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A Page from the Liberal Play-Bork

Long before President Bush named his first round of judicial appointees last week, Senate Democrats were plotting payback. Armed with the almighty blue slip, they would exact retribution for every Clinton nominee given thumbs down by the GOP majority. But when the White House offered a notably moderate slate, the liberal avengers were shamed into sheathing their swords. Minority Leader Daschle grudgingly admitted, "I am pleased the White House has chosen to work with us," and the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy sputtered that he was "encouraged."

So what's left for a band of bloodthirsty liberals eager to exact their pound of flesh? Look no further than one Ted Olson - esteemed constitutionalist, renowned attorney, sterling selection for Solicitor General but for one black mark: Mr. Olson is a conservative. Now the "encouraged" Sen. Leahy is "troubled." Seems Olson sat on the board of The American Spectator during an investigation of the Clintons dubbed the "Arkansas Project." Though Olson claimed no "inception, organization or ongoing supervision," Leahy and his liberal comrades (the same ones who had no problem with presidential perjury) claim he might not be telling all he knows, and brought Olson's nomination hearings to a halt last week by staging a walk-out.

This morning the news is hopeful: Judiciary Chairman Hatch is "optimistic" that Olson will be approved and has scheduled a vote for Thursday. The vote should break Olson's way, but either way there's a lesson here on the care and feeding of liberals. Conciliation may be a watch-word in this White House, but the opposition plays by different rules. They take no prisoners, accept no peace offerings, and have no plans for meeting in the middle. Conservatives would do well to take note.

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