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When "None of the Above" Is The Right Choice


Nancy Pelosi has, thankfully, chosen to reject both Hastings and Harman, the obviously correct option. The evidence against Hastings is pretty compelling, and taking a bribe as a federal judge isn’t the typically vacuous “character” issue; it suggests a lack of ethics and judgment in ways that can affect policy. Moreover, the political hit would have been immense, and it’s not as if Hastings was so great on the merits it would be worth paying the price. Meanwhile, Matt is right that Hastings’s only virtue was not being Harman: “Hastings shook some dudes down for $150,000 and ruined three FBI investigations. Jane Harman, by contrast, supported an invasion of Iraq based on bogus intelligence that’s costs hundreds of billions of dollars and killed hundreds of thousands of people. Who do I have more doubts about?” Avoiding both of them was clearly the right call, and kudos to Pelosi for bucking the various caucus pressures and doing it.

Alas, it seems as if the oft-touted Rush Holt is out of the running. I don’t know much about any of the three viable candidates, but while it’s not literally true that they can’t be worse than the two who were passed over it seems like a safe assumption.

…UPDATE: As Matt Weiner points out in comments, I should note that Yglesias is just stipulating to a worst-case scenario; Hastings is almost certainly innocent of the charges of sabtoging FBI investigations.

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