Bush has nominated retired New York Federal Judge Michael Mukasey to replace Alberto Gonzales at the helm of the Justice Department. At a glance, this seems like about the best the Democrats could have hoped for, although it’s too early to say who’s really “won” here.
Bush was clearly motivated to avoid a public defeat, it seems. Harry Reid had promised a bloodbath over the candidate apparently preferred by the conservative wing of the GOP, former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson (although it’s hard to imagine how a threat from Reid could scare a nervous schoolgirl, let alone a pack of battle-toned werewolves like the Republican leadership). Chuck Schumer likes Mukasey. So does Rudy Giuliani. But the right wing is evidently not happy about him at all because … well, read Time’s take. I’m just a simple country boy and it’s all starting to make my head hurt.
So let’s see. FOR: Bush, Shumer, Reid, Giuliani, Bill Kristol. AGAINST: the Wide Right. I’m happy about that last part, but all those people for him at the same time? That kind of consensus in DC makes me edgy.
I would credit Reid with the funniest line of the day so far, though. In his official statement on the nomination he said:
“I’m glad President Bush listened to Congress and put aside his plan to replace Alberto Gonzales with another partisan Administration insider. Judge Mukasey has strong professional credentials and a reputation for independence. A man who spent 18 years on the federal bench surely understands the importance of checks and balances and knows how to say no to the President when he oversteps the Constitution.
Ummm – A man who spent 18 years on the federal bench surely understands the importance of checks and balances and knows how to say no to the President when he oversteps the Constitution….
I’ll take Antonin Scalia for $1,000, Alex….