...when you make a show of renominating a bunch of judicial candidates who have no chance of getting confirmed. Among the names the White House sent to the Senate yesterday were some of the most controversial nominees they've ever put forth, including Terrence Boyle, William Haynes II, and William Myers III. The White House also nominated former Rep. Jim Rogan, one of the Clinton impeachment managers, to become a US District Judge for California. Some Senate Democrats called it a "slap in the face."
"The move heartened conservatives who worried that Bush would scale back his ambition to move courts to the right and outraged liberals, who called it a violation of the spirit of bipartisanship promised since Democrats captured Congress. Both sides saw it as a possible harbinger for the remainder of Bush's presidency, particularly if a Supreme Court vacancy opens," says the Washington Post.
"Mr. Bush's motive in sending up the nominations has been closely analyzed, with several Democrats and liberals labeling it as provocative and a sign that he does not intend to seek compromise as he suggested he would after Republican losses in the elections last week."
The AP reminds us, however: "Under Senate rules the nominations must be resubmitted after Congress takes an extended break, as was the case this year for the 2006 election."
Bush Administration officials are blaming "the ineptitude of the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives for trying and failing to rush through the Vietnam trade bill on Monday," says the Financial Times. "It was the failure of some Republicans to turn up, along with 66 who voted against, that did for the bill. Some speculated that the votes against might have reflected congressional Republican resentment towards the White House after the heavy defeats of the mid-term elections."
The New York Daily News on Lott's election to the Senate leadership: "It's not just Democrats President Bush will have to worry about in Congress - Senate Republicans picked one of Bush's tougher critics yesterday to be their No. 2."