So the WSJ Board proposes changing things up a bit. They're now getting behind the renewed efforts of right-wing activists to push the controversial nomination of Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes. In a shocking twist, the editorial downplays Mr. Haynes's involvement in the development of the Pentagon's use of "'coercive' interrogation techniques" on military detainees. Then, employing some hard ball tactics, the piece warns Senators Graham and McCain--two Republicans concerned by the Haynes nomination--not to oppose Mr. Haynes, noting in particular the potential impact on McCain's presidential aspirations:
It's hard to see how opposing Mr. Haynes would achieve anything except win the senators some fleeting praise in the establishment media. It wouldn't impress GOP primary voters in Mr. Graham's home state of South Carolina, an important Presidential primary state in 2008 and home to many Haynes supporters. In defeating Mr. Haynes, Mr. McCain would mainly be validating those critics who want to punish anyone associated with the war in Iraq. Is this how a President McCain would treat his appointees who come under political fire for offering honest counsel?
We like to think that maybe Senators Graham and McCain think that the detainee policies that came out of the Pentagon are reprehensible and decidedly un-American, and that advancing such policies, as Mr. Haynes did, is simply unbefitting a life-appointed federal judge. You know -- that pesky "commitment-to-the-rule-of-law" thing. But maybe that's just us.
In any event, it seems like this is "turn on your ally" week when it comes to judicial nominations. First the advocacy campaign targeted at Senator Graham and now this shot at Senator McCain. We can't wait to see what's next.