September 14, 2007
Nominate Olson - Then Stand Up and FightBy Marc Sheppard
To Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, Ted Olson is an unrepentant Republican, uniquely unqualified to succeed outgoing Alberto Gonzalez as U.S Attorney General. To Lanny Davis, he's an independent thinker perfect for the job. And to George Bush, he just might be a one-way ticket out of lame-duck Palookaville.
In Wednesday's pre-emptive attack on the man who has yet to be nominated, let alone voice his acceptance, Nevada Democrat Reid told Reuters that,
What a remarkable statement, even from the oft-erratic Senate majority leader, bearing in mind the shameful legacy of Janet Reno. After all, the first AG in pantyhose was regularly worn as Teflon investigation-proof-armor by Bill Clinton, his Vice President, and several members of his cabinet throughout her tarnished tenure.
But wait, never to be outdone -- particularly in front of cameras -- Charles Schumer actually supported his leader's latest howler. The New York Democrat, whose relentless hounding of Gonzalez over the decision to dismiss eight federal prosecutors last year weighed greatly in the man's ultimate resignation, judges Olson a "divisive choice," and [emphasis mine throughout],
So then, individuals from "political backgrounds" are incapable of putting "the rule of law first?" That's quite a telling axiom, coming from a legislator, and one that Lanny Davis apparently disagrees with rather strongly.
Writing in HuffPo 2 weeks ago, Bill Clinton's erstwhile attorney, who leads by reassuring his fellow liberals that he still "strongly disagree[‘s] with most of Ted Olson's political and philosophical positions," nonetheless offers an assessment that couldn't be any more diametrical to those of the two snarling senators:
To understand the stark contrast between the emotional positions of the Senators and the measured one of the no less liberal Davis, we need to return to early 2001, when hearings began to confirm Olson as solicitor general.
Democrats versus Olson: Round One
The overwhelming majority of Democrats opposed Olson's confirmation before the opening bell -- make that gavel -- ever sounded. This was based largely on the exaggerated perception of his involvement with American Spectator magazine's investigations into the doings of their beloved Bill and Hillary in the previous decade.
The "Arkansas Project," which was privately funded by billionaire Pittsburgh Tribune-Review publisher Richard Mellon Scaife, angered partisan Democrats by probing into such Clinton classics as the death of Vince Foster, Whitewater, and Troopergate. But most distressing to Dems, it threatened to pierce the armor Reno provided them by her reluctance or outright refusal to allow her DOJ to investigate these and other embarrassing matters.
Although Olson's was merely guilt-by-association (he became a member of the Spectator board of directors years after the investigations began and his only real involvement was in the project's termination in 1998), the attacks were relentless. Then-ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, Pat Leahy was particularly nasty, accusing the nominee of evasiveness bordering lying under oath:
In reality, the blundered partisan hatchet job of attacking Olson's credibility was, itself, an attempt at distraction, crafted to cloak the sharper thorns the gifted litigator had left in the Democratic Party's side over the years.
You see, in dispensing his duties as partner in a prestigious D.C law firm, Olson had the unmitigated gall to represent Paula Jones in her sexual harassment suit against President Clinton and to emerge victorious in the 2000 Supreme Court Florida election cases of Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board and Bush v. Gore.
However, despite the attempted Borking and with the votes of only two Democrat Senators -- Zell Miller of Georgia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska -- Olson was approved as the country's 42nd solicitor general.
Senate Democrats, who had just regained the majority with the treacherous defection of Jumping Jim Jeffords, were visibly angry, but promised that with their pending power renewal, their day would soon come.
In what may prove quite portending, Schumer told the New York Times that while it was not worth staging a filibuster for a sub-cabinet level job,
Democrats KO Second Bush AG
On June 11th of this year, Harry Reid used the Senate Floor as a venue to demoralize the president's Justice Department, beginning with his attempted evisceration of Alberto Gonzalez's reputation -- accusing him of malfeasance, dishonesty and gross incompetence. He pined for the glory days of a DOJ "blind to politics," and waxed nostalgic over what a source of pride for our country it had been:
He then insisted that the blame for this "tragic deterioration lies squarely on the shoulders of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales."
In the famous words of tennis great John McEnroe, "You can't be serious!"
Where was this man living during the Harold Ickes perjury investigation, the myriad 1996 Clinton and Gore campaign finance scandals (for which the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee voted to hold Reno in contempt), the transfer of vital national security technology to China during the botched Reno LORAL investigation, just to name a few examples of "partisanship earning patronage" in the previous White House?
Later, after he and his confederates coerced the resignation of Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General last month, Reid issued this vapid statement:
So then, these self-proclaimed Lords of virtue rejected the human sacrifice offered up by their battered foe. The true targets lie within a Headquarters that's defense shields have been compromised.
Democrats versus Olson: Round Two
Powell retired. Rumsfeld -- KO'd in the 6th. Rove and Ashcroft -- losers by decision. Gonzales -- out for the count. Snow retired by TKO.
The Dems have clobbered the Justice Department and now hold the administration on the ropes.
So, just what do you suppose a famous, brilliant, experienced, Supreme Court-proven (he's argued 46 cases and prevailed in 75% of them), leader might do to quickly revitalize and replenish a department neutralized by Democrat chicanery?
In all matters Homeland Security, how easy would it be to attack the motives of a man whose wife -- the fabulous writer and analyst Barbara Olson -- died September 11th on American Airlines Flight 77 when it was plowed into the Pentagon by savage degenerates?
Moreover, how might a DOJ phoenix rising from the ashes of a partisan witch-pyre strengthen the spirit and resolve of an administration whose best poll numbers and personnel line-ups are already in the history books?
Is it any wonder then, that the smugly self-righteous Reid has declared:
He's not alone. Dems are slowly oozing out of the Capitol Hill woodwork telegraphing their intention to film the sequel to the 2001 Solicitor General Inquisition before the C-SPAN cameras, should the president put forth Olson's name -- which seems quite likely. Directing the drama will once again be Pat Leahy -- this time holding the gavel of the chair.
Apparently, the minor thrashing they're likely to receive from their friends in the press for first dismantling the DOJ, then obstructing its reconstruction scares them less than does the prospective nominee. After all, there's plenty of time before Election Day and, besides, how much lower can their approval numbers go?
In his rousing endorsement of Theodore Olson for U.S Attorney General, none other than former White House Special Counsel to President Clinton, Lanny Davis, writes:
Amen to that.
The president needs to go to the mat for this man.
Marc Sheppard is a technology consultant, software engineer, writer, and political and systems analyst. He is a regular contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your feedback.