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Note to the GOP: This Is Why You Don’t Vote to Confirm Partisan Hacks

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I noticed earlier this week that, even though it was obvious in his confirmation hearings, Attorney General Merrick Garland was going to be a partisan hack. He was nevertheless confirmed 70-30 in a bipartisan vote that had the support of 20 Republicans. Garland did not need their support to get confirmed. He also didn’t deserve it.

Republicans gave him more than a vote to confirm him. They gave him a vote for confidence and the White House is now using it to counter the accusations of politicization against the Justice Department. On Sunday, Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary, disputed Rep. Elise Stefanik’s assertion that the FBI raid on President Trump was an “abuse and overreach of its authority,” partly by pointing out that Garland was confirmed in a “bipartisan manner.”

Jean-Pierre stated that “This isn’t about politicizing anything.” She also claimed that “I would remind our people on the other side, that the FBI director [Christopher Wray] has been appointed by the president,” she said. This ignores the fact that Trump has long been critical of Wray. “I remind those on the other side that Merrick Garland was confirmed in a bipartisan manner.”

So while the Republicans’ votes had no impact on the outcome, they were nevertheless significant because they gave Garland bipartisan legitimacy that he didn’t deserve. This bipartisan legitimacy is what the White House uses to defend the Justice Department from accusations of politicization.

Congratulations, Republicans for a job well done.

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