Jonah sez:

I really do hate tit-for-tat congressional politics. But if the Democrats really do tear down Bolton on what is, ultimately, rinky-dink nonsense then Republicans will be obliged to make the management style and office demeanor of all future Democratic nominees an issue. This will make Republicans hypocrites in the sense they think what the Democrats are doing to Bolton is wrong in the first place but will do the same thing to liberals later. But this is how Congressional politics must work. If one side establishes a new standard the other side has every right and obligation to adopt it. This is really the only way to get both sides to think twice about establishing precedents which might hurt them if applied to them in the future. I really do wish there was another way. You'd think that liberals would have realized that their introduction of Borking in the late 1980s did not help Democrats very much in the 1990s.

Me thinks Jonah might want to sync his outrage to his opinions a bit better. A tit-for-tat wherein high-level bureaucrats who abuse their employees have trouble getting confirmed is not, frankly, a particularly undesirable outcome. It might disqualify a bunch of potential nominees in the near-term, but over time you'll probably see the politically mobile act a bit more thoughtfully towards their underlings, and I'll shed no tears over that*.

Now, that said, I really do hope Jonah's with us on this judicial thing, because he clearly understands the dynamic in play. When Dems were in power, if both senators from a state objected to a nominee, that was the end of him. Then, Republicans took the Senate, Orrin Hatch changed the rule to require the objection of only a single senator, which derailed a bunch of Clinton's nominees. Then, George W. Bush became president, and suddenly it's two senators again. Then, in 2003, senatorial objection became mere advice, not a way to derail a nominee, so even fewer of Bush's nominees could be stopped. Then Hatch decided that the tradition mandating that at least one senator from the minority had to approve of the nominee in order to get him out of committee was old-fashioned and needed to be done away with. It was, I guess, an archaic rule unsuited for a brave, bold future wherein all Republican nominees would be confirmed.

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