Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is going to testify on behalf of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor? Huh? For the life of me, I can’t figure out why McDaniel would borrow this trouble.
Now, this isn’t going to make or break a campaign when McDaniel runs for governor, but it sure isn’t going to help and it there is no point in it.
The Democrats have a super majority in the Senate. There is no way McDaniel’s testimony is going to sway any senator, especially the odd Democrat who may have wandered away from the fold against the command of the President and Harry Reid. No offense to McDaniel, but he’s doesn’t have the stroke to matter much in D.C.
Either McDaniel knows this or he doesn’t. If he knows it, then his intention has nothing to do with the confirmation and has everything to do with trying to elevate his status to help in his future campaign for governor.
If he doesn’t know that he doesn’t have the stroke to matter, then he probably doesn’t have the political acumen to become governor. His testimony is totally unnecessary. It opens him up to criticism. The only up side I see is that it buys him political capital with the White House. But Obama isn’t exactly a popular figure in Arkansas.
So why would McDaniel ignore the example of Gov. Beebe and do anything to rock the boat? He claims he is speaking out for Sotomayor because she stands for the police; to which I say, what?
McDaniel was a member of the Jonesboro constabulary for a year, and I appreciate that. I love the police. I am certified as a specialized law enforcement officer myself. I was a member of the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be a cop. I was an attorney when I went through the certification and only did it because I supervised police officers. Those are the very same officers McDaniel used to justify the addition of law enforcement officers to his AG staff. These are men and women that put on a gun and a badge and went out and arrested people for burning down their houses, for dumping cars in the river and cheating old ladies out of money.
But I know a lot of cops and I can guarantee that 98 percent of the cops aren’t going to think McDaniel is their kind of guy over this. In fact, I know a lot of cops who are really upset because they experienced something similar to what the New Haven firefighters experienced in the Ricci case.
I don’t want a judge who is “for the police” just as I don’t want a judge that is “for criminals” either. I want a judge that is neutral and detached. I don’t want a judge who is “for” anyone. I lament judges who bend the law to release criminals and am terrified of judges who have a tendency to side with the government to the detriment of the citizens, especially this government.
Of course, it is possible that McDaniel’s reasons are completely apolitical and altrusitic. And it is also possible that the people of the state of Arkansas truly need to see their Attorney General enough that he needs to commandeer the prison plane countless time so he can fly to see them.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln has no choice but to take a position on Sotomayor. McDaniel is doing it by choice. I’m cynical enough to wonder if by his speaking out, it makes Lincoln look mainstream. It takes some of the heat off her.
But that would mean that the Attorney General is doing something for politics only, albeit a very selfless act that could hurt him. Why McDaniel is doing this is as much a mystery to me as why he thinks he needs his own police force. It doesn’t make any sense at all.