayhem.

We shall see...

Posted by The Yell | September 17, 2007 2:34 AM

"too many conservatives in this country have given too many Americans the impression that the GOP is turning into a bunch of extremists who don't want to do anything but have one partisan fight after another."

That is how you advance your agenda. You have one fight after another. The GOP did that for twenty years and won majorities of both House and Senate and the White House. Then it tried avoiding partisan fights and bipartisan cuddlefests, and it got trounced. "When we act like Democrats, we lose".

In this instance, the "partisan fight" would be "provoked" by putting up a qualified nominee eager to help the President enforce the laws of the United States in the manner he promised when he got elected in 2004.

Posted by owl2 | September 17, 2007 2:40 PM

Bush, and his picks. What rot.

Carol, you just said it for I feel about your BDS posts today. What rot.
Your 'Saud' is showing.

Terrye....Conservatives did everything they could to get Gonzales kicked out of out his job,

Yep. Maybe this one will suit them better. I hope so. Me? I like a good fight but only if I think I stand of chance of winning. Yep, like it simple.

For that reason, I ask myself a really simple question about most of this stuff........If someone is trying to kill me, which foxhole do I want? President George W Bush's has been my choice because, unlike many, I find I like a little spine and loyalty along with my fighter. I also only see one foxhole that tempts me in the future. Rudy's. I don't require 'nuanced' perfection but I do require someone that I can trust to cover my back.

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