Thursday, January 6, 2011

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

As you noted, the recent deal between President Obama and Senate Republicans had some winners and losers. But, as Joe Posnanski recently noted in a profile of former Washington Generals coach Red Klotz, defining who is or is not a loser can be difficult.

Another example of this difficulty is found in President Obama's renomination of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler to become a district court judge in the United Stated District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Justice Butler had been a loser on the deal to get judges confirmed in December.

The article doesn't explain why this nomination has a better chance of being confirmed than last time. Given that the opposition to the nomination was based, at least in part, on the same things that led to Justice Butler's defeat when seeking reelection, one would not be blamed for thinking this renomination is also doomed. Despite this, as the article notes, the renomination "was expected."

So what are we to learn from this turn of events? Perhaps the lesson is that persistance pays off. At the moment, however, the only lesson I learned is that I really don't understand how Washington D.C. works.


  1. the only thing I can think of to explain this is that Obama doesn't really care about filling judicial vacancies, and intends to trade Butler for something else. (I.e., he'll get something - say, a republican's support for new filibuster rules - in exchange for withdrawing Butler's nomination.)

  2. It appears that Obama just re-nominated everyone who he nominated in the previous Congress. So perhaps he feels that this is a winning issue for him politically, on the whole, even if there are a few stinkers in there.


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