The hits just keep on coming from the Democrats on the search for a replacement for David Souter on the Supreme Court. Last week, Harry Reid told a nation stunned by a series of high-profile appointment disasters in the Obama administration to take comfort in Barack Obama’s hiring ability. Now, Joe Biden claims that the White House intends to rely on the judgment of the Chicken Little who warned everyone off of public transportation as their guide to the next Supreme Court nomination:
The person in the White House most knowledgeable about Supreme Court nominations sits in the vice president’s office.
With President Obama filling his first high court vacancy with the retirement of Justice David H. Souter, Vice President Biden finds himself regularly consulting with the president and fielding queries from the White House counsel and others for insights on the process.
“The president is basically taking advantage of my experiences by asking me nuanced questions about both individuals and timing,” Biden said in an interview Friday. “We’ve gone through specific nominees, which we’re burrowing in on.” …
Although Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is leading the search, which is being run through the White House counsel’s office, Biden and the president have gone over lists of potential nominees, discussed the best ways to approach senators about a prospective pick, and talked about when it would be best to announce a choice.
For Biden, the consultative role is part of his expanding portfolio as Obama’s all-purpose adviser, globe-trotting emissary and political handyman.
Hasn’t this administration already demonstrated the astoundingly bad judgment of their Vice President enough in the first four months? Following his gaffes would be a full-time occupation, but the swine flu advice he dispensed went beyond gaffe into the dangerous and absurd. If people actually took Biden seriously, which fortunately almost no one does, his remarks on how the flu would spread through public transportation could have panicked people into pulling their children out of school, ended all but the most necessary public interactions, and killed an economy already wounded to its core.
Is that the kind of sober, calm reflection that Barack Obama needs to select a jurist for the highest court in the land? Is this a prospect that instills confidence in an ability to appoint a rational Justice? Or should we wonder what kind of panic Biden might be setting off in the White House about judges like John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas?
It’s time to get back to the time-honored tradition of sending VPs off to foreign funerals as their main duty. In Biden’s case, it should be his only duty.