Noted constitutional scholar, conspiracy theorist, sock puppet and all around frustrated guy, Glenn Greenwald, has a melt down over the spinelessness of the Democratic majority. Not to disagree with him, I agree they are spineless, but this little diatribe is profoundly silly.
First of all, if the Democrats had a spine Mukasey would have been confirmed by a much larger margin. Many Democrats only voted against him to appease the likes of our little ragged piece of footwear, much like the last spineless attempt to appease the net-roots by impeaching Cheney. Let me quote Bilby to refresh your memory:
Okay, so to get things started Steny Hoyer introduced a resolution to table (kill) the resolution. At first it looked as if the motion to table would pass handily, with all the Republicans and enough Democrats voting that way. Then the Republicans got sneaky. A bunch of them decided to change their votes to stop the motion, thereby giving Kucinich, and presumably the rest of the Democrats who voted his way, what they wanted; for the matter to be debated. The vote ended up 251-162 against tabling the resolution. Yay! The moonbats should have then been ecstatic! Finally the House would debate impeaching Cheney for allegedly lying us into war. But no. A short time later another motion was introduced by the Dems to send the resolution back to committee, which as mentioned is almost as good as killing it. Guess what happened? 81 of the Democrats who voted against tabling the resolution when they were pretty sure they would be on the losing side turned around and voted for sending it to the Judiciary Committee. Ouch! They wanted to make it appear they were all for bringing impeachment up for debate (and appeasing the nutroots), but when it looked like it would really happen they ran to stop it!
The key is they didn’t want to try and impeach Cheney, they just wanted to have it off the table, but their vote on record so the netroots would be appeased. A point Greenwald can’t seem to get his mind around is that the positions he champions are not as popular as he has convinced themselves they are. The same thing with Mukasey. Voting against him plays well with he and his clique, but not so well, or even noticed, by the rest of the country.
More pathetically, our constitutional expert is all confused about the whole 60 vote majority requirement in the first place:
The so-called “60-vote requirement” applies only when it is time to do something to limit the Bush administration. It is merely the excuse Senate Democrats use to explain away their chronic failure/unwillingness to limit the President, and it is what the media uses to depict the GOP filibuster as something normal and benign. There obviously is no “60-vote requirement” when it comes to having the Senate comply with the President’s demands, as the 53-vote confirmation of Michael Mukasey amply demonstrates. But as Mukasey is sworn in as the highest law enforcement officer in America, the Democrats want you to know that they most certainly did stand firm and “registered their displeasure.”
Of course. Or it could have something to do with regular legislative business in the Senate requiring 60 votes and judiciary committee nominations, by agreement, not requiring them. How soon we forget all the talk about the “nuclear option”, the “gang of 14″ and the difference between a judicial filibuster and a legislative one.
Heh, well, I guess Mr. Greenwald won’t be putting that post as a link on his resume. Read the rest of McQ’s post if this didn’t remind you of how the senate works.
Andrew Sullivan takes him seriously, Alex/Thoreau seems to miss the point as well. Sadly, as Bilby notes, Marty Lederman even ran with it, though he certainly should have known better. I think he woke up pretty quick to his lack of judgment in paying attention to a sock rather than thinking about it for himself and just plain old pulled the post. Not that that is how such misgivings should be handled, but it is certainly preferable than Greenwald’s course, which will be to ignore it because his fans will not care, or come up with a weaselly explanation. Marty however, is an expert on constitutional law, a good mind, and possessed of a good bit of integrity, so no way is he going to keep something like that up. I think a simple ‘hey, quick post, not enough coffee, ignore anything to do with that issue I wrote” would suffice, but I get it. A warning about the dangers of even experts following the lead of a paranoid puppet made from old socks would probably be a service to his readers, but we cannot all take up that cross.
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