Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Politics As Usual

Anyone seeking an example of the hyper-partisan GOP obstructionism to which I referred in my last post need look no further than today's news that Erroll Southers, the president's nominee to head the Transportation Security Agency (a key component of Homeland Security), has withdrawn his name from further consideration after having had his nomination held up by the Senate for the past five months.

That hold has been the personal handiwork of South Carolina's mossback Senator Jim DeMint, on the grounds that, regardless of Southers' otherwise sterling credentials, he might conceivably have bowed to political pressure to unionize TSA employees. One simply cannot top the exquisite irony that Senator DeMint was one of the first in line to lambaste the president for not having had a TSA head on the job at the time of the fizzled Christmas Day terrorist bomb threat.

You might wish to link to Foreign Affairs magazine to read a balanced article concerning the other 176 nominations still pending. Many of these holdups are, to be sure, the consequence of the often dilatory legislative process dictated by compliance with Constitutional checks and balances between the executive and the legislative branches, but too many are simply being held hostage to Senatorial horse-trading.


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