Another low for the WaPo op-ed page

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

The Washington Post continues its tradition of letting conservative columnists write whatever nonsense they want, no matter how misleading.

Today's Post features a column by former Bush aide Ed Gillespie, who writes about Supreme Court nominations:

In 1993 and '94, Republicans voted overwhelmingly to confirm Clinton's nominees on the long-held premise that presidential elections have consequences, and one of the most important of them is a president's prerogative to fill Supreme Court vacancies. ...

Sen. Orrin Hatch, then the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, summed up this traditional approach to consideration of Supreme Court nominees in announcing his vote to confirm Ginsburg in August 1993: "If a nominee is experienced in the law, highly intelligent, of good character and temperament, and -- most important -- gives clear and convincing evidence that he or she understands and respects the proper role of the judiciary in our system of government, the mere fact that I might have selected a different nominee will not lead me to oppose the President's nominee."

For most of our history, this perspective was broadly shared on both sides of the aisle when it came to the unique intersection of the executive, legislative and judicial branches encompassed in the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process. On the basis of this understanding, 41 of 44 Senate Republicans voted to confirm Ginsburg and 33 of 42 voted to confirm Breyer.

Reading that, you'd never know that Hatch recommended Ginsburg to Clinton. Republicans like Hatch didn't vote for Ginsburg because they thought the president should be able to choose whoever he wants, they voted for Ginsburg because they recommended Ginsburg to the president.

Having misled Post readers about what Republicans did in the early 1990s, Gillespie argues - more in sorrow than anger - that the GOP should set aside their traditional deference to Democratic presidents (Ha!) and fight tooth and nail against Obama's nominee.

It's bad enough that Post lets its right-wing columnists take liberties with reality. But why on earth would the paper hand a political strategist prime op-ed real estate to mislead readers?

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