Here’s a jaw dropper from Greg Sargent at TPM:
According to sources inside and outside the Democratic leadership, Harry Reid allowed a vote on Mukasey because in exchange the Republican leadership agreed to allow a vote on the big Defense Appropriations Bill, which contains $459 billion in military spending but doesn’t fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reid had wanted to get this bill passed before the end of this week, and in fact, the defense bill did come up for a vote late last night and was passed after the Mukasey vote.
One key reason Dem leaders wanted this defense approps bill passed, sources tell me, is that they wanted to be able to argue that they had sent a bill to the President funding the military, if not the war itself. The idea was that doing this would allow them to protect themselves in the days ahead when the battle over Iraq funding heats up and Republicans inevitably charge that Dems are refusing to fund the troops.
“This lets us argue, `Hey, we just sent $450 billion to the military,” one leadership source tells me.
So, let me see if I have this straight. We have just confirmed an Attorney General who is either so ignorant or so morally dense that he can’t say that waterboarding is torture. A good many Senators raise a good many impassioned points against his confirmation, and a filibuster is in the air. But in the end, Mukasey’s confirmation slides through like a greased watermelon on a waterslide, because– because–
Harry Reid doesn’t want Republicans to call him names??
He sells out the final tattered shreds of America’s image.
He makes all his colleagues who spoke against Mukasey’s confirmation look like wimps, fools, and ineffectual buffoons.
He gives George Bush a green light to pull out the racks and the thumbscrews.
But at least Republicans won’t (maybe) call him names.