That’s Senator Schumer on how a nominee for the now vacant post of AG will be treated by the Judiciary Committee.
Perhaps that is what will happen, but it doesn’t matter. What the Democrats-in-denial-about-the-war think or promise shouldn’t matter one bit in the selection of the next nominee. If the president nominates the right individual, the confirmation hearings will be a great thing to watch unfold regardless of what the Democrats do or say.
This is an excellent opportunity for the president to continue the focus on the war and the education of the public of the stakes not just in Iraq but across the many fronts in the war on terror. The New York Times Steven Lee Myers writes today about the president’s “relentless campaign to persuade people to see things his way” on the war, adding:
The White House’s strategy is as unwavering as it is familiar. In military parlance, it is called preparing the battlefield – in this case for the series of reports and hearings scheduled on Capitol Hill next month to debate the wisdom of struggling on in the midst of Iraq’s sectarian chaos and bloodshed.
If recent history is a guide, Mr. Bush may well prevail, as he did in January when he made a similar blitz to build the case for dispatching more troops to Iraq, despite swelling public opposition to the war and a Democratic rout in last November’s elections.
AG Gonzales’ departure offers the White House the opportunity to nominate a young, charismatic terrorism-fighter from the ranks of the present or past U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys –someone who has actually overseen the investigation, arrest and conviction of Islamist radicals and who knows, for example, the need for the reformed FISA. The president needs allies in his effort to communicate the seriousness of the threat here and abroad, and nominating a rising star even for a relatively brief period of time at DOJ will be extremely useful if the nominee can communicate well and has experience fighting the enemy. Ask Andrew McCarthy who he thinks fits this bill. In fact, give some thought to nominating Andrew McCarthy –let’s see Senator Leahy and Biden argue FISA with him.
AG Gonzales has picked an excellent time to depart as the hearings for his successor will come after the Petraeus report, just in time to give Democrats something to again politicize while the country watches. It won’t be easy on the nominee, but if the president nominates someone who actually understands the enemy, he or she won’t be bothered by Ted Kennedy’s harangues or Joe Biden’s incoherent meanderings, and there’s a chance some of the Dems and much of the public will actually learn something from the process.