A Specter of mischief

We didn’t expect the honeymoon to last long, but it might have been nice to last at least into January of ’09?  Senate Republican’ts are flailing away at Obama’s AG nominee.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, wants to slow down the process of confirming Eric Holder attorney general, citing lingering concerns about the nominee’s role in the 2001 pardon of Marc Rich.

Specter said his concerns do not suggest he would oppose Holder, but said starting the hearings before Jan. 26 is “not realistic or fair.”

Earlier this week Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) set a Jan. 8 confirmation hearing date for Holder and said he would like the nominee confirmed by the time President-elect Obama takes office on Jan. 20.

“There are questions which have to be inquired,” Specter, a former Philadelphia district attorney, said.

OK.  Curious, no?  I mean, is any of this actually new?  Steve Benen evaluates Specter’s motivations here.

Specter seems to want a delay just for the sake of grandstanding. Based on the schedule Leahy has in mind, Specter has a month to get the information he feels he needs, and then two weeks to badger Holder. Why wait until Jan. 26 for hearings? Because Specter wants to drag this out for maximum partisan exploitation? Because he wants to re-litigate an eight-year-old controversy to score some cheap points in preparation for a Republican primary in Pennsylvania?

Lest we forget, Specter is one of the supposedly “reasonable” and “moderate” Republicans in the Senate.


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