Monday, December 15, 2008

Pat Leahy sends a powerful message to Senate GOP thugs: "You own us!"


So Eric Holder was President-elect Obama's first AG nominee.
Anyone heard any scuttlebutt who the next will be?

by Ken

What was I just saying about that gasbag Arlen Specter? He talks big sometimes, but when it comes to backing up the talk, he can be counted on to disappear. And then I go thinking different about Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy.

No sooner do sooner do I credit Senator Leahy with "getting it" ("If the Rs are gonna act like lying scumbag ignoramuses, then treat them like lying scumbag ignoramuses"), refusing to back down on his plan to open hearings on Att'y Gen-designate Eric Holder's nomination on January 9. That would have given the committee Republicans more time than they've ever had to prepare, assuming what they wanted to do was gather enough information to be prepared for the hearings, rather than to derail the nomination and to inflict maximum humiliation on both the nominee and the president-elect. And then he backs down.

Oh, all he's done is push the hearings back to Jan. 15. But that's all he had to do. The message to the the slash-and-burn faction of the Republican Party is clear: Punch us hard, and we'll fold.

Has anyone heard any leaks from the Transition Team as to who the president-elect's second choice for AG will be?

Here's Sam Stein's report on HuffPost. And take particular note of the link to Sam's report yesterday that "Republican opposition towards the nomination of Eric Holder as Attorney General is being driven, it seems, by Karl Rove himself."

Leahy Buckles, Will Push Back Holder Hearings

The Senate Judiciary Committee will delay confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee Eric Holder after all -- accommodating Republican concerns that the appointment was being rushed and more vetting of Holder's resume was needed.

In an announcement from his Senate office on Monday afternoon, committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said the hearings would be moved back from January 9 to January 15, giving Republicans more than "30 days from today" to consider Holder's qualifications.

"...[T]o accommodate the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, at their request we are delaying the hearing, again, until January 15," read Leahy's statement. "The Assistant Republican Leader said last year that 'attorney general nominees have been confirmed, on average, in approximately three weeks.' Nonetheless, in order to accommodate the Republicans members, I am rescheduling the hearing on Mr. Holder for twice that long, until more than six weeks after his official designation. It is disappointing to me that they are insisting that we delay at a time when the nation needs its top law enforcement officer and national security team in place and working."

Leahy's move is, at the very least, a small tactical victory for Republicans in the Senate. GOP members of the Judiciary Committee protested on the floor that Holder's work in the Clinton White House -- specifically his role in the pardoning of fugitive financier Marc Rich -- required more examination. Their objections were believed to be directed by Karl Rove, who was reportedly organizing the Republican caucus on the issue.

Leahy initially was dismissive of these concerns and seemed committed to confirming Holder on the 9th. That date, he noted, would have given committee members more time to consider the nomination than was granted for past Attorney Generals, including Alberto Gonzales and Janet Reno.

By moving the hearings back to the 15th, Leahy is taking one Republican argument off the table -- the idea that this nomination was somehow being considered in haste. Moreover, if all goes to plan, Holder will be confirmed by the time Obama takes office. But the Vermont Democrat is also signaling that GOP protests, even those driven by the most hyper of partisans (see: Rove), will be considered. He is also offering Republican critics of Holder more time to build their case against the nominee.

Oh, Pat, Pat, Pat. (Man, would I love to be wrong this time.)

Labels: , , ,


At 2:08 AM, Blogger KELSO'S NUTS said...

Pat Leahy is weaker than church lemonade. Always was, always will be. It would be great if Obama's second choice was Alan Vinegrad but I don't think Obama's that creative and Obama is very uncomfortable around liberals.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger KenInNY said...

But doesn't Pat sound fine when he's taking those tough stands? I mean, before he folds like a cheap suitcase.


At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just can't understand why almost all the Democrats are so spineless. Seriously, I'm baffled.

Tougher Democrats have the majority of the country on their side already, and if the truth finally started coming out as a result of hearings and prosecutions, I'm certain that their support would easily top 60%.

Yet still they do nothing. What the hell is wrong with those worthless bastards???


Post a Comment

<< Home