Today my thoughts (and snarky side) turn to two of President Biden’s nominees … one who was likely doomed from the start, and another who will likely succeed, although not before being run through the grist mill.
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Once again, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has put his own self-interests above the interests of the nation. This time, he has said that he will not vote to confirm President Biden’s nominee for the Federal Reserve vice chair of supervision, Sarah Bloom Raskin. Why? In a nutshell, because she “has written in the past in support of the Fed increasing its attention to financial risks from climate change.” Manchin, you see, has vested interests in the production of coal, one of the worst offenders to our environment. He has holdings valued at between $1 million and $5 million in Enersystems, Inc., the coal brokerage business he founded.
Thus ends Ms. Raskin’s nomination for the position, as Republicans have made it clear that as a block they intend to oppose the nomination. It’s not about what’s best for the country, y’know, but about “loyalty” to the ‘Party’. In fact, the Republican senators successfully blocked her nomination from advancing to the Senate floor for discussion and a vote. Yesterday, after Manchin’s self-important, bloated announcement that he would not vote in support of her, Ms. Raskin sent a letter to the White House asking to withdraw her name from consideration. President Biden then announced that he would withdraw her name.
When a member of Congress puts his own financial self-interest ahead of the best interests of not only the nation, but the entire world, that person has long since forgotten that Oath of Office he took and should be expelled from Congress. But, of course, if we expelled every member of Congress who has blatantly shredded his or her Oath of Office, we would have very few legislators left in the Capitol.
Ketanji Brown Jackson
And then there’s Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement. Jackson is well-qualified and well-respected, even by those in the Republican corner, but you’d never know it to hear them. Mitch McConnell complains because of her history as a public defender, saying “the soft-on-crime brigade is squarely in Judge Jackson’s corner.”
One line of attack by Republicans appears to be that Jackson tried too hard when representing terrorism suspects. The Republican National Committee said Jackson’s “advocacy for these terrorists was ‘zealous,’ going beyond just giving them a competent defense.” Um … ‘scuse me but … isn’t that what a public defender is supposed to do? According to D.C. Bar’s rule of professional conduct, “a lawyer shall represent a client zealously and diligently within the bounds of the law.” It seems to me that Judge Jackson did precisely what she was supposed to do.
Then of course there was that time that she wrote in a ruling against Donald Trump, “Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.” Although the Republicans cannot afford to admit it, this simple and truthful statement might actually be the second biggest reason the Republicans will give Jackson a hard time during the confirmation process, for they are irrevocably tied to the coattails of the former guy. The first reason, you ask? Her gender and the colour of her skin, of course. Did you really even need to ask?
I think that despite the hassle Judge Jackson will no doubt endure from Republicans during the confirmation hearings, she will be confirmed, for her credentials are excellent. That is, of course, unless she speaks about clean energy and disengaging from fossil fuels, in which case Senator Manchin might refuse to vote for her!