Will Senator Pryor be re-elected or not? Part 1


Roland Martin appears on Rick’s List with Rick Sanchez and the Best Political Team on television (Candy Crowley, John King, Jeffery Toobin, Ed Rollins, Gloria Borger and Victoria Toensing) to discuss day two of the Elena Kagan Supreme Court confirmation hearings. During the analysis, Senator Graham and Elena Kagan had an interesting exchange over the confirmation hearings of former nominee Miguel Estrada.

Max Brantley on the Arkansas Times Blog (Feb 1, 2011) rightly noted:

An Obama White House official has described as a “cold war” the situation in the Senate, where the judicial confirmation process seems to have been slowed down to an unprecedented degree by Republican opposition. No doubt. But it’s worth noting that Arkansas has two vacancies on the federal bench for which the president has yet to make a nomination.

Where did this “cold war” start? I contend that it started back during the Bush years when Mark Pryor and his Democratic buddies were holding up judges like Miguel Estrada for no good reason.

Paul Greenberg in the editorial “Dept. of Hypocrisy: Mark Pryor’s Selective Outrage,”  (May 3, 2010) pointed out that Pryor was angry that Republicans were holding up the  President’s picks for the federal bench. ”There’s just no place for this in the Senate,” he huffs. “There’s no place just to play partisan political games with these judicial appointments.” Greenberg went on to show how hypocritical this was of Pryor.

I wish the Republicans would not play politics like this and I do not condone it at all. However, to call Pryor and Lincoln hypocrites concerning the Miguel Estrada matter is correct too. Both Pryor and Lincoln claimed that Estrada would not answer questions they needed answered, but in March of 2003 all 100 senators were sent a letter from the Bush White House inviting any senator who had doubts about Estrada’s views to send him written questions.

“He would answer the questions forthrightly, appropriately, and in a manner consistent with the traditional practice and obligations of judicial nominees, as he has before,” wrote White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. Did the White House receive any responses from Pryor and Lincoln? The answer is no.
Later both Lincoln and Pryor released statements saying that Estrada had not been willing to answer their questions. In fact, Pryor said, “I am deeply disturbed with the number of unanswered questions that remain about Mr. Miguel Estrada and am troubled by his unwillingness to answer questions posed to him.”

I agree that partisan politics should end, but I also must point out that both Lincoln and Pryor are being hypocritical.  Working with liberals like New York’s Chuck Schumer does not bode well for Pryor’s re-election.

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