Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The Party of No works to undermine Obama

with 2 comments

The GOP not only wants Obama to fail, they’re working to achieve that end. For example, Ryan Powers reports in ThinkProgress:

Conservatives in Congress and in the media are attempting to block or delay a growing number of critical nominees for what amount to ideological witch hunts and self-interested horse-trading. As the President attempts to deal with the significant legal and logistical questions surrounding two wars, closing Guantanamo Bay, and caring for our nation’s veterans, the people Obama has picked to assist him with such issues are being forced to wait in the wings.

In the last week alone, at least four separate nominees who thought they were on track to be approved will have to wait at least a few more weeks:

Department of Defense: Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) announced today that “they are blocking President Barack Obama’s nomination of Ashton Carter as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.” The senators want assurances that Carter will not “change the criteria” on which the Pentagon considers a refueling tanker contract that could benefit defense contractors in their state.

Department of Veterans Affairs: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) asked the Senate Veterans Affairs committee to delay voting on the “nomination of Tammy Duckworth, an injured Iraq war helicopter pilot, to be an assistant secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Contacted by ThinkProgress, Burr’s Press Secretary, David Ward said that Burr is waiting for the answers to several questions he’s put to the White House and Duckworth, but would not disclose what those questions were.

White House Office of Legal Council: Dawn Johnsen’s nomination as head of the OLC has been delayed in part because Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has ideological differences with her. As the Legal Times explained, “citing Johnsen’s criticisms of Bush national security policies, [Cornyn] accused her of lacking ‘the seriousness and necessary resolve’ to fight terrorism,” while “other Republicans have targeted her work as legal director for NARAL Pro-Choice America from 1988 to 1993.”

Department of State: Right wing commentators are working to block the appointment of Harold Koh to the State Department’s top legal adviser, smearing him as a “threat to democracy” for his being an international law expert. As the Century Foundation notes, “The fervent opponents of Harold Koh turn out to be enthusiastic defenders of John Yoo.”

Additionally, Chris Hill’s nomination as ambassador to Iraq is still being held up by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) at the behest of the right wing. This despite the fact that Secretary of State Robert Gates recently issued a rare statement on a diplomatic appointment saying, it is “vital that we get an ambassador in Baghdad as soon as possible.” These delays are just the latest in a long string of delays. The nominations of Attorney General Eric Holder, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Presidential Science Adviser John Holdren were also held up for largely partisan reasons.

Written by Leisureguy

4 April 2009 at 9:45 am

2 Responses

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  1. When a liberal opposes a conservative nominee it is their constitutional right and obligation … so why then … when a conservative questions a liberal nominee does the left call it obstructionism?

    Neither Paul Rosenberg, in this article, nor Dahlia Lithwick or Rachel Maddow, who he quotes provide any objective points in defense of Koh.

    The issue is that whoever takes the position of top legal advisor to the State Department, they must swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States against opposition both domestic and international. With Koh’s position on “transnationalism” there are legitimate questions as to whether he could uphold the sovereignty of the United States of America.

    This is an issue of Koh’s position regarding matters of policy

    In an Accuracy In Media article By Cliff Kincaid on April 1, 2009 the following substantive issues are raised:

    With the nomination of Harold Hongju Koh, former Dean of the Yale Law School, as the Legal Adviser for the State Department, Barack Obama is putting a world government team in place under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    The other key appointment was Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former dean of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as Director of Policy Planning at State.

    Slaughter wrote the 2004 book, A New World Order, and believes in an international system dominated by the U.N. and other global institutions and networks.

    Based on his public statements, one has to conclude that Koh believes in a world government financed by global taxes.

    This is the huge issue that the media should bring to the fore.

    America’s future as a sovereign nation is at stake.

    In order to understand the ominous future that Louis B. Sohn and his disciple Harold Koh have planned for us, one must review Sohn’s book, World Peace Through World Law, which was first published in 1958 and co-authored with Grenville Clark of the World Federalists.

    Koh called this the “transnational legal process” and noted that Sohn’s book, World Peace Through World Law, was part of a “stunningly ambitious global project.” Koh said that “unfortunately,” Sohn’s blueprint did not come to pass.

    Unfortunately? This is the tip-off that Koh wants to see this dangerous New World Order implemented.

    Koh is declaring, for all to see, that he favors Sohn’s concept of world government.

    Koh’s fancy academic titles and affiliations sound impressive. But even a casual reading of Louis B. Sohn’s views would conclude that he was a dangerous crackpot.

    If the actual policy issues are debated through the nomination approval process, then an appropriate conclusion will occur.

    Let the debate take place for the people to witness and we will then see where the so called “mainstream” public actually stand.

    What are you afraid of ?



    5 April 2009 at 8:49 pm

  2. What I am afraid of is hysterical right-wing opposition based on fantasy fears. The current confirmation rate lags far behind that provided to previous administrations, and in most cases the reasons are conservative petulance and obstructionism. Take Tammy Duckworth, for example, or Dawn Olsen: it seems to me to be pure obstructionism.



    6 April 2009 at 7:01 am

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