Carol Platt Liebau: An AG "Above Partisan Politics"?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

An AG "Above Partisan Politics"?

Ronald Cass explains why the new Democratic call for an Attorney General who is "above politics" is so specious. It pretty much lays to rest the arguments made by a reader in the comments to this post.

6 Comments:

Blogger Earth to Carol said...

Ronald Cass also thought nominating Harriet Miers as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court was a great decision by Bush. LOL

10:41 PM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

Which Dem AG was above politics? God alone knows the answer.

4:52 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

If independence from the sitting President and relevant experience to the post are the primary factors in determining whether to approve a nominee as Attorney General of the United States, I'll have to admit that Ted Olson is no Robert Kennedy.

Therefore he should be unanimously approved.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Mr. Cass does not address this point which I made in my earlier comments on the issue:

Given the corrosive effects of partisanship on the Justice Department, surely we would all agree that the Attorney General should be someone whose reputation is as a legal mind, not a partisan.

Ms. Liebau claims that Mr. Cass' article lays to rest my point. But she overlooked this point, which I made not once but twice. So, just to be safe, perhaps it is prudent of me to expand on the point in the hope that it will be noticed.

That the Justice Department has been damaged by egregious partisanship is widely reported. In order to repair the damage, the highest priority must be a strict re-emphasis that the duties of the Justice Department must transcend partisan considerations. To accomplish this, we need an AG with a strong reputation for nonpartisanship. Mr. Olson is not such a person.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

First, I reject the notion that the AG needs to be nonpartisan. The AG and every other Cabinet level appointment NEEDS to be someone who will effectively execute the agenda of the President of the United States.

Second, what makes you say Ted Olson does not have a strong reputation for nonpartisanship? Here is a quote regarding Ted Olson from Lanny Davis, the former White House Special Council to President Clinton:

"I believe he is 100 percent intellectually honest: meaning, he applies the same standards of analysis and applies the same set of principles to each issue, regardless of whether the outcome will be a liberal one or a conservative one. I wish there were more people in Washington and in politics I could say that about, on both sides of the ideological and partisan spectrum."

Perhaps you have a more nuanced definition of nonpartisan. But what Lanny Davis describes seems to fit the bill quite nicely, don't you think?

11:10 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

I reject the notion that the AG needs to be nonpartisan.

Then you reject the evidence that the Justice Department is in disarray? That the Justice Department is demoralized because of egregious politicization? I suggest that you consult the link I provided to review that evidence. After reading it, tell me if you still deny the need for a nonpartisan AG.

what makes you say Ted Olson does not have a strong reputation for nonpartisanship?

Stories such as
http://archive.salon.com/politics/feature/2001/05/14/independent_counsel/index.html

and http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2007/09/14/ted_olson/ and
http://www.spectator.org/blogger.asp?BlogID=5549 referring to him as a "stalwart conservative"
and
http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2007/09/ted-olson-as-ag.html.

(Sorry for the clumsy links but the site doesn't like my html links)

Your suggestion that Mr. Olson is nonpartisan is way silly.

10:29 AM  

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