Monday, December 15, 2008

Did Leahy Cave?

There is some reason to believe that Karl Rove is having a hand in organizing Republicans to oppose Eric Holder as AG. Some members of the committee have junkets planned and some state that Holder's connection to the Rich pardon need investigation. A couple days ago Sen Leahy scoffed at them and Rove pointing out that the last several AGs were approved in less than 2 weeks, today he put it off until January 19. The immediate reaction from the left seems to be mostly "more spineless Democratic behavior."

The real question isn't whether this is a display of 'ballessness' but what is it that might bring Leahy to move the date. I certainly don't mind a fight with the Republican base, ever, and I don't really think Leahy does. There is something else to look at, Holder has some noise surrounding him and it is important to the Obama administration to get an appointment through. It would seem that it is possible that Leahy not only doesn't really mind a bit of delay but it may give Democrats more time to ready for increasingly organized Republican opposition. This had previously looked to be an appointment with pretty clear sailing that wouldn't require much defense. How unhappy would the complainers be if unprepared Democrats let the process descend into chaos through lack of preparation?

There is then the matter of appearances, something that plays a large role in politics. Is it in Democratic interests to give the Republicans a platform of a "rushed confirmation" to stand on and proclaim the corruption of the Obama Administration? Try the Blagojevitch uproar on for size. However unconnected with the Governor Obama is, no matter what direction he turns he is under attack - "what did he know and when did he know it?" If that same metric is allowed to play out in the AG confirmation that AG is wounded going in and wounded in the atmosphere of Gonzales and Mukasey.

I would be pretty sure that the Obama allies in the Senate have seen the vetting information and if there is something there that provides even the most specious grounds for attack, it needs to be covered. The attacks on nerve seem to miss the amount of ego and nerve it takes to propose to represent the citizenry at the level of Senator or Representative. There is no way that it would please Leahy to be perceived as spineless and given his own interests in how he is perceived by voters there is more to this.

I don't have access to more information than any other citizen who pays attention, but I also do not assume things are bad simply because a politician is involved. I do expect pretty open warfare from Republicans on the basis of no more then the (R) or (D) label. Expect Democrats to proceed under that assumption.

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