What happens when you show a little spine up front? Via the WaPo:
…Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general, was said to be a White House favorite for the post. But talk of his possible nomination provoked a preemptive strike from Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who threatened that Senate Democrats would block the nomination.
That may have doomed Olson’s prospects to replace Gonzales, according to several conservatives who talked to Washington Post reporters Michael Abramowitz and Dan Eggen over the weekend. One insider said that in spite of his outstanding legal credentials, Olson, who represented Bush in the Supreme Court fight over the contested 2000 election, would be seen by senators voting on his confirmation as “very political.”…
This was the appropriate response, swiftly rolled out, firmly communicated, and designed to take advantage of the weakened posture of the Bush WH on legal and ethical matters. Thanks to Karl Rove’s master plan for the political shop’s domination being exposed for all the world to see in the overreach on the USAtty firings, the Bushies are in no position to dictate bad choices for the DOJ.
Good on the Democratic leadership for taking this step.
As David Neiwert pointed out earlier, the tendency toward gaining applause from the Beltway punditocracy for making concessions is a crap strategy. Democrats win when they show some spine where it is called for — in this case, to block Olson who was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong for rebuilding a DOJ that has been systematically infiltrated and skewed from the inside out by partisan Republican hackery. Decisions at the DOJ ought to be made according to the facts, the evidence and the law — not based on how to maneuver a case for electoral advantage. Period.
When called out publicly by the Democratic leadership — and not in the usual genteel “behind-the-scenes so as not to cause a fuss” way — the Bush Administration folded like a deck chair under a bloated elephant.
(Photo via MReece.)