Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Mukasey trap

The Senate Democrats have set a trap for Michael Mukasey over his answer to the waterboarding question, electing not to proceed with confirmation unless the judge defines torture. That seems to leave some choices..
  • Say that yes, waterboarding is torture, to which he'll swiftly be confirmed. When he enters service Durbin, Reid and Leahy will then demand he prosecute the administration to stop enhanced interrogation practices.
  • Remain with his somewhat fuzzy answer, to which he might not get confirmed, forcing Bush into either a politically messy recess appointment or a new nickname.
  • Say no, to which he'll suffer the same fate as number 2 above.
  • Announce that terrorists might suffer a worse fate by being brought in front of the self-important windbags currently quizzing him, apply the middle finger, and exit the building.
It certainly appears to be a line in the sand moment, since presumably this same tactic might be used on anyone Bush decides to nominate should Mukasey choose poorly. The Cap'n makes a good point by saying the AG acts to enforce laws, not make them:
If Patrick Leahy wants to make waterboarding illegal outside of any doubt or interpretation, he only needs to propose a law specifically and explicitly outlawing the practice.
Meanwhile Joe Conason suggests Rudy and the Judge might want to take the plunge themselves. Is that really helpful? It's not as if Mukasey plans to waterboard Conason, we're talking about fearless terrorists who might possess doomsday information.

But we all know this isn't about protecting the union or the next KSM, it's about rank politics. The GOP best find a way to flip this around or they'll be handed their own boat anchor.

How about this.. propose that Reid and Pelosi give a primetime speech and announce a new pact with America--that heretofore all captured terrorists (and those suspected) be given full rights of the Constitution complete with taxpayer-funded lawyers just like any citizen and be tried in federal court sans interrogation. The speech would also include a disclaimer that should a city or town become blown to bits or poisoned due to lack of intelligence the Dems will officially consider it "the cost of living free" with all blame rendered moot (except against Bush who is clearly responsible for ALL future terrorists forevermore).

Afterwards the token Repub could give the rebuttal and remind everyone that the big government nanny is only expected to protect against massive fires, category 5 hurricanes, every illness known to man and planetary swings in temperature. She don't do terrorism.

MORE 10/31/07

Life is full of twists and turns. Back when Alberto Gonzales was doing his own twisting and turning in front of the Senate, one of the prime weenie roasters was Chuck Schumer. After Gonzo finally became gonezo the senior New York Senator recommended his personal fave, a fellow homeboy and someone with a terrorism track record. Now he's facing his own chagrin:
Schumer has been uncharacteristically quiet, repeatedly refusing to comment on Mukasey's answer on waterboarding. Schumer, who drove the inquiry that pressured former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, has said that he has concerns about Mukasey's answers on torture and executive power. But Schumer has refused to comment on more than 170 pages of elaboration the nominee sent to the committee Tuesday night.
Chances are they'll confirm him despite this political wiggling maneuver, after which they'll have a dossier of his comments in the can to whip out on a rainy day.

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