I know I’ve told this story before, but too bad, here it goes again:
Back in the day, when we were living in a different house, we had a dog-door installed for Cooder the Best Dog In the World. Because our house was located on the edge of a canyon we used to have problems with opossums and raccoons coming into the yard who had no qualms about attempting to come inside looking for a snack. Like most dog doors the one we had installed came with a security door, in this case made out of sheet metal, that slid down in order to block critters from using it from either side. Occasionally, okay…lots of times, I would forget to pull up the security door and Cooder, thinking it was free and clear, would clickity-clack clickity-clack across the room and smack his head (thwack!) up against the door. Now most dogs would either bark to be let out or would deploy the Devastating Big-Eyed Imploring Look of Sadness to get a little help here. Not Cooder. Cooder would go back up to the door and press his head against it, leaning forward on his little stumpy basset legs because he knew, he just knew, that… it… was… going… to… open eventually. I could sit there for almost five minutes and he wouldn’t move; he’d just lean. Cooder was a sweet dog, but he was never short-listed for a MacArthur Grant.
Which brings us to George W. Bush:
White House officials said Wednesday that President Bush would renominate six of his earlier choices to sit on the federal appeals court, leaving Democratic senators and other analysts to ponder what message he is sending.
At least four of the nominations have been declared dead on arrival in the Senate by Democrats who have consistently opposed them as unacceptable. All six nominations will remain before the Senate through the lame-duck session of Congress and then will expire.
When the 110th Congress is seated in January, Mr. Bush can deliver another list of judicial nominees to the Senate, which will by then have a Democratic majority.
Mr. Bushâ€™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.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, who will be the leader of the Judiciary Committee, said, â€œBarely a week after the president promised to change course by working in a bipartisan and cooperative way with Congress, it is disappointing that he has decided to â€˜stay the courseâ€™ on judicial nominees.â€
But Edward Whelan, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, who has supported Mr. Bushâ€™s judicial nominations throughout the first term, said Democrats were engaging in â€œrhetorical gamesmanship.â€ He said that despite the changed numbers in the Senate, Mr. Bush was not obliged to offer a unilateral surrender. He said the president was resubmitting the nominees for the lame-duck session because Democrats had refused to comply with the usual courtesy and moved to have the nominations expire at the last recess.
The four nominees whose chances of confirmation are viewed as nearly impossible are: William J. Haynes II, the Pentagonâ€™s general counsel who was involved in setting many of the interrogation policies for detainees; William G. Myers III, a longtime lobbyist for the mining and ranching industries and a critic of environmental regulations; Terrence W. Boyle, a district court judge in North Carolina; and Michael B. Wallace of Mississippi, a lawyer rated unqualified for the court by the American Bar Association.
Six years in office and he still hasn’t learned a damned thing