Friday, January 16, 2004

He's not playing around. Or is he?

It's good to see that even when you're the President, recess still means play time. How else does one explain the recess appointment of Charles Pickering to the appelate bench?

I am not one who cares what reason the Senate Democrats had for blocking a judicial nominee. Be it religious wackiness, poor temperment, racism, or too lenient on embezzlers, I do not give two bits (one bit, sure. Two, nope). Except for one reason- inexperience. That one matters to me. Otherwise, trump up whatever reason you want from time to time. Hopefully it is relevant. Hopefully they don't get carried away. By all means, do fight against systematic court packing. Particularly as it relates to movement conservatives (you know, the type who pretend to be "strict constructionists" or dissemble on "founder's intent" but only apply that half-baked doctrine half-way by choosing to ignore, for instance, corporate history). If they mean to make war (over seats on the bench), then war is what they should have.

Back to Pickering. The opposition to this confirmation originally focused on Pickering's alleged poor civil rights record. Which makes the day after Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday the ideal time to sign off on Pickering's (and only Pickering's) recess appointment. Are they serious?

Yesterday, Bush squeezed in a wreath laying at King's grave between fundraisers. He was heartily booed and protested outside of the tomb- the crowds reportedly pushed through the initial perimeter only to be blocked from expressing their displeasure by several city buses parked barricade style. Maybe the protesters were out of line (maybe not), though I am glad to see one of the Bush protests (they occur virtually everywhere he goes) actually get close enough to reporters to have "happened." Is the Pickering appointment payback? Part of me says they cannot possibly be that petty. But, if this is not a response, then it is the result of a plan which, at best, gives not a damn about about his detractors and at worst aims for antagonizing the "overly sensitive to racism" crowd. A uniter not a divider, indeed.

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