The president will yet again show his devotion to diversity today by nominating a non-Texan to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General.
Michael Mukasey isn’t the typical Bush nominee. Unlike the last Attorney General, he appears to actually believe in the rule of law.
But in a way, you have to admire the persistence of the Bush White House. After all, one of the names they tossed around as a possible replacement for the attorney general that purged prosecutors for not proving they were “sufficiently loyal Bushies” by issuing baseless indictments to Democrats at election time was one of the engineers of “The Arkansas Project“, a multi-million dollar rumor mill funded by Richard Mellon Scaife. Had it not been for a stronger Republican Senate presence, emboldened by a Democratic Majority that had not been on the receiving end of of six years of screwjobs from the White House, he would have had to face the questions about it under oath in 2001.
And we all know how much “sufficiently loyal Bushies” love answering questions under oath.
Others worried about the prospect of Olsen being approved by the Senate. I did not. Confirming Ted Olsen as the supreme arbiter of justice in the United States would have been about as easy as confirming Khallid Sheikh Mohammed as Homeland Security Secretary— Something George W. Bush would surely be willing to do if only Mohammed would go on TV and say “the surge is working” at every available opportunity.
Mukasey is about as far right a nominee as Dubya could get confirmed these days, considering that he wields slightly less political influence than Larry Craig.
Among his more notable rulings:
- He ruled that Jose Padilla could be held as an enemy combatant, but that he could not be denied the right to legal counsel. Fair enough.
- He issued an injunction preventing the MPAA from enforcing its ban on the distribution of screener movies to Academy voters, stating that it was an unlawful restraint of trade unfair to independent filmmakers. Agreed.
- He sentenced “The Blind Sheik” to life in prison. Works for me.
If you listen very closely during George W. Bush’s announcement today, you will hear his heart breaking as he announces a nominee that Democrats might actually approve. Chuck Schumer actually suggested Mukasey as a decent nominee back in 2003 when Gonzales was nominated.