Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Making Do With Mukasey

An old saying, "The perfect is the worst enemy of the good enough," comes to mind in the Senate struggle over the nomination of Michael Mukasey to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General.

As the best choice we are likely to get from the Bush thugs who trashed the Justice Department, his confirmation would make more sense than holding it up with a prolonged debate over the legality of torture. That question can be settled by a Congressional vote to ban it.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, in a New York Times Op Ed today, points out, "There is virtually universal agreement, even from those who oppose Judge Mukasey, that he would do a good job in turning the department around."

Schumer adds: "Judge Mukasey’s refusal to state that waterboarding is illegal was unsatisfactory to me and many other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But Congress is now considering--and I hope we will soon pass-- a law that would explicitly ban the use of waterboarding and other abusive interrogation techniques. And I am confident that Judge Mukasey would enforce that law."

As compromises go, this is far from the worst in recent memory. At the risk of re-opening old wounds, we might recall the purists who voted for Ralph Nader over Al Gore in 2000 and gave us George Bush and this mess, among so many others.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not the worst compromise, as you say. But to that I say: so what?! Senators and the people of the United States should expect better than some asswipe who won't answer the question of whether waterboarding is torture. Just because it's not the worst doesn't mean it's acceptable.

Matt said...

The problem with your argument is that there is no need for a compromise. The Senate could and should say no. Why be stained by this man? Let Bush make a recess appointment and avoid condoning a man who is so desperate to get an appointment he says the untenable.

Remember, Mukasey first lied saying he did not know what the technique was. Then when it was openly explained to him, he avoided answering by talking about not being briefed on it. Is this the type of country you want to live in where the top lawyer in the country will not categorically state water boarding is torture and should be outlawed?

Do you know that water boarding is torture? Do you think America should be engaged in doing it? I suppose you do because you are willing to give Mukasey and those Democratic senators a pass.