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Friday, February 20

Recess Appointment  

Pulling on several different threads here, but I wonder if this most recent recess appointment has anything to do with quelling the conservative uproar that Josh Marshall talks about here. Hard liners are apparently up in arms over the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee not making waves over the content of stolen Democratic strategy memoes.
The 90-minute session grew heated at times, as the visiting conservative leaders repeatedly interrupted the senators and questioned their handling of the memo controversy. But the senators, who received last week a closed-door briefing on the investigation from Senate Sergeant at Arms Bill Pickle, warned conservatives they might come to regret their position when the results of the probe are fully known. Pickle is expected to finish his investigation by March 5. The senators also asked them to suspend their strong statements in favor of Manuel Miranda, the GOP leadership aide who has admitted to reading the leaked files.
Using a recess appointment on Pryor is a nice sop to the hard liners to let them know that Bush & Co. still care about their agenda. However, it is not often that legislators tell their supporters to shut the hell up. It's especially rare for Republicans on the Judiciary to do it since one must be pretty hard line (or very senior) to get on the committee in the first place. Clearly the Republicans (who were briefed last week about the investigation) expect some pretty bad information to be coming forward on March 5. Info that may (this is pure conjecture) hamper the ability of Republicans to get any nominee out of committee for the rest of the term. Thus, in a last minute pander, Pryor is appointed and the base is told to knock it off until the storm passes. I do wonder what Sgt. at Arms Bill Pickle is preparing in that report of his. Some people are predicting a Special Council on this one. With this and the Plame investigation, it could be long spring on the Hill.


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