Friday, December 15, 2006


NR's Window on the Week is good today, especially these two blurbs:

We’d like to say this about the political speculation that has swirled around the illness of South Dakota Democratic senator Tim Johnson: Lay off. We would rather see a healthy Senator Johnson, and the Senate in Democratic hands, than an ill Senator Johnson and the Senate controlled by the GOP. This is a human issue; the man has been stricken, and we hope he gets well.


Sen. Patrick Leahy, the incoming Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, gave a speech this week in which he announced procedural changes that will make it easier for Democrats to block President Bush’s judicial nominees. We expected no less from him. When Leahy chaired the committee in 2001–2002, he blocked fully half of George W. Bush’s nominees to the federal courts of appeals. And that was when the president had just arrived in office, and had even made conciliatory gestures to Democrats by renominating two Clinton nominees who hadn’t made it through the Republican-controlled Senate. When Leahy assumes the chairmanship, there’s not much Republicans can do to stop him, other than exert as much political pressure as possible. That helped Republicans win the Senate in 2002, and it would be a good way to unite the Republican base today.