Unprecedented except for the precedents

Good grief, Media Matters will say anything. Like this:

what press cannot bring itself to report this week: Dems have NEVER EVER mounted a campaign to block cabinet pick the way GOP is w/ Hagel

“NEVER EVER” except for lots of times. I guess this hinges on a narrow and unspecified meaning of “the way GOP is w/ Hagel”, because there have been plenty of defeated cabinet picks:

  • Henry Dearborn (War) under Madison
  • James Porter (War) under Tyler
  • James Green (Treasury) under Tyler
  • Thomas Ewing (War) under Andrew Johnson
  • Henry Stanbery (Justice) under Andrew Johnson
  • Charles Warren (War) under Coolidge, twice
  • Lewis Strauss (Commerce) under Eisenhower
  • Robert Wood (HUD) under Lyndon Johnson
  • John Tower (Defense) under George H.W. Bush

That’s including only the nominations that were formally rejected, not those that were withdrawn in the face of opposition, or that prevailed against opposition. It’s not easy to find out who fought the long-ago nominations, but certainly Democrats mounted the efforts to defeat Warren, Strauss, and Tower. That’s three times, indeed four if you count Warren twice.

Finding the full list took some Googling, but John Tower at least is obvious. The campaign against Tower was fairly recent, and was quite memorable, because it hinged on the argument (offered with a straight face!) that womanizers were not fit to serve in the cabinet. (Yes, Ted Kennedy was among the 52 Democrats who voted against him.)

So when Media Matters bleats about the right-wing bias of the mainstream media, they are lamenting that the media is only 97% in the tank for Democrats. Sometimes a left-wing talking point is too absurd even for them.

(Via JustOneMinute.)

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