Partisan scrutiny

PARTISAN SCRUTINY…. Karl Rove thinks Democratic senators are much meaner than Republican senators when it come to Supreme Court nominees.

Republicans … generally do not treat Supreme Court nominees as roughly as do Democrats. Consider their treatment of President Bill Clinton’s picks for the high court. Ruth Bader Ginsberg [sic] was confirmed by a 96-3 vote in 1993. The following year, Stephen Breyer was confirmed by a vote of 87-9. There were no fireworks at either hearing and nothing close to what Democrats did to Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

That’s one way of looking at it. The other way is to realize that Ginsburg and Breyer were consensus choices that Orrin Hatch had endorsed before Clinton even nominated them, while Bork was a radical ideologue that even many Republicans were uncomfortable with, and Clarence Thomas was a right-wing jurist who apparently sexually harassed Anita Hill.

Other than the overwhelming differences, though, Rove’s comparison is the kind of sharp insight we’ve come to expect from the Wall Street Journal columnist.