Thursday, September 13, 2007

Leaky & The Plumber Want To Flush Olson

It was another one of those days, the sole difference being that there's no outside commitments tonight but my wife is pestering me to come eat dinner, which can just wait until this post is done. What else are microwave ovens for?

Don't worry, it's not a long one - that'll come after dinner. I just wanted to note in passing the New York Times and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat "Leaky" Leahy joining Chucky Schumer in trying to dictate to President Bush who his next Attorney-General is going to be.

Listen to this lede:
Reports of [former Bush Solicitor-General Ted] Olson’s candidacy suggested that President Bush, in choosing the third attorney general of his presidency, might defy calls from Democrats and choose another Republican who is considered a staunch partisan to lead the Justice Department.
"Defy"? That's an interesting choice of verbiage. has five definitions, and this one seems most appropriate: "to challenge the power of; resist boldly or openly: to defy parental authority." Or so I conclude from the words that follow it, which certainly strongly imply the NYT thinks the White House is subordinate to the Democrat majority in the Senate and is obligated somehow to follow its instructions.

Of course, that isn't in the Constitution. Not that that little detail matters to Philip Shenon and David Johnston, the co-authors of this opinion piece flimsily masquerading as "news". They seem to fully share Leahy's and Schumer's aghastness that the still-in-office partisan Republican president might actually choose "another Republican" - and a "staunchly partisan" one at that! - to fill a top partisan post in his partisan administration instead of doing as he's told and choosing the "consensus" nominee the Donks dictate (non-partisanly, of course).

Enough with the paraphrasing - here's what Chucky said:
“Clearly if you made a list of consensus nominees, Olson wouldn’t appear on that list,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who led the Judiciary Committee effort to remove Mr. Gonzales. “My hope is that the White House would seek some kind of candidate who would be broadly acceptable.”
No candidate to the right of Janet Reno would be acceptable to Chucky. Leahy was even more candid in this partisan chutzpah:
Mr. Leahy said in a statement this week that he wanted the White House to find a nominee with “a proven track record of independence to ensure that he or she will act as an independent check on this Administration’s expansive claims of virtually unlimited executive power.”

He continued, “At a department that has been needlessly and disastrously run into the ditch, he or she will have the challenge of repairing damage inflicted by a White House that injected politics into every level of the agency.”
To summarize: President Bush had, in Alberto Gonzales, an A-G who agreed with his war-fighting policies, but otherwise was actually fairly moderate, not much of a "partisan," staunch or otherwise, and as we saw over the course of the year, in considerably over his head. The Democrats bullied and smeared Speedy out of Washington not out of any particular animus against him - to say nothing of any actual "scandal" - but because he was another effigy for his lib-hated boss. Having scored another Bushie scalp, Leaky, Chucky, and the rest believe they have Dubya on the run and can force him to accept their jihadi-symp war policies into his own Justice Department.

Instead, the President is "closing in on" a choice, in Ted Olson, who agrees with his war-fighting policies, is staunchly conservative AND partisan, possesses unquestioned competence, and will likely take every Donk on the Judiciary Committee to school in his confirmation hearings.

Perhaps that explains this:
Senior Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would weigh the nomination, have suggested that they will not move hurriedly to approve a successor to Mr. Gonzales, who is scheduled to step down Monday.
If they can't force their choice on Bush - and they can't - they'll just shelve Olson and leave DoJ leaderless for the remainder of Bush's presidency - or as long as they possibly can, anyway.

How will that play with the public? Probably not very well, assuming the White House campaigns for Mr. Olson instead of letting him get pounded into the ground by the Donks and Enemy Media - which, as this article shows, are already tagging. As low as Congress' approval numbers have sunk, that would almost be redundant.