June
25th 2010
A blow for mental health in this lifetime

Posted under: American history, jobs, women's history

Dawn Johnsen, who is now refusing to be President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, on the “forced silence and inaction” of her year in limbo while awaiting a vote on the Senate floor after twice being approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee:  “In the current climate, even if you attempt a crass political calculus about how to live your life, you may as well say what you think because they can always find a footnote to twist and distort in a twenty-year old brief!”  How’s this for some Hoosier common sense?  ”The one thing you didn’t want people saying at your funeral was, ‘She went to her grave with her options open.’” 

Sing it, sister!  It looks like we’ve got a Dem President and Dem Senate who think they’ve got all of the time in the world for his executive and judicial branch appointments.  Politesse and scruples have no place when shaping the Justice Department and the federal judiciary, friends.  I can only conclude that Obama and the Dem Senators really didn’t want Johnsen in the first place, if they left her hanging out like Wednesday’s wash for an entire year.

12 Comments »

12 Responses to “A blow for mental health in this lifetime”

  1. Indyanna on 25 Jun 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Justice is too busy deferring to a hireling, stock-owning Reagan-era federal judge on the extent of presidential authority to protect territorial waters to spend too much time on appointments, it would seem. I still have a few footnotes to fill in a manuscript that I’m planning to deliver to a press later today, and would be glad if anybody here wanted to offload anything that they think might be problematic in a confirmation hearing someday. I gave up on someday running Interior maybe a decade or two ago, so can close options with abandon.

  2. Comrade PhysioProf on 25 Jun 2010 at 11:23 am #

    My understanding is that it’s the Republican senatorial slime that are preventing any of these nominations from coming to the floor for a vote, not the Democratic senatorial slime.

  3. koshem Bos on 25 Jun 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Obama can ride but not hide. Once again he shows his lack of vision, resolve and fire in the belly required for the job. Johnsen may be the longest waiting for confirmation, but is not the only one waiting. A president has to put hir foot down on something, otherwise good people such as Johnsen are tortured for no resolution, while the rest of us are swept by the wave of the last Bush and the current haters of the unemployed.

  4. a little night musing on 25 Jun 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Comrade, Obama could have made her a recess appointee, just as he did with a buncha others… but he chose not to do so. I think that speaks for itself.

    http://www.correntewire.com/15_recess_appointments

  5. Emma on 25 Jun 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    A Democratic President and Democratic majority Senate finds it just a bit too easy to blame every failing on the Republican minority…..

  6. Susan on 25 Jun 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    And you know, the same goes for us. As I watched a brilliant former teacher go through a tenure fight, I decided the only thing worth doing was what I cared about, because it was easier to live with doing what you wanted to than trying to meet some imagined standards of what you should be….

  7. Historiann on 26 Jun 2010 at 7:56 am #

    Susan, great point. I think Johnsen is probably not suited for government service, precisely because of her independence and sanity. It’s too bad, because it sounds like she would have been a force for good.

    I have noticed that there are either people who speak up and do what they want to do, damn the tenure process, and there are those who are temperamentally cautious and scrupulous, and mindful always of the tenure process. Strangely, an individual’s emotional and social attitudes are largely not correlated with the outcome of tenure and promotion decisions. (That is, there are a lot of fearful and hypervigilant people who are denied tenure, and there are a lot of outspoken and even annoying people who win tenure. Making sure one has the publications is important, but there are no guarantees.)

    Emma’s point about the poor widdle Dems with “only” 57 votes is precisely my own. The Dems who own the executive and legislative branches apparently don’t want to govern. All they want to do is act like kicked dogs. So, I’m going to get my kicks in, since that’s apparently all we can expect to get out of this congress and this President. At least Republicans care about serving their base: looting the treasury to provide “tax relief” to the wealthy and to corporations, and handing out fat government contracts to unscrupulous corportations, for example. The Democrats only care about b!tching about Republicans, like Washington is one big high school.

  8. Notorious Ph.D. on 26 Jun 2010 at 9:41 am #

    I really like that quote that you finish that first paragraph with. I should have that tattooed on me somewhere that I look frequently.

  9. Comrade PhysioProf on 26 Jun 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Emma’s point about the poor widdle Dems with “only” 57 votes is precisely my own. The Dems who own the executive and legislative branches apparently don’t want to govern.

    Unfortunately, “the Dems” is not a unified political party with any kind of discipline. Many of “the Dems” want to govern, but a substantial number of them just want to enjoy their corporatist sinecures and be left alone by actual voters.

  10. Historiann on 26 Jun 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Doesn’t matter that the Dems are fractured–they always have been. It’s a voluntary affiliation that I’ve come to see is short for “we don’t actually care about winning or governing. We’re Charlie Brown, and no matter how many of us there are, we’ll never outnumber *one* Lucy. We don’t care that she never will let us kick the ball.” Why would anyone want to play on that team? After I vote in the primary next month, I’m out.

    People who want to govern need to leave and start another party. It’s happened before, it could happen again. I don’t hear too many people these days missing the old Whig party any more!

  11. Emma on 27 Jun 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Unfortunately, “the Dems” is not a unified political party with any kind of discipline. Many of “the Dems” want to govern, but a substantial number of them just want to enjoy their corporatist sinecures and be left alone by actual voters.

    Why do people say these types of things? Does it somehow change the FAIL the Democrats are engaging in? Hell, they can’t even get an unemployment benefits extension passed, they can’t even force the Republicans into an acutal filibuster of that. They just roll over and whine.

    Dems are, right now, a huge FAIL for Democratic principles and policies. Why not focus on the FAIL rather than the, I dunno, excuse? rationalization? resignation? for/to the FAIL?

  12. Comrade PhysioProf on 28 Jun 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Oh, I totally agree that the Democratic Party is complete FAIL. However, I think it is important to correctly understand why it is this way. My comment has nothing to do with excuses, rationalization, resignation, and everything to do with elucidating causality.

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