The Senate voted to confirm Alberto “Obsolete & Quaint” Gonzales as Attorney General . The vote was 60-36, with six Democrats (“Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Ken Salazar of Colorado, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas”) joining all 54 Republicans in favor of the nomination. The Democrats had previously decided not to attempt a filibuster to oppose the nomination, and probably wouldn’t have had the votes to sustain one.
Was this a vote in support of the government’s torture policy? I think so, and I’m not alone. One of the most shameless authors of that policy feels vindicated:
“People who wanted a public discussion of this issue of interrogation methods have had it, for almost a year now,” said John Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor who played a key role in helping craft the administration’s policies on torture when he was a Justice Department official .
“There has been debate, press leaks, hearings. Sen. [John] Kerry could have attacked President Bush on torture during the election campaign, but in fact, he tried to outflank the president on the right on terrorism. Congress could have expanded the statute on terrorism to tighten interrogation rules, but it hasn’t. The election and the confirmation of Gonzales are a sign of general support of the administration’s anti-terrorism policies, which include interrogation and the Patriot Act.”