OpinionMeister

Thursday, May 12, 2005

How Goes the Nominee War?

The Washington Times reports that Republicans, after a late start, are catching up in the PR war over judicial nominees. Link.
Key Republicans said yesterday that although Democrats did a better job in the early fight over President Bush's judicial nominees, the GOP has achieved "parity" in the public relations battle.
"We were a little slower on the draw," said a Republican strategist close to the effort. "But we're there now — at parity with them in terms of mobilization and intensity and breadth and depth of coalition effort."
The strategist said Democrats went into battle mode over judges the day after Mr. Bush was re-elected in November. Republicans did not catch up until about two weeks ago. [...]

Seeking to counter a similarly aggressive Democratic campaign to preserve the filibuster, Republicans are writing op-ed columns, booking Bush surrogates on cable news channels and deluging reporters with e-mails. [...]

In recent days, the administration has assumed an increasingly vocal role, with Mr. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales speaking out on behalf of the nominees.
Yesterday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan flatly rejected any talk of a compromise that would confirm only some of the president's seven blocked nominees.
"They should all get an up-or-down vote," he told reporters. "Senate Democrats have gone to an unprecedented level to block nominees from receiving an up-or-down vote."

The Republicans have a much easier story to sell. They are not demanding confirmation of Bush's nominees, but only an up or down vote. The American people recognize fairness when they see it. From the Democrats, they are seeing and hearing only mud being slung at specific nominees, including an African-American woman. They know that, if these nominees were as bad as the Democrats' ads say, they would not receive a majority vote for confirmation. The mud slinging is not a good justification for denying these nominees an up or down vote. The people will not man the barricades when the Senate changes its rules to allow senators to vote yeah or nay on all judicial nominees.

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