May 22, 2009

Getting back on the horse

All right; I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. It's been hard lately to find the time to write on this, though I've certainly had plenty of things that have interested me and would have been worthwhile to post.

It's springtime in Chicago, which, every year, makes me feel like Rip van Winkle--waking up from the long winter's nap and realizing anew how different and lovely the world can be. Of course, poor Mr. van Winkle's experience wasn't particularly enjoyable. Nonetheless, the analogy is apt.

Today, the WSJ has an interesting opinion piece on Joe Biden, effectively decrying him for introducing pure, unadulterated partisanship to the judicial confirmation process. It says, in summary, that Obama and Biden can't whine if Republicans try to stymie the upcoming Supreme Court appointment, since Mr. Biden himself was the first to do so to Republicans.

I'm not sure if Joe Biden deserves all the blame for that. Judicial nominees have been routinely rejected by Congress since George Washington. However, Joe Biden did turn it into an art form, following Ted Kennedy's lead with Robert Bork's vicious nomination fight. One of the less-discussed political hatreds still hanging over Washington is from the nomination that followed Bork--Clarence Thomas. It's between Joe Biden and Clarence Thomas (mostly one way, with Thomas despising Biden). You see, during the confirmation hearings, Biden kept reminding Thomas that he would be the judge's biggest defender. That turned out to be a bald-faced lie, as Biden (the chair of the judiciary committee), allowed the circus of Anita Hill to materialize, destroying Thomas's reputation, though failing to keep him off the Court.

Anyway, it's an interesting read. I don't particularly like the whole 'you did this to us, so we'll do it right back' mentality in politics. Democrats ripped George Bush apart savagely, justified sometimes in their arguments, however rarely justified in their rhetoric. Some Republicans show signs of "ODS"--Obama Derangement Syndrome, a variation of the "BDS" that most of the Left still has. Politicians should be challenged on the merits of their policies, not for simple revenge.

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