Thursday, March 26, 2009

Elections Matter

I will say this for Republicans: they may not have any fresh ideas to offer as alternatives to the proposals offered by Democrats, but they sure can muster a united front opposed to those proposals. The same is true when it comes to President Obama's nominations to key positions in his administration. The most recent example came with the nomination of Elena Kagan as Solicitor General.

The "center left" editorial board of the Los Angeles Times did a pretty good job of pointing out the GOP's obstructionism in an editorial published in today's edition.

In 2006, during hearings on President Bush's nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reminded Democrats inclined to oppose Alito that "elections matter." Apparently Graham's wisdom was lost on 31 of his fellow Republicans who voted against President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School, to serve as U.S. solicitor general, the government's chief courtroom advocate. (Graham himself didn't vote.)

That Kagan was confirmed anyway doesn't make the partisan vote against her any less outrageous or hypocritical. The opposition of senators who should know better, such as Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), augurs ominously for bipartisan consideration of any Obama nominee to the Supreme Court. Apparently Senate Republicans are determined to continue the tiresome tit-for-tat between the parties that has bedeviled the confirmation process for judicial nominees at least since the Clinton administration.

What the editorial implies, although doesn't state explicitly, is that one reason Ms. Kagan faced such ludicrous opposition (come on, the woman is Dean of the Harvard Law School!) is that she is considered the front runner as a nominee for the next US Supreme Court opening. That's why the administration's "top lawyer" was grilled so extensively by Republicans on such issues as the death penalty and eminent domain. They were simply issuing a warning to the President of what he could expect should Ms. Kagan be nominated to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, should she retire.

The editorial concludes with a warning to the GOP that such a show of pure partisanship might move President Obama away from the "bipartisanship" he appears to desire so strongly and that he might finally decide that trying to confer with the opposition on nominations and key programs is a useless waste of time and energy.

We should be so lucky.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home