Now let me see if I’ve got this straight. Congressional Democrats insist they’re ready to work with President Bush as long as he meets them half way. “I hope that in this term, President Bush will fulfill his promise to be a uniter not a divider,” House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi says. “A new term is, indeed, a new opportunity to bring America together.”
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid concurs: “There are bipartisan opportunities for us; I speak on behalf of 45 Democrats. We are here with our arms open to work with the administration … to accomplish things for this country.”
Which explains why House Democrats three weeks ago contested the Ohio electoral vote count — even though, as they themselves conceded, they had no chance whatsoever to affect the outcome of the election.
Which explains why Senate Democrats two weeks ago forced a delay in the confirmation vote of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General — even though, as they themselves conceded, Gonzales was certain to be confirmed.
Which explains why Senate Democrats one week ago also forced a delay in the confirmation vote of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State — even though, as they themselves conceded, Rice was certain to be confirmed.
This is the very definition of obstructionism: To delay a foregone conclusion for the sake of a petty protest.
Rice has now been overwhelmingly confirmed — following a contentious, often ludicrous, debate by the full Senate. Barbara Boxer trotted out her bulletin boards again (already lampooned by Saturday Night Live). ” I think accountability matters,” she insisted. ” This war matters.” Well, yeah. But what does it have to do with a duly elected president appointed a undeniably qualified secretary of state? Ted Kennedy blathered. John Kerry bloviated. Poor old Robert Byrd slurred and trembled and gestured and searched frenetically for his pocket version of the Constitution (probably easier to locate when he was wearing a sheet).
And Rice got sworn in.
Gonzales is now on tap — also certain to be confirmed, though likely along partisan lines. That debate will probably be even more contentious, perhaps even more ludicrous, as Democrats declare themselves against torture (!) and for human rights (!) and attempt desperately to twist Gonzales’s questioning of the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to terrorists into a summoning down of the spirit of Tomas de Torquemada.
Again, the outcome is not in doubt.
The point is that President Bush had hoped to have both Gonzales and Rice confirmed in time for his inauguration. The only reason it didn’t happen was that Democrats were determined to stick their collective thumb in his eye. The President would do well to take note.
So would the American people.