Call it hypocrisy.
Call it cognitive dissonance.
Call it political opportunism.
Call it whatever you like after Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) asked the White House to withdraw Brett Talley's nomination to be a U.S. District Judge in Alabama.
And he got his wish as either Mr. Talley or the White House withdrew his name from consideration for the bench.
If you remember, the American Bar Association rated Mr. Talley "unanimously unqualified" for the position after his testimony that he had never set foot in a federal courthouse in his capacity as a lawyer.
Despite the ranking from the A.B.A., the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Grassley voted 11-9, along party lines, to approve Mr. Talley's nomination and to send it to the Senate for a confirmation vote. Which means that the very man who called on the White House to withdraw the nomination, voted for it in committee.
By the way, both John Cornyn and Ted Cruz voted in favor of the nomination despite the fact that Mr. Talley was not qualified to sit on the bench. But what the hell, boys? He has an R after his name and we need all the R's on the bench we can get, don't we?
Oh, what, pray tell, did Sen. Grassley discover that he didn't already know before voting to approve the nomination?
Was it the fact that he failed to disclose that his wife worked in the Office of the White House Counsel? Was it the fact that he was a ghost hunter? Was it something about his support of the KKK?
I find it hard to believe that in this day and age no one had any knowledge of these matters. I think it was only after they became public that some Republican senators decided they couldn't afford to vote in favor of his confirmation -- even though they voted to approve the nomination.
It is customary in the Senate for the senior senator of the President's party either to submit a name for nomination or to give his consent before a person is nominated. Sen. Richard Shelby, the senior Republican senator from Alabama, announced his opposition to the nomination when the wind started blowing a bit harder. At some point he, too, had to have gone along with the nomination.
While this matter is humorous in a way, it is also quite scary when you stop and realize that he was appointed for a lifetime post. While there are many judges of all political stripes appointed to the federal bench who are well-qualified to sit on the bench, there are some nominees who have no business getting near the inside of a federal courtroom.
Mr. Talley was one of those. Everyone involved in the process by which his name was put forward by the White House should be publicly shamed.