My November 2 Spine on the Mukasey hearings was unduly pessimistic about
how Democrats would behave regarding the president's attorney general
appointment. At least two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will
vote to confirm him, and two very significant members at that. Both of
them are reasonable in that they don't want there not to be an attorney
general, especially when the designee is a moderate person whose honesty is
palpable and whose concern for the Constitution is what has animated his
entire career on the bench.
One of these senators in Diane Feinstein of California. It takes some
courage to be for Mukasey in a state where her party has been hijacked by
true believers and one of the Democratic congressman, Pete Stark, has the
politics of the loony bin. Sorry, this is true.
Chuck Schumer happens to be the most important Democrat in the Senate, certainly not Harry Reid. He's an old
student of mine. But we've had our disagreements, though not that
many. He has his eye on the prize for the party and that is a sustained
majority in the upper chamber. He raised much of the money for the senate
races in 2006. But this is not a matter of the wealthy Democrats against
the middle class ones. It's a matter of the Democrats who want to govern
and those who want to bitch.
Given that he is a Republican designated by a particularly doctrinaire
Republican president who can't distinguish between the smart and the dumb,
Mukasey is someone the Democrats should welcome with a sigh of relief.