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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Where Were You On The Night Of The 18th?

Since being reported in the Washington Post, conservatives are rallying around Jim DeMint, claiming that he has suddenly been justified in his stonewalling of Barack Obama's intended head of the TSA Erroll Southers. The report shows that Southers gave an inaccurate statement regarding an incident that occured 29 years ago.

Southers, a former FBI agent, has described inconsistencies in his accounts to Congress as "inadvertent" and the result of poor memory of an incident that dates back 20 years. He said in a Nov. 20 letter to key senators obtained by The Post that he had accepted full responsibility long ago for a "grave error in judgment" in accessing confidential criminal records about his then-estranged wife's new boyfriend.

His letter to Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate homeland security committee, and Susan Collins (Maine), the ranking Republican on the panel, attempts to correct statements about the episode that were made in a sworn affidavit on Oct. 22 and have been reported.


Conservatives seem to think that remembering any and everything that you did 20 years ago is a prerequisite to holding any form of governmental office. However, one would think that remembering taking protected/personal information about someone from a federal database would be something a person would remember. But then again, the average American isn't likely to find themselves in front of a congressional panel partially made up of people that are there to ensure that you don't get the appointment that you have been nominated for.

Even after Southers' correction was given to Liberman and Collins, conservatives are claiming that he's not suited for the position because of what he did 20 years ago. There's no mention of his prior record as counter-terrorism expert. The reason is that he ability to perform the job isn't what matters, it's all about one incident that conservatives claim would potentially happen again. But after 20 years without incident, wouldn't one think that Mr. Southers had learned his lesson?

But back to conservatives claiming that Jim DeMint is somehow the hero in all this. Ed Morrissey over at HotAir says that he did the entire US a BIG favor, so his obstructionist stance really hasn't hurt the agency, even though it actually has. This is to be expected.

Conservatives are now shouting for Obama to name another appointee and to basically start the entire confirmation process all over again. And guess what, that means that it's going to be even longer before the agency has any form of leadership. And considering Republicans verifiable history of obstructing literally every person that Obama appoints to any and every position in his administration, are we supposed to believe that if Southers is removed from consideration that DeMint - or any other Republican Senator - is going to not going to continue their obstructionist tactics? No matter who is in the position, Republicans are going to find a way to put a hold on the process, thereby leaving an agency that they claim needs leadership without any.

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