Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Senate Embarrasses Itself

Ruth Marcus has this right:
For Republicans to block one of President Obama’s nominees is dog-bites-man non-news. For members of the president’s party to defect is more notable. And for Democrats to worry more about their political hides than a nominee’s fitness for service — as happened in the Senate this week — is simply revolting.
In a sense her claim that the President "fail[ed] to adequately anticipate and defuse the problem" is a truism, but she doesn't suggest what he might have done differently. The Republicans who voted against Debo Adegbile did so because they find it to be politically advantageous to oppose the president, because they prefer a neutered civil rights division, because they are stupid, or some combination thereof, so the President wasn't going to win their votes. The Democrats who joined them did so because they are cowards. They knew the facts, but feared facing a political consequence if they voted based on the facts instead of pandering to factions they feared would vote against them in coming elections. What argument would change that?

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