To the Editor:
Senator Charles E. Schumer tries to justify his deeply disappointing vote for Judge Michael B. Mukasey by the use of transparently incomplete logic. He is confident that the new attorney general would uphold a not-yet-introduced law outlawing waterboarding? Senator Schumer knows that President Bush would veto such a law, and all recent experience predicts that Congress would uphold the veto.
If Judge Mukasey is defeated and waterboarding continues, the victory would be hollow? Senator Schumer ignores the now much more likely obverse of that argument, if Mr. Mukasey is confirmed and the waterboarding continues.
Senator Schumer has let down so many who have put their faith in him. His transparently weak attempt to justify his vote does nothing to erase this shameful disappointment.
Stony Point, N.Y., Nov. 6, 2007
And there are several more with that basic tilt. I'm really baffled by the whole thing: If Schumer was trying to avoid an “awkward situation” in voting against the candidate he originally espoused, I wonder how it feels to be torn apart outside of the oh-so-cozy “comity” of Washington DC. But his fecklessness alienates the liberal base (and principled conservatives). Or maybe he thinks his base is hedge fund managers. In any event, it's telling that he's more afraid of the Bush administration than of both his fellow Dem senators and some really awful press.
I share Bob's frustration and bemusement: What exactly does the grassroots have to do to make our own chumps more responsive?