Democratic Senators Cave On Mukasey, Endorse Torture

News & Politics
This post, written by Joe Sudbay, originally appeared on AMERICAblog

Late this afternoon, via Talking Points Memo, we got the news we all basically expected. Democratic Senators are caving on the nomination of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General.

Chuck Schumer (NY) and Dianne Feinstein (CA), both on the Senate Judiciary Committee, are the culprits.

It's despicable, but, unfortunately, not unexpected.

This is a big one. The issue is torture. TORTURE. Bush wants to torture. He wants another Attorney General who will let him torture. And, key Democrats just enabled him -- AGAIN.

Coincidentally, just as this news broke, I was working on a post linking to Dan Froomkin's column from today. Basically, Bush knew the Democrats would cave. THEY ALWAYS DO.

Dan Froomkin gets Bush better than most people on the Hill do.
President Bush yesterday asserted that he would never nominate anyone for attorney general who would be willing to state that waterboarding is torture -- so, if the Senate doesn't approve Michael Mukasey, "that would guarantee that America would have no attorney general during this time of war."
There is, of course, no attorney general right now because Bush's last choice spectacularly self-destructed. And many members of Bush's own party are quite comfortable stating that waterboarding is torture. It's not exactly a controversial position, seeing as waterboarding has been an iconic form of torture since the Spanish Inquisition.
But it's not Bush's style to back down, especially when a key element of his radical and unprecedented expansion of executive power is at stake.
Instead, Bush has learned that the higher he ratchets up the rhetoric, especially if he can accuse his critics of being weak on terror, the more likely Congressional Democrats are to fold. He's simply counting on that happening again.
Bush who is so wrong about so many things, was right on this one. Bush knew he'd win on Mukasey.

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