Thanks for your thoughts on Neera Tanden and some other appointments.
I believe Deb Haaland will be confirmed at Interior. It would be ridiculous in the extreme if she didn’t make it.
Neera Tanden is clearly a partisan and sharp tongued to boot. The thing is, that by itself, hasn’t been a bar to a Cabinet Level appointment . The tradition has been, that absent dishonesty or gross incompetence, the President gets the Cabinet of his choice. The Republicans, with the help of Senator Manchin, have chosen to single out Neera Tanden. Apparently because they can. They’re Senators.
Which gets to the whole Advice and Consent process. It enables Senators to prance around like little gods. Nobody wants to offend a Senator who can singlehandedly delay and sometimes kill a nomination out of nothing more than personal pique. In my opinion, its very difficult to stay in the Senate three or more terms and not come out a bit of a jerk. Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle suggested as much to Barack Obama when he encouraged Obama to run for President at the first opportunity. Obama took the advice and escaped the Jerk Factory before it fatally affected his entire being.
So, although not overly knowledgeable about Neera Tanden, I don’t like the way she is being singled out and hung out to dry. It speaks to the fact that she probably hasn’t maintained “her network” as well as she should and she probably offended one too many prima donnas also known as United States Senators.
What does that say about the type of people who become “confirmable.” Doesn’t it suggest it rewards a certain type of cautious borderline obsequious sort; bland rather than brilliant. Someone constantly trimming their sails to be acceptable to the existing power centers?
Maybe the Senate should change its rules. Keep the confirmation process as is for Lifetime Appointments to the Judicial Branch but require 60 votes to deny confirmation to the Executive Branch. It will “humanize” the Senate and allow the President to be more creative in assembling his team.
Unless, of course, bland and obsequious is your preference.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.