THE SPINE NOVEMBER 4, 2007
My November 2 Spine on the Mukasey hearings was unduly pessimistic about how Democrats would behave regarding the president's attorney general appointment. At least two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to confirm him, and two very significant members at that. Both of them are reasonable in that they don't want there not to be an attorney general, especially when the designee is a moderate person whose honesty is palpable and whose concern for the Constitution is what has animated his entire career on the bench.One of these senators in Diane Feinstein of California. It takes some courage to be for Mukasey in a state where her party has been hijacked by true believers and one of the Democratic congressman, Pete Stark, has the politics of the loony bin. Sorry, this is true.Chuck Schumer happens to be the most important Democrat in the Senate, certainly not Harry Reid. He's an old student of mine. But we've had our disagreements, though not that many. He has his eye on the prize for the party and that is a sustained majority in the upper chamber. He raised much of the money for the senate races in 2006. But this is not a matter of the wealthy Democrats against the middle class ones. It's a matter of the Democrats who want to govern and those who want to bitch.Given that he is a Republican designated by a particularly doctrinaire Republican president who can't distinguish between the smart and the dumb, Mukasey is someone the Democrats should welcome with a sigh of relief.