Monday, September 17, 2007



Mukasey with Chimpy

Bush had to decide who he would fight in regard to the new Attorney General nomination, the Democrats and mainstream Republicans who want the Justice Department to move on as a professional crime fighting organization, or the radical right which wants to make the nomination battle into an ideological battle to the death.

Jane and I were driving back from midtown today listening to KCRW and they had Richard Viguerie on carrying on about how Bush should have forgotten about confirming an Attorney General and just turned the whole thing into as violent and bloody a battle as possible. Viguerie and the partisan extremists are furious about Bush selecting a mainstream conservative as a consensus nominee. The far right isn't happy about Mukasey and they're not happy about how Bush comes out looking like he let the Democrats call the shots. And they're enraged that the process including the borking of one of their pet swine, Ted Olson.
Through weeks of quiet deliberation, Bush abandoned the confrontational pronouncements to which Congress has grown accustomed. Instead, White House counsel Fred Fielding reached out to Democrats, including Bush's constant opponent Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who had previously recommended Mukasey as a Supreme Court nominee. Schumer and Fielding went so far as to discuss names, and Mukasey's came up. "We're in an alternate universe," says one Senate aide. "Charles Schumer saying something nice about a guy used to be the kiss of death." dropping Olson and going with Mukasey, Bush has opened himself up to attack from the right. Conservatives are worried about Mukasey's 1994 denial of asylum for a Chinese man who said his wife had been forced to have an abortion under that country's one-child law, which they say indicates he's weak on pro-life issues. And though he has consistently ruled with the Administration on a number of important and high-profile terrorism cases, Mukasey broke with them in an early, crucial ruling, saying that American citizen Jose Padilla had a right to a lawyer, no matter what his status in the war on terror. Mukasey is also very close to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whom social conservatives distrust.

Democrats are unlikely to give Mukasey a total pass but the conventional wisdom emanating from the Inside the Beltway Establishment is that he's a "straight-shooter" and that he isn't a Bush crony-- a big deal with the Democrats "still insistent on getting to the bottom of the U.S. attorney scandal." Let's just hope he doesn't turn out as bad as the last Giuliani crony they tried to foist on us.



At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush needs the Attorneygate scandal to go away. Otherwise, it will lead right to his doorstep with charges of obstructing justice.

His only hope is to give the Democrats somebody they can swallow, and hope that the appeasers within the Democratic senate will let go.

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say, turn him down. I don't care if he's "not as bad" as Bush's other appointments (even if it's true, which would surprise me).

Bush has been pushing us around for years, and it's time to push back, HARD.

Don't approve ANYONE for the AG post who is not liberal. We have too many goddamned conservatives already.


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