Upon assuming office last year, President Obama nominated Ms. Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Ms. Johnson has an impressive resume. She is more than qualified for the position. And, oh yeah, for several years she worked as an attorney for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.
Like so many of the President’s nominations, this one has gotten caught up in the partisan bickering between Obama and the Republican Party. Still, perhaps emboldened by his victory on healthcare, a few days ago the President decided to bypass the stalled confirmation process during the Senate recess and appointed 15 of his nominees.
Unfortunately, Dawn Johnsen was not one of them.
The White House has not said anything specific about why Ms. Johnsen was not on the list. They merely confirm that they have appointed 15 other people.
Now, all of this is conjecture. I can’t prove a thing. But why do I have the feeling that she was not appointed because of the fear of enraging the anti-choice movement? Sure, there are about 50 other nominees who were not appointed as well (if you’re gonna appoint 15, why not go all the way?). But why is my stomach turning on this one?
Maybe I’m being too sensitive. Maybe writing a blog every day on the most controversial issue of our time is turning me into a warrior, a cynic. Maybe there are many other political machinations going on here that I am not aware of.
But what if I’m right?
Imagine the White House staff sitting around the office, looking at the list of nominations. When they got to Dawn Johnsen’s name, what was the reaction? Why do I believe that the word “abortion” came up, that the collective eyebrows all went up in unison and no one had the stomach to fight that one?
Geez, I hope I’m wrong.