Chavez Withdraws From Consideration for Labor Post.
January 9, 2001 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Chavez Withdraws From Consideration for Labor Post. Looks like Bush decided to cut bait on this nomination.
posted by rorschach (25 comments total)
Here's a question. Do you think the Repulicans, and then, Chavez deserve this?
posted by tiaka at 1:20 PM on January 9, 2001

Depends on the antecedent of "this."

Did Chavez (and other nominees who are still waiting to hear the shoe drop) deserve to be Borked? I don't think so.

Will this be a serious setback? I don't think so either. The only way this hurts Bush is that it frees up liberal resources to Bork other nominees, at least until he picks his next nominee for Labor.
posted by mikewas at 1:30 PM on January 9, 2001

What do you mean? Of course they deserve it. In Washington, if you don't do your homework you get slammed. Doesn't matter what the issue is. It happened to Clinton, it happened on West Wing fercryingoutloud. Now it happens to Bush. And anyhow, it's the Republicans who set this boundary in the Baird case - stands to reason they have to live with it now.

The message here is: get better at vetting people. No one's going to give you a free ride.

Plus - this frees up the Dems to really hammer Ashcroft. I bet the Republicans will be quietly going around saying "OK OK we had Chavez fall on her sword, now let's play nice with Ashcroft." And I bet it won't happen.
posted by mikel at 1:33 PM on January 9, 2001

Chavez completely deserves this, for reasons outlined in the previous thread. Even if the woman wasn't an employee, Chavez knew she was here illegally and helped her find under-the-table work from a neighbor.

AP is reporting that Bush asked her to withdraw her nomination.

I just watched the smarmy "you won't have Linda Chavez to kick around anymore" press conference. Calling herself a victim of the "politics of personal destruction" after participating in the attack on Zoe Baird for similar behavior is rich hypocrisy. Bush's Cabinet is better off without her.
posted by rcade at 1:34 PM on January 9, 2001

Mr. Ashcroft, you're up...
posted by owillis at 1:38 PM on January 9, 2001

What the hell does "deserve this" mean? you break the law--this is what they said at impeacment times--you get called for it. I don't harbor illegals. I don't have them work for me and then say I only gave them money and then got them citizenship and then put them on the payroll. Why should she or any political figure, from either party?

What bothers me more, though, is that Bush. like other politicians, again from both parties, must first come out and take a strong stand for the candidate and then back off once it is clear that the repercussions are big ones.
Can't they simply make a statement that they are waiting for all the facts to come in?
I must say I am delighted that Ms Chavez is going. She is hardly a good person to represent labor when in fact she seems totally opposed to laborers. Unless they work for her.
posted by Postroad at 1:53 PM on January 9, 2001

Another one bites the dust. Good riddance.Allow me to point out the total hypocrisy of Chavez from the following link."Chavez, 53, has been a foe of affirmative action programs, an opponent of minimum wage increases, and a fiery conservative commentator -- whose targets included Zoe Baird in 1993, when she withdrew as President Clinton's nominee to be attorney general because she had illegal aliens as household help and did not pay social security taxes on their wages. Chavez said at the time that the illegal alien aspect of that case was more troubling than the tax issue."No one does moral hypocrisy like the Republican Party.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 2:15 PM on January 9, 2001

Here's another question.

Given the righteous-indignation-without-moral-foundation of so many high-profile Republicans, why is anyone surprised that events like this whole Chavez thing happen so regularly?

And why do Republicans (okay, both parties do this, but the GOP seems to have elevated it to a weekly occurrence) have the annoying and counterproductive habit of throwing stones from their own glass houses?

Okay, that's two questions.
posted by chicobangs at 2:31 PM on January 9, 2001

Why do so many cabinet nominees have domestic help? Whatever happened to the cabinet "looking like America?" Do any of you have servants? (Illegal or not?) Wow, that's three and a half questions.

posted by norm at 2:36 PM on January 9, 2001

Why do so many cabinet nominees have domestic help?

That's been my question. I don't even know anyone who has domestic help. I guess if you're a big enough and bad enough political thinker, you need all your time to consider policy issues, even before you get nominated.

Or maybe they're all just overwealthy scum.
posted by daveadams at 2:49 PM on January 9, 2001

Overwealthy? What the hell is that? Do you want to "liberate" the money? C'mon...
posted by owillis at 2:56 PM on January 9, 2001

Canadian Members of Parliament spend a few months in Ottawa every year, and a few months in their home ridings. I'm assuming Congress works the same way, it's not always "in session" is it?

So domestic help, to keep the place up while serving the nation, shouldn't be completely unheard of.

Plus the standard Congressperson's salary has to be reasonably decent, in the what, $80k/year range or so? Most were also probably corporate lawyers before running for office (y'know, going from the teat of one Source of Evil to another :-) and therefore (because all lawyers are bad and rich, or am I being redundant again? :-) likely have nicely padded bank accounts.

Oh, I almost forgot,

obRepublicanDig: Especially the Republican Congresspeople!
posted by cCranium at 3:01 PM on January 9, 2001

This is just so stupid.

Whoever gets confirmed will implement whatever policies President Bush wishes to have implemented.

Whoever gets confirmed will doubtless have committed a variety of infractions of sundry sorts in the course of living life -- the only question is whether or not they are brought to light.

I have more to say on this general theme in the Ashcroft thread.

posted by MattD at 3:13 PM on January 9, 2001

Welcome to government, where accountability matters. Over at Salon, David Horovitz seems not to have learned this. He ought to get a taste of his own medicine PDQ.
posted by holgate at 3:45 PM on January 9, 2001

Cranium, after Congress convenes, it's in session nearly continuously until it adjourns 23 months later. They take certain recesses, typically a couple of weeks two or three times per year, in which they visit their home districts. Aside from that, nothing. It's not uncommon for them to hold sessions 7 days a week for weeks on end.

I don't hold our Congress in very high regard, but the fact is that they do work their tails off. It's a shame the results don't ever seem justified by the effort level.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:52 PM on January 9, 2001

Do you think the Repulicans, and then, Chavez deserve this?

Well, I don't know if "deserve" is the right word. It appears Chavez simply chose not to tell them about this woman, knowing that if she had she probably wouldn't have been nominated in the first place. Bush and Cheney place a very high value on having their people be upfront with them; Chavez wasn't, and Cheney told her to get lost. It's not even so much about whether Democrats ought to have used this against her, but about whether she can be trusted by the Adminstration in the first place. They simply weren't willing to waste precious political capital on a confirmation fight for someone they no longer had faith in themselves.

Anyway, in the end this will probably be a positive for Bush. There are basically three special-interest groups fighting against his cabinet nominees: abortion rights activists, liberal black political organizations, and the unions. The first two groups will never be satisfied: They hate Bush and hate Republicans, period, and would never shut up unless Bush appointed liberal Democrats to all important Cabinet positions, so they can pretty much be ignored. (No reason to try to appease those that are simply out to get you.) Unions, though, are willing to bargain; you give them a little something, they'll give a little back. And they're most concerned about the Labor Department, obviously. So Bush can make a deal with them: He'll nominate someone more moderate than Chavez, on the condition that Big Labor eases up on the other cabinet nominees. So in sail Ashcroft and Norton, after some contentious hearings (mostly for show).
posted by aaron at 4:49 PM on January 9, 2001

BTW, this whole Chavez thing shows how pointless these FBI-investigations-from-Hell are, where they rip your entire life apart and force you to admit every parking ticket you've gotten, every person you've ever kissed, since you were 16. All it does is waste government resources and money, put nominees through sheer hell (would you want your entire life delved into by the Feds for 3 solid months?), and drive a lot of the best potential appointees to refuse to even be considered. Because no matter how deep they dig, they'll always miss something important anyway.

Some digging is fine; you don't want to nominate someone who turns out to be a child molester. But the current system is nuts.
posted by aaron at 4:55 PM on January 9, 2001

Overwealthy? What the hell is that?

A joke.
posted by daveadams at 5:07 PM on January 9, 2001

Score one for the Dems!!
posted by Bag Man at 5:13 PM on January 9, 2001

I don't understand how this can be a score for the Dems. Unless you buy the original Pres. Bush's rhetoric that illegal immigration is the cause for all of the country's woes...

This woman helped an illegal immigrant by giving her a job. She did not smuggle the woman under the border. She didn't buy her off a truck when she got her. She gave a job to a woman from a country which the INS does not consider worthy of immigration. WTF is wrong with that? Were all of your ancestors considered 'legal' immigrants?

But, the only reason I like Chavez is caught she got caught breaking the law. I like politicians that do that.
posted by Neb at 6:22 PM on January 9, 2001

NJ Gov Whitman Employed Aliens Too.No, not the big headed, big eyed grey kind.But will anyone give a damn? I doubt it.(Thanks to Ethel the Blog)
posted by Mr. skullhead at 7:18 PM on January 9, 2001

Certainly any citizen of the United States may be as rich as they can possibly get. Holding a cabinet position, however, is not a constitutional right. If every person running the government is from the top 1% of the wealth pyramid, what hope do we have that they will take anyone else's interests into account?
posted by dhartung at 8:14 PM on January 9, 2001

That's not an argument that's going to mean much to members of the United States Senate. Lotsa very rich people there.
posted by aaron at 9:44 PM on January 9, 2001

Even very rich people, and especially senators, have to occasionally pay attention to other not-so-rich people's interests (even if it's just when they're running for re-election). Rich or not, they're as accountable to the will of the people (and not just the "special interests" you describe, aaron) as anyone.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 11:15 PM on January 9, 2001

She is hardly a good person to represent labor when in fact she seems totally opposed to laborers.

I thought the government was supposed to be a neutral arbiter between employers and employees, or was that repealed by the AFL-CIO?
posted by mikewas at 11:10 AM on January 11, 2001

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