Glenn Thrush has a statement from CBC Chair Rep. Barbara Lee that certainly sounds like they’re reserving the option:
“In this light, Sen. Gregg’s record of previously voting to abolish the Commerce Department and his attempts to block President Bill Clinton’s efforts to secure adequate funding for the 2000 census raise troubling concerns regarding his commitment to the department’s core missions.
We may know more when they get around to putting the press release on their own site.
This may be a symptom of a larger dissatisfaction: check out this OpenLeft article for a general, if unintentionally hilarious, critique of Gregg from a reactionary trade protectionist* point of view. The census thing is also going to bug a whole lot of Democrats who were looking forward to playing games with the reapportionment (trust me; the bureaucrats can always find a way) that will follow it: not that Rep. Lee can just come out and say it (she’s no Jim Cooper, who by the way is well on the way to being cordially hated this morning by the Online Left**). And, of course, there’s the entire “voted to abolish the Commerce Department” thing. Now there’s some prime irony, there: fortunately, irony’s one of the two things that DC runs on***.
I expect that none of this will matter, although I’d like Gregg to reaffirm his commitment to free trade and fair censusing, just to cause trouble. What with all the own-goals that the Obama administration has been making lately, he wants a smooth pick here. The Senate GOP will go along, partially because of the desire for the appearance of comity, probably because it’ll help clear the deck for them hammering the Democrats on that partisan-pork debt bill, possibly because it will tickle them to put in charge of Commerce somebody with a history of hating the department; couple that with the Democratic Senators unwilling to raise a stink themselves and Gregg shouldn’t have any problems.
So I of course advocate that the Online Left should decide to fight and die on this particular hill. They probably won’t – if they didn’t dare oppose Obama on FISA and rendition, why should they do it here? – but they so totally should.
*They prefer the term “fair trade;” but then, they also prefer getting their coffee from quaintly humble Third-World one-step-above-peasants UNTIL THE END OF TIME, so my sympathies for their feelings is sharply limited. Or perhaps nonexistent.
**This is not even up to the level of a decent rumor, by the way; but I’m reading that he’s being contemplated for HHS. I suppose the delay on that is that they want to make sure that he has a tax problem in his past before making the announcement.
***I can’t say the name of the other thing that it runs on in polite company; but then, you already know what it is anyway.
Crossposted at Moe Lane.