Perhaps President Obama — and, for that matter, future presidents — should take a lesson from the way we handle the Department of Defense, and apply it to the Department of Justice: Consider naming someone outside his own party as attorney general...
Having a Defense secretary from the other party makes war bipartisan, and reassures members of the opposition that the powers of the sword aren't being abused.Defense -- you mean Chuck Hagel? I remember that confirmation fight -- here are some typically bipartisan Instapundit posts by Glenn Reynolds from that time:
CHUCK HAGEL: “Let the Jews Pay For It.” Related: Obama Expected To Pick Hagel.
WHY IS CHUCK HAGEL STILL IN THE MIX? [quote from Jennifer Rubin screed about Hagel's unacceptable positions, including "poisonous animosity toward the Jewish state."] Personnel is policy. If Obama appoints Hagel, you’ll know what his policy is, regardless of what he says.
CHUCK HAGEL: It was a war for oil! [quote from Billy Kristol screed about how Hagel's "far left" and "vulgar and disgusting charge" proves he's a peacenik nogoodnik; "Is President Obama really going to nominate this man as secretary of defense?"] Well, really, isn’t Hagel a perfect fit?
SO HOW’D THAT HAGEL HEARING GO? “It is very clear from the testimony that Sen. Hagel will not be bringing the potato salad to the next Mensa picnic.” And that’s from a Democrat...
DAMAGED GOODS: Hagel's Brand Suffers from Confirmation Battle. I think the original plan was to nominate a Republican who could take the blame for defense cuts — and actions. I don’t think Hagel can fill that role usefully now, even if he’s confirmed.Etc. After Hagel got in, Reynolds did posts on him like "JAMES TARANTO ON MILITARY JUSTICE: Hagel’s Science of Logic: The Secretary compounds Obama’s unlawful command influence," and "WITH THINGS FALLING APART ALL AROUND THE WORLD, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Is Talking About the NFL. UPDATE: From the comments: 'And even there, he’s punching above his weight.'" That last one, by the way, was from nine days ago.
So yeah, reach out, Obama. The Perfesser's got your back.
Their occasional swinging of the bipartisanship incense pot probably doesn't convince much of anyone anymore, but it's always good to be reminded that our cynicism is amply justified.
Speaking of bullshit, guess who agrees with Reynolds, and in the sort of convoluted language that shows he's hoping no one holds him to it:
I'm not sure I want war to be bipartisan but the idea of a Republican AG would really restart any number of conversations that have stalled out or stopped due to acrimony all around.Ladies and gentlemen, Nick Gillespie for the libertarians, serving their traditional role in these interparty disputes.