As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No Go On Olson

I've avoided speculating on who the Fourthbranch Administration would pick to be the next Attorney General, but this seems pretty important. It's clear that the Administration is engaging in business as usual, bypassing Congress completely and bulldogging their choice through by spoiling for a fight. This leads us to the possible nomination of Ted Olson, who was intimately involved in both Bush v. Gore (as the head lawyer in the Supreme Court for the President) and the Arkansas Project, the long-term Scaife-funded attempt to smear President Clinton over Whitewater.

Reports of Mr. Olson’s candidacy suggested that President Bush, in choosing the third attorney general of his presidency, might defy calls from Democrats and choose another Republican who is considered a staunch partisan to lead the Justice Department. Mr. Gonzales is departing after being repeatedly accused of allowing political loyalties to blind him to independently enforcing the law.

“Clearly if you made a list of consensus nominees, Olson wouldn’t appear on that list,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who led the Judiciary Committee effort to remove Mr. Gonzales. “My hope is that the White House would seek some kind of candidate who would be broadly acceptable.”

Indeed, Olson was an architect of the policy to deny Congress documents and witnesses despite subpoena power. He is no less a political figure than Alberto Gonzales was. And that is completely unacceptable.

Harry Reid is on board with this.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid vowed on Wednesday to block former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson from becoming attorney general if President George W. Bush nominates him to replace Alberto Gonzales.

Congressional and administration officials have described Olson as a leading contender for the job as chief U.S. law enforcement officer, but Reid declared, "Ted Olson will not be confirmed" by the Senate.

"He's a partisan, and the last thing we need as an attorney general is a partisan," Reid, a Nevada Democrat, told Reuters in a brief hallway interview on Capitol Hill.

Reid and other Democrats argue that after Gonzales' stormy tenure the Justice Department needs to become less political.

Well, I appreciate the strong, unequivocal statement. If the Democrats manage to hold firm, then nominating Ted Olson would be the worst thing this President to do. It would be a no-brainer for them to step up and show the country that they will not capitulate to the White House's every whim, and that they can stand strong.

Personally, I think they should extract a special prosecutor from this exchange. But at the very least, we need an Attorney General with some independence. We can't trade one of the President's lawyers for another one.

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