Just to be clear, in light of today’s Prowler update on the Mary Ann Glendon situation: It matters not WHO is putting the hold on Glendon, I repeat that it is an incredibly misguided hold for all the reasons I outlined on Friday. And I repeat that ANY anonymous hold of longer than a couple of days, or any participation in a “rolling” hold that is anonymous and that is intended not for informational purposes but for purposes of killing a nomination, is cowardly in the extreme. (Why the exception for a few days? Because the original idea of a hold provided for a case where, for instance, a senator might have heard a rumor that reflects badly upon a nominee and want to check it out without going public about the rumor, the secrecy being for the EXPRESS PURPOSE of protecting the reputation of the nominee himself. In other words, if a senator publicly identified himself as the source of the hold, he would immediately be questioned as to why, and the identity of the senator himself might hint at the sort of thing the senator might be concerned with and thus lead to a greater chance for an unsubstantiated rumor to be aired. But again, the idea is NOT to protect the senator, but to protect the nominee — and the idea was that the hold should last only until the senator had time to do the appropriate quiet research to alleviate — or prove the truth of — his concerns.) All of this skulking around in the dark, as it were, is behavior unbefitting a high official in a free society. If somebody objects to Mary Ann Glendon because he thinks her support of Romney somehow throws into question her pro-life bona fides (being pro life being obviously an important position for somebody going to represent us to the Vatican), THEN LET HIM SAY SO PUBLICLY and thus let him be forced to answer questions about whether or not such a concern is at all reasonable.
I swear, to behave otherwise is to treat the U.S. Senate like the most small-minded but overly powerful of college fraternities, blackballing people not only for their own membership but for other positions (on campus or in goverment) based on pathetic little private agendas that the senators don’t have the guts to discuss in public.