In his latest in a long string of classy moves, Tom Coburn has placed a hold on Dana Perino’s nomination to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which runs the Voice of America. That’s the same Dana Perino who was GWB’s last press secretary. If she’s qualified to do anything, she’s certainly qualified to supervise America’s propaganda operation.
Every political system has its strange rituals. Unfortunately, one of ours is Senatorial privilege, and it’s gone from a minor eccentricity to a major obstacle to getting anything done.
If you watched the BBC election coverage last night, you probably saw David Cameron’s appearance at one of the UK’s little rituals — the local election board proceedings. Cameron had to share the stage with a half-dozen nutcases, including one dressed like Jesus, who were running in minor parties. The first hand he shook belonged to some strange ranger from the Monster Raving Loony party.
Cameron was gracious and humble through the whole thing. It was clearly an act, but he pulled it off well. I wonder about the last time Tom Coburn had to be that gracious and humble. Judging from his recent behavior, it was a hell of a long time ago. I suggest we trade our little ritual of letting Senators indulge their every whim with the UK’s ritual of having every candidate stand around and exude humility and good grace in front of their opponents on election day. I doubt it would make a real difference in someone like Tom Coburn, but it would be a hell of a lot more fun to watch than endless discussions of the goddam filibuster.