- - Sunday, December 20, 2020

In the era of extreme political double-standards, what the Democratic apparatus has planned in the coming months and years is sure to stupefy — and upset — all good Americans. The first big flashpoint, of course, will occur over the Biden-Harris Cabinet appointments.

In anticipation, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, speaking from the Senate floor this past Thursday, had the following to say:

“Democrats are always lecturing Republican senators about approving future Biden cabinet nominees even if we don’t agree with them. Now, that’s pretty darn rich Trump cabinet and subcabinet nominees, even ones that had been confirmed easily in previous Republican administrations, faced obstruction and partisan no votes I don’t want retaliation for its own sake. But, the threat of holding Democrat senators to their own standards has been our only means of deterrence.”

Mr. Grassley has a point there, and if Republicans retain control over the Senate, his point will stick. After all, why should the GOP allow Democrats to write themselves blank checks after having faced every obstacle and dirty trick when it came to, say, President Trump’s judicial nominees?

Of course, the confirmation of cabinet appointments is not simply a matter of political fairness. It is also a matter of responsibility, of protecting the American people against the bad judgments of politicians. In practice, this would assure someone like Janet Yellen gets through as Treasury secretary, but former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg? How, exactly, is he qualified? Or former Obama White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough for secretary of Veterans Affairs — a man who has never served in the armed forces? Or Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, who has had to delete over 1,000 aggressive, inappropriate tweets? How is so partisan an operator fit to run the powerful Office of Management and Budget?

She is not, which is precisely why our confirmation system is so structured. We don’t want to make it any easier for extremists to make it into positions of immense power. And from the looks of it, the GOP has a big fight looming. The liberal media will do everything they can to support their political darlings, so cries of obstruction will start to mount. If Republicans go wobbly, they will cement a fate they’ve earned.

As Mr. Grassley noted toward the end of his floor remarks, “My position has always been that a president should have the ability to choose for his own cabinet people he gets along with and who agree with him on policy, provided of course that they are qualified and will follow the law.”

This sounds like a fair standard both parties should accept.

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