We have already registered our frustration with President Bush’s heady decision last week to renominate several divisive nominees to the appellate courts -- a decision designed to incite partisan controversy, in spite of the president's recent assurances that he would strive for bipartisanship during his final two years in office. And we aren’t the only ones. Editorial pages all over the country have expressed their disappointment with the president's decision.
- The Washington Post stated that the move “smacks of GOP chest-thumping and a gratuitous thumbing of the nose at bipartisanship.”
- The Tuscaloosa News indicated that “there is little doubt that the president deliberately intended to antagonize Democrats by putting the same slate of judges up for nomination again.”
- Newsday called the move “in-your-face partisanship” and added, “[i]t’s time for Bush to forget about loading the courts with doctrinaire conservatives. Saying one thing (bipartisanship reigns) while doing another (placating the right wing) is no way to move the country forward.”
- The Sacramento Bee said “After the election thumpin', Bush seems more interested in picking fights with the Senate on judicial nominations than in filling vacancies.”
- And The New York Times, in an editorial entitled “Still Waiting for Bipartisanship” commented that:
The voters sent a clear message last week that they do not want the far right of the Republican Party calling the shots in Washington. But President Bush has ignored the message, resubmitting a group of archconservative, underqualified judicial nominees that Senate Democrats have already said are unacceptable. With the Democrats about to take control of the Senate, it is highly unlikely that these men will be confirmed. But the renominations suggest that when it comes to filling judgeships, Mr. Bush is still not looking for either excellence or common ground.
It seems like everyone but the president and his advisors has gotten the message from this month's election returns: stop pandering to the right-wing base and bring moderation back to the judicial selection process.