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Politics Rochester

Mike Green’s failed nom: questions for the Mustard Street blog

Seriously, who doesn’t love some good speculation? I know I do.

After three years of waiting around, the failure of Mike Green’s nomination to the federal bench leaves everybody who watches politics in this town scratching their heads at least a little. Well, everybody except Philbrick over at the Mustard Street blog. Here’s some of what he has to say (though the whole thing is worth a read):

Mustard Street: It Wasnt Republicans Who Stopped the Green Nomination.

Schumer is as happy a partisan warrior as anyone on Capitol Hill. If Senate Republicans were killing the Green nomination, he’d have been highly vocal about it, to say the least. Instead, we heard his suprisingly lukewarm comments last week. Today, making lemonade out of the lemon, he’s made the obligatory boilerplate statement saying Republicans scuttled it, the usual stuff of Washington’s partisan miasma.

The long and short of the article seems to be that skullduggery in the DA’s office over what Philbrick refers to as “false prosecutions,” seem to be somehow the root of what he paints as Democratic distaste for the nomination. I’ll confess to complete ignorance on the two cases he’s referring to. I don’t have time at the moment to do a lot of digging on that count, either.

But does this whole thing not seem just a little out of proportion and myopic? Firstly, whether the two cases cited were wrongful prosecutions, its hard to imagine very many DAs seeking federal judgeships for whom such allegations cannot be found. Not that its not an important and serious charge, but I do wonder how common it is.

Second, all this takes place here in Rochester. While I don’t want to downplay our importance to world affairs, I have to think that unless there is some really egregious example of genuine abuse of power, the politics of the Senate would outweigh the petty politics of one city with very little effort.

Philbrick makes the argument that the White House seems to be quick to let the nomination go away. Three years. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

As for local politics and the jujitsu move of getting Mike Green confirmed to the federal bench so he doesn’t get elected to anything around here…. oh, boy. This is one of those highly-meta types of arguments for which I need a lot more evidence than this. “Too cute by half,” I believe is the phrase.

By the way: wrongful prosecution of a Rochester resident holds a lot more political firepower to Rochester politics than it does to national politics. The two arguments practically cancel each other out.

Of course, Mike Green makes the argument that local politics are what lost him the nomination. I find that as equally hard to believe from him as from Philbrick. Its possible that everybody just got bored, three years later.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.