Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Two Birds With One Stone

When the Senate confirmation hearing opens for Alberto Gonzalez tommorrow a lot will be taking place. A discussion of Judge Gonzalez's qualifications for the national Attorney Generalship will also take place, but only as an aside; or rather as a pretense. If the issue were competence, not ideology, Gonzalez would assume the job prior to 10 January, and the newspapers would care a lot more about the coming inaugural balls.

The issue here is not Gonzalez, it's the partisan theatre that Senate confirmation hearings have turned into. These hearings provide an ideal soapbox to a group of people that love the sonorous drone of their own vocal chords. The fact that these senators are putting the function of the federal government and the life of the appointee on hold is a nonsequitor. As William Shakespeare pointed out, "The play's the thing!"

This January's performance will be staged to accomplish three goals. It will give opponents of the US military's aggressive role in the Middle East to use the trumped up exaggerations of The Syros Declaration and other preoccupations of their star witness Douglas A. Johnson, to smear the ongoing efforts of the current administration. To many on the far left of the Democratic Party, the War on Terror has been a war on their agenda by other means.

Their accusations that Judge Gonzalez greenlighted the torture of POWs from Iraq and Afghanistan held by US forces, gives them an opportunity to hold up all their recycled Abu Gharaib photographs and get them on page one of The New York TImes again. It has everything to do with getting a megaphone to blast the current war with and nothing to do with how Gonzalez's resume happens to read.

The second goal of the Senate obstructionists is to put a lot of bad publicity about George W. Bush in the newspapers a couple of weeks before the inauguration. This gives them the chance to throw sand in his political gearbox before he even begins championing issues they don't like his positions on such as tort reform and social security privatization.

Finally, there is the ongoing committment by Senators, such as Charles Schumer, to the ideological extremes that fund his political career. He is expected to administer litmus tests to any judicial nominee on issues such as abortion and prayer in school. If they fail these litmus tests, he is payed by his contributors to vote that nominee down.

Recently, the Democrats lost an election that many owithin their own ranks feel turned heavily on such "values" issues as abortion and the role of religion in society. This puts the litmus testers in a position where they still have to kill any nominee for disagreeing with them on certain core issues. They, however need a pretense for the no vote that obscures their true motivations.

Thus, Douglas A. Johnson plays the perfect Anita Hill roll for Democrats looking to change the real subject and kill the nominee at the same time. Johnson's ludicrous charges have been summarily dismantled both here, and here. Yet it is the convenience, not the veracity of Johnson's Cynthia McKinneyesque conspiracy charges that lead some Democrats to believe that he can help them kill tow birds with one stone.


As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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