James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, September 17, 2007

Partisanship is what you make it

In a story announcing Bush's new choice for Attoney General, I was amused by this:
There had been rampant speculation that Bush might turn to former Solicitor General Ted Olson for the job, but key Democrats on Capitol Hill said they believed Olson too partisan a figure and indicated they would fight his nomination.

So, Democrats would be partisan just because they view Olson as partisan?
We Democrats oppose Olson!
Because he's a polarizing figure.
What makes him polarizing?
He's polarizing because we Democrats don't like him.
Why don't you like him?
Because he's polarizing!

It seems to me that what makes Olson "too partisan" is that Democrats would choose to be partisan in opposing him.

I'd understand if they said Olson was too ideologically biased in favor of the Executive. Or that he was unqualified, or incompetent. But the "partisan" charge could stick to any prominent figure with several years of experience in D.C.

Of course, there's the possibility they believed Olson was nothing more than a political hack and Bush lackey. But that doesn't quite mesh with Olson's reputation, as I understand it.

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