Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Thursday, September 04, 2003  

A bit busy this morning, but I couldn't help noticing this:

Miguel A. Estrada, whose nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington has been blocked for months by Senate Democrats, has withdrawn from consideration for the post.

I don't actually know how these things work, but this was a resolution I hadn't anticipated. I expected the usual showdown, with intense pressure from all sides--the Bork model. I suppose this is also common.

Republicans naturally went on the attack, but it's going to be hard to make too much hay from this--it was Estrada's call both not to give the Senate the papers they requested and also to withdraw his name. And it's certainly a blow to the President, no matter how he spins it.

(He spun it thus, incidentally: "Mr. Estrada received disgraceful treatment at the hands of 45 United States Senators during the more than two years his nomination was pending.")

I don't want to make too much out of it, but things are certainly different now than when Estrada was first nominated: then Bush was wildly popular, able to push through any nomination or legislation he wished, and looked to be untouchable. Now he's got critics coming at him on almost every position. He used to talk a great deal about political capital. Further proof it's sliding fast.

posted by Jeff | 11:34 AM |
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