Our friend Pete Wehner is wholly right to tout Judge Mukasey’s early faovrable reviews from respected conservatives, including our own indispensable Andy McCarthy. But he loses me when he argues that it is especially important and helpful to have an Attorney General who is confirmed by a wide margin [which might or might not be the case for Judge Mukasey] because “He will have greater credibility when it comes to advocating for the tools that we need to keep the United States safe from attack. Think of a candidate running for President: the larger the margin of victory, the greater his ability to promote his policies. It helps, not hurts, the cause of conservatism when its advocates have broad-based backing.”
Huh? General Petraeus was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. Many of those Senators who voted “aye” just months ago now deny that the good General has any credibility at all. The ways of Washington are far different than the popular vote for president. And, sometimes advocates of the cause of conservatism have broad-based support because there is broad-based agreement that said advocate can be counted on not to do much of anything to advance that cause. In Washington, there is no broad-based support for advancing the conservative cause and hard-fought confirmation battles reflect that reality.