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Your answer is wrong -- whatever it is

Nobody expects the New York Times to like anything George Bush does. And we've come to expect confused arguments when it comes to Iraq. But what sort of cognitive dissonance does it take for them to argue that unknown statements are wrong?

Mr. Estrada's nomination, which was turned back last week by a Democratic filibuster, has stalled because he refuses to give senators the information they need to evaluate his judicial philosophy. Until he is more forthcoming, the Senate should continue to block his confirmation.

Mr. Estrada has been called the "stealth candidate" because he is said by lawyers who know him to have extremely conservative views, but he has virtually no paper trail. At his confirmation hearing, Mr. Estrada refused to answer senators' legitimate questions about his judicial philosophy. And the White House has rejected senators' requests for memorandums he wrote as a government lawyer that could shed light on his beliefs.

Rather than give senators the information they need, his supporters have repeatedly attempted to change the subject.

So, in other words, the Times is claiming that they don't have enough information to evaluate Miguel Estrada. Fair enough. Somehow, though, they learned within the space of two paragraphs:
Rather than demonizing Democratic senators, the White House should look for common ground. In the case of Mr. Estrada, it should respect the Senate's role in the process by making his full record available. And going forward, it should choose judicial nominees from the ideological mainstream, who do not prompt the sort of bitter partisan divisions that Mr. Estrada has.
In cliche-filled mystery novels, we often are shown a scene in which the killer says, "I didn't shoot him," and the brilliant detective says, "Then how did you know he was shot? I never mentioned that." How exactly does the Times know that Estrada isn't "from the ideological mainstream" if they claim to know nothing about him?

It's not the opposition to Estrada that bothers me, or even the filibuster. It's the dishonesty about the reason for the filibuster. Democrats (and the Times) think Estrada is conservative, and they want Bush to appoint liberal judges. Why can't they just come out and say that, instead of cloaking their opposition in claims that they need more information? Does anybody believe that any "information" provided by the Bush administration would change anybody's mind right now?

Note, by the way, that to the Times, these "bitter partisan divisions" are not the fault of Democrats. Rather, George Bush is to blame. The Times editors never seem to grasp that in a partisan dispute, it's not automatically the fault of the Republicans.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 13, 2003 6:12 AM.

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