Sen. Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, has just thrown a wrench into the Eric Holder hearings planned for early January, saying Holder's involvement in the Marc Rich pardon is a "red flag" and a "very serious matter.
But Specter is already applying the brakes, indicating that Republicans are going to make a big deal out of Holder at the hearing. Specter said he sees no way in which the Holder hearings could happen before Jan. 26. Specter said he still needs to see thousands of pages of background documents and Holder's FBI background check.
"There are questions that need to be addressed," Specter said in a Senate floor speech.
And to think, Obama already got reassurances from the GOP before he made the pick a few weeks ago:
President-elect Barack Obama’s transition strategists are now satisfied that Eric Holder will be confirmed as attorney general despite plans by Senate Republicans to ask tough questions at his confirmation hearings, Democratic officials said. Plans to name him to be the nation's top law enforcement officer are now definite after aides took soundings from Capitol Hill, the officials said.
Republican senators plan to grill Holder about his role in President Bill Clinton's controversial last-minute pardon of the international financier Marc Rich. Republican Senate aides said they expect "tough" and "interesting" hearings, but said they know of no plans to try to kill the nomination.
You can always count on Republicans to keep their word. Yeah, right. Obama has just received his first lesson on the meaning of the word "bipartisan" in the Wingnut Dictionary.
It essentially means is that there is bipartisanship only when Conservatives and Republicans are in the majority, the Democratic Party votes with them to pass their laws and they get to block any amendment or bill a Democratic member makes.
And if Democrats do try to speak out against Republicans then they are painted as obstructionists who have no ideas. The media then just nods its head and moves on.