Democratic Senator from New York Charles Schumer wrote an op-ed in the New York Times on Tuesday that defended his support for the nomination of Michael B. Mukasey for attorney general. While his justification was predictable and not altogether convincing, one of his arguments caught my eye:
Should we reject Judge Mukasey, President Bush has said he would install an acting, caretaker attorney general who could serve for the rest of his term without the advice and consent of the Senate. To accept such an unaccountable attorney general, I believe, would be to surrender the department to the extreme ideology of Vice President Dick Cheney and his chief of staff, David Addington. All the work we did to pressure Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign would be undone in a moment.
So the President is blackmailing Congress into approving Mukasey? What’s the point of having the Senate even confirming the nomination at all? Bush is basically saying that either the Senate confirms his choice, or he’ll get his choice regardless. Kinda defeats the purpose of all this nonsense about Senate approval in the first place, doesn’t it?
A Vote for Justice – [New York Times]