Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

All in a Day's Work, Part II

As they did over Thanksgiving, Democratic Senators are gaveling one-minute pro forma sessions over the Christmas holidays to prevent Bush from making "recess" appointments. Senate Majority leader Reid (D-NV) had offered to allow Bush to make dozens of such appointments if Bush would just drop his bid to appoint Steven G. Bradbury as head of the Office of Legal Council at the Department of Justice... But of course Bush refused to compromise, as always, so here we are.

There is a good reason why a host of Senators have asked Bush to withdraw that one nomination: Bradbury was the author of the DoJ "torture memos." Moreover, in rather stunning bit of testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee, Bradbury declared to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in 2006 that, "The President is always right." (And no, that was not taken out of context.)

In a year when the Democratic Congress has often been thwarted by the Republican Party on big ticket items, these quiet micro-sessions remind us that the Democrats keep fighting and have managed to thwart a thousand tiny ills that the Republican Party would have visited upon this nation. May 2008 bring us a President who will oppose torture, will close Guantanamo, and will understand that she (or he) is not always right.


Raised By Republicans said...

Great post Dr. S. Thanks for pointing this out.

Of course, yet again, the media and talking heads are missing the key to this whole thing.

The main story on Congress lately has been "the Democrats aren't doing anything" or "the Democrats are showing their famous impotence." Both story lines show a profound ignorance about political institutions and possibly betray some cooperation with the Republican propoganda/talking points machine.

But the real story is one of political institutions. The Demcorats control Congress and that gives them control over the legislative agenda. That is, they are the only ones who can propose changes to the status quo. That's very powerful. However, in situtiations where the status quo is where the President wants it or where the President and Congress both want change but in opposite directions, Bush can veto Congressional initiatives as he's done once or twice and threatened to almost every time a bill comes to the floor this year.

But when it comes to appointments, the Congress can block Presidential moves and that's what they are doing right now with great effect. This torture loving bozo needs to be kept out of a position of authority. Good for Harry Reid!

The only other thing that Congress can do that doesn't require Bush's cooperation is conduct investigations and oversight both of which are the main focus of this Congress.

The Democrats are not weakling idiots as many in the press would have us believe. Rather they are in an awkward institutional position that has some opportunities but also some serious limits.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Men like Bradbury belong in jail.

Thank God for the Stormin' Mormon...

Anonymous said...

The Democrats do have options; they can have a hearing (for the fourth time), and actually vote him out of nomination. They could even hold a floor vote, but they don't, for no apparent reason. They have constitutional options, and in the face of those options are instead acting to get press that is good for them and bad for Bradbury. That is all they are doing.

*DISCLAIMER: I am Bradbury's son.