Government & Politics

Democrats Scuttle Radical Obama Nomination

Despite nuking the filibuster, the Senate couldn't come up with the votes for this Justice nominee.

Mar. 6, 2014
Adegbile and Abu-Jamal

So much for killing the filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) attempt to blow up the chamber’s tradition and stack the deck for Barack Obama’s leftist nominees was all for naught yesterday when Debo Adegbile’s nomination to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice went down in flames. Eight Democrats joined 44 Republicans in voting against cloture to bring Adegbile’s vote to the floor. Reid voted no as a procedural move to reserve the right to revisit the matter at a later date, and John Cornyn (R-TX) didn’t vote, making the final tally 47-52. Joe Biden hung around to break any potential tie, but it wasn’t that close.

Obama declared that “the Senate’s failure” to confirm Adegbile “is a travesty. Based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant. Mr. Adegbile’s qualifications are impeccable.”

Let’s look at those qualifications. Adegbile was involved in the NAACP’s legal defense of infamous cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal, a member of the Black Panther Party, had already been rightfully convicted and sentenced to death (later commuted to life in prison) for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner when Adegbile became involved. But he didn’t just provide legal representation, he became an advocate. Adegbile, like so many leftists nationwide and abroad, made Abu-Jamal a cause célèbre based on the absurd claim that he was the victim of a racist justice system. In the end, though, he was nothing more than a cold-blooded killer.

(For background on the case, see Arnold Ahlert’s excellent recap in Right Opinion.)

Adegbile’s political involvement in the Abu-Jamal case was no secret to Obama when he was nominated for the Justice post, but it was also seemingly of no consequence. In fact, Adegbile would have been a perfect fit for the administration’s scheme to politicize the Justice Department, while remaking voting laws through selective enforcement to tip the scales in Democrats’ favor for years to come. Obama, no doubt assured by Reid, also thought he had this one in the bag. But most of the Democrats who voted against cloture are facing tough re-election prospects this year and didn’t want to be seen supporting such a nominee. It’s called self-preservation. Perhaps we’re jaded, but it’s hard to believe that they really thought the president went too far.

Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) immediately took to blaming Republicans, even though it was actually their fellow Democrats who sunk the nomination. Durbin even went so far as to claim that Adegbile’s involvement in the Abu-Jamal case “demonstrates his appreciation for the Rule of Law.” This signifies one of the biggest problems Democrats have – they constantly confuse politics with law, trying to trade one for the other whenever it’s convenient for their agenda.

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