My thoughts over at the Arena. Concerning the Gregg issue, Andrew Sullivan–in his inimitable way–is claiming that the Gregg withdrawal is proof that the Republicans have “declared war” on Obama. Never mind the fact that other Cabinet nominees–at least, the ones that don’t have to withdraw from consideration because of obstacles like tax cheating–have been receiving overwhelming support from both parties in Senate confirmation votes. Never mind that Sullivan’s “proof” for his assertion includes spin from an anonymous Democratic Hill staffer, and self-selecting reader comments on a Manchester Union-Leader article. Never mind as well that accusations that the Gregg withdrawal has something to do with GOP malfeasance is undercut by this:
Gregg had kind words for the president, saying the administration is “doing an extraordinary job in trying to manage this financial crisis.” He acknowledged that his withdrawal now is “unfair in many ways,” but said that he could not be a “100 percent” team member.
“The president asked me to do it, and I said yes,” Gregg said. “That was my mistake, not his.”
Yeah, real declaration of war, that. I think that Gregg was right to withdraw, for the reasons I set out in my Arena post. But partisan sniping, this wasn’t.
Of course, don’t tell that to Sullivan, who will be more than glad to scapegoat anyone and everyone with an “R” next to his/her name for the vetting failures and staff blunders of the people working for his plaster-saint-for-the-moment.