Never mind that the economy is in shambles, our climate is in distress, we have huge national security issues, Detroit in ready to implode, Gitmo is still open, we still torture, the government is listening to our phone calls, most of the constitution has been trashed... the list can go on. Never mind all of that. This is what the GOP is concerned about.
It's time for them to look to the future by looking back at the past with its classic obstructionist ways:
Sen. Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, has just thrown a wrench into the Eric Holder hearings planned for early January, saying Holder's involvement in the Marc Rich pardon is a "red flag" and a "very serious matter."
Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) has been pushing for an early January hearing so that Holder could quickly be confirmed at Barack Obama's attorney general and be in his office by the Jan. 20 inauguration.
But Specter is already applying the brakes, indicating that Republicans are going to make a big deal out of Holder at the hearing. Specter said he sees no way in which the Holder hearings could happen before Jan. 26. Specter said he still needs to see thousands of pages of background documents and Holder's FBI background check.
Ah-- the Marc Rich Pardon. Not for nothing, but it wasn't Holder who gave the pardon, nor was he the Attorney General at the time. He was the Deputy AG
, and while the entire situation was never something I was pleased with, it was fully within the Power of the President to pardon Rich. I expressed my opinion on Article II, Section 2
the other day. Patrick Leahy
, quickly and rightfully so, responded with a letter to the honorable Senator Specter. It's rather long, so I won't post it here, but it is good. Leahy also posted a backgrounder to the history of nominated Attorney Generals
. In particular:
“It is my hope that the Judiciary Committee and the Senate will move promptly on the confirmation proceedings as to Judge Michael Mukasey…We need some time to study the man's record before you go to hearings. But we also need to move with deliberate speed.” Ranking Member Arlen Specter, September 17, 2007
I would like to remind Arlen, about Alberto "Torture Memo
" Gonzales. How about Mike "not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime"
Mukasey? Do I need to tell you about Samuel Alito or John Roberts on the Supreme Court? There were countless number of recess appointments and just plain awful awful picks from the last 8 years, such as Michael "Heck-of-a Job" Brownie
. The Marc Rich pardon pales in comparison to the deeds and actions of these people. Most Americans have no idea of who he is.
It could be that the GOP is gearing up to *clinton
* the Obama administration. Of that I have little doubt. Hopefully the Democrats will take a cue from Senator Leahy and fight back right from the start because we need to have an administration that is ready to go the day after Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. There is far too much work that must be done to get this country back on track, and this particular brand of partisan bickering from people like Arlen Specter is a perfect example of how we as a nation got to where we are.
The GOP has talked of trying to rebuild its party, but if they are going to do it by gridlocking the President-elect's selections, I think they will find that most of America will run further away from them and whatever it is they stand for. America is craving a government that works, rather than divide. The GOP has a chance to show that they are grown ups with the 111th Congress. Maybe Arlen Specter can start now by not getting in the way.