Tuesday | January 07, 2003
Pickering Renominated-The Return of the Trent Lott Republicans
Thanks to ColoZ, we learn tonight that Bush has renominated Charles Pickering and Priscilla Owen for the federal circuit court. Note that Bush picked the night of his big economic plan rollout for this announcement.
In light of Bush’s rhetoric over the last several weeks in jettisoning Trent Lott, and Frist’s comments about the need to “heal”, the move to reopen these wounds so soon would seem as totally hypocritical, except that we are talking about the Bush GOP here.
Yes, fine people can argue that it has not been shown that Pickering is, or was a racist. With the Lott situation, the issue was whether or not the GOP in 2003 should have a segregationist as its Majority Leader. Similarly, with Pickering, the issue is whether or not the GOP in 2003 should be trumpeting a man with racially insensitive rulings as one of its best and brightest for a high federal court.
The Bush GOP sees no reason not to stick their fingers in the eyes of the same people they tried to bamboozle just weeks ago when they tossed Lott. They do this because they think they can get away with it. Let’s begin the countdown now to see how many days it is until Orrin Hatch accuses Pickering’s foes of a “lynching”.
If they want to saddle Frist with this chore right out of the gate, undoing all the kind words just weeks ago about civil rights and healing, and relive this conflict over the next several months, so be it. But how shallow does the Bush and Frist rhetoric sound now?
It is just one more thing to energize the base of both parties for 2004.
Byron York of the National Review Online reports that New York Senator Charles Schumer will announce today that he will filibuster against the Pickering nomination. And now Richard Durbin will as well.