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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • It's hard for me to feel a lot of sympathy considering the way the Republicans similarly unfairly blamed Clinton for the attacks earlier. It'll blow over soon enough, and the Republicans can get back to hilariously hypocritical complaints about the treatment of Bush's judicial nominees.

    People reap what they sow.
    • Well, Clinton was partially to blame. Just as Bush, Sr. was, of course.

      And I don't see how you can call the nomination complaints hypocritical. Sure, Clinton claimed there was a "vacancy crisis" when there were 64 vacancies on the federal bench, but while the Democrats controlled the Senate in 1992, there were 63 vacancies -- only one fewer -- and Clinton said that was equivalent to "full employment in the federal judiciary".

      The fact is that recent new Presidents have had 90 percent or better confirmation rates. Carter had 93, Reagan had 97, Bush had 93, Clinton had 90. I don't know the count thus far for Bush, but it is far less, probably still under 50 percent. I don't see how complaining about this obvious disparity in treatment is hypocritical in any way.
      • The fact is that recent new Presidents have had 90 percent or better confirmation rates. Carter had 93, Reagan had 97, Bush had 93, Clinton had 90. I don't know the count thus far for Bush, but it is far less, probably still under 50 percent. I don't see how complaining about this obvious disparity in treatment is hypocritical in any way.

        (I am totally ignorant of the issues here, but who lets a little thing like that stop them? :-)

        How do you determine that this is "disparity in treatment" (i.e. laying th
        • I'll just say that certainly isn't the case. It's not even really being alleged by the Democrats that this isn't the case. They might say that of one or two candidates, but they don't say it of the slate as a whole, lest their previous nominees get looked at too closely.
      • Chief Justice Rehnquist said there was a vacancy crisis during the Clinton years. Was he just a puppet of the Democrats?

        Whether there's a disparity in treatment, and which direction the disparity goes in, depends entirely on who's tweaking the statistics. And the complaints about treatment of Clinton's nominees had more to do with unprecedented delays than with rejections. In any case, Bush hasn't yet had the pleasure of having any of his nominees kept waiting for years to have even a hearing. That's p
        • You misunderstand either my statements, or Rehnquist's. Clinton said when the Democrats controlled Congress that there was no crisis, and when the Republicans did that there was. Rehnquist said at both times that there was a vacancy problem, in 1993 first, and then again in 1997. I did not say there was no vacancy problem, I said that the Democrats are clearly selective in when they think there is one.

          And no, the statistics aren't up for grabs. They are quite clear. On any measurement, Bush is getting
          • If you're saying that the Democrats are selective about when there's a vacancy problem, then we agree about that. I just think the Republicans are similarly selective.

            None of this is about justice or reasonable treatment of nominees. It's about each side wanting to get their people in and keep the others out, and if we had a Democrat in the White House the two sides would simply switch scripts.

            Tweaking statistics isn't about making up numbers. It's about choosing parameters and deciding exactly what co
            • You seem to be assuming that this situation is symmetrical. That the Democrats put up their nominees and they were blocked and now the Republicans are putting up theirs and are getting the same treatment. And, that Republicans would be doing the exact same thing if the situation were reversed.

              If you check the history, judicial nominees typically have a more difficult time of it later in the President's term (nearer to elections), easier at first. In fact, Clinton had an easy time of it earlier in his te

            • It's about each side wanting to get their people in and keep the others out, and if we had a Democrat in the White House the two sides would simply switch scripts.

              Perhaps, but there's no evidence of that. The record of Republican Congresses supporting Clinton nominees is right there.

              Tweaking statistics isn't about making up numbers. It's about choosing parameters and deciding exactly what comparisons to make. You've decided that the relevant measure is what percentage of a president's nominees have bee