Blame the White House for the Economic Team Slow-Walking
This situation is, as Matthew Yglesias says, pretty ridiculous.
President Barack Obama’s economic advisers are increasingly concerned about the U.S. Senate’s delay in confirming the nominations of Austan Goolsbee and Cecilia Rouse to the White House Council of Economic Advisers … they weren’t placed on the confirmation slate for the full chamber, leading some administration officials to conclude that Senate Republicans were retaliating against the Democrats because President George W. Bush’s nominations for the same slots languished in the Senate for months at the end of his second term.
This is really the fault of the Obama administration, which has as its disposal an incredibly popular president; the largest Democratic congressional majority since disco; a massive liberal media infrastructure (like the Center for American Progress, which hosts Yglesias’s blog); and a Democratic National Committee chairman who isn’t making an idiotic gaffe every 30 seconds.
In 2005, the conservative media infrastructure did a fantastic job of shaming Democrats into giving Republican judicial nominees a — say it with me now — “up or down vote.” Not every nominee survived, but the campaign rattled Washington and galvanized conservative donors. The names of Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown became famous. And in retrospect, whether or not a judge got appointed to a circuit court seems rather less urgent than whether the president has a full economic team during the greatest crash since 1980-1982.
If the White House wants its nominees, the president needs to start attacking Republicans for dragging their feet in a way they won’t even go on the record to defend.