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Fritz Feds

Friday, March 26, 2004

Does the DNC really think more obstructionism is going to help elect Democrats? reports that Sen. Schumer (D-NY) has released a statement that the Democrats will block all of Bush's judicial nominees "until the White House commits to stop abusing the advise and consent process."

The blueprint for the Republican attack is laid out in the rest of the Fox News article:

A White House spokeswoman told that the Democrats' decision is obstructionist.

"It's unfortunate the lengths that Sen. Daschle and a minority of Senate Democrats will go to obstruct the nomination process. At a time when we need our government to be at full strength, he is suggesting that we leave these critical seats empty, and the American people deserve better," said spokeswoman Erin Healy.

The Fox News story concludes with the rest of the blueprint:

Bush's use of the recess appointment is not innovative. President Clinton used his executive power in the same way, giving Roger Gregory a seat on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2000. In a very controversial move, Clinton used it one other time to name Bill Lann Lee to be assistant attorney general.

Howard Bashman says, "I, for one, am surprised that the Democrats waited this long to make such an announcement." I, on the other hand, am surprised that the Democrats don't see this for the absolute political loser that it is. They have been defending their previous filibusters on the grounds that they are allowing most of Bush's appointments through. Obviously, they won't be able to make that defense when they are blocking all of his appointments. So, now they'll have to fall back on some claim that Bush asked for it with the recess appointments.

But that runs into the whole past recess appointments problem. And that in turn plays right into Bush's criticisms of Kerry (and by extension the Democrats) as passionately advocating of both sides of each issue depending on what is politically expedient.

Of course, this strategy probably isn't meant to appeal to the broad (or not so broad) undecided middle. I suppose it is mostly intended to fire up the PFAW left-wing crowd. But they must realize that they are firing up the Republican base at the same time by escalating the judicial nominations issue.

Every time people like me, who think Bush is not really all that fiscally conservative and who are a little skeptical of Republican judicial nominees, hear this kind of vitriolic opposition to Bush's nominees, it makes me think that he must be doing something right. I'm not sure that the Dems can really count on their base overwhelming the conservative base. So, they either have to hope that either their strategy of total blockage will appeal to moderates, or that judicial nominees will not be an issue at all. I suspect that while judges won't be that significant of an issue for most swing voters, it is a little naive to think that total obstruction of all judicial nominees won't at least leave a bad taste in the mouths of lots of moderates.


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