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Editorial: Four points about the GOP's Mean Tweets standard for Biden administration nominees

Editorial: Four points about the GOP's Mean Tweets standard for Biden administration nominees

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Republican Watch Party

Last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe and other GOP lawmakers ripped President Joe Biden’s nominee for undersecretary of defense for policy Colin Kahl because of his “hyper-partisanship” and unkind tweets about former President Donald Trump.

Republican senators are being accused of hypocrisy for questioning Biden administration nominees because of harsh comments they made on social media in the past — mean tweeting.

Last week, Sen. Jim Inhofe and other GOP lawmakers ripped President Joe Biden’s nominee for undersecretary of defense for policy, Colin Kahl, because of his “hyper-partisanship” and unkind tweets about former President Donald Trump.

Earlier, the Biden administration was forced to withdraw its nomination of Neera Tanden to be director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. The complaint against Tanden? The tone of her past social media posts concerning Republican lawmakers.

Considering the history of mean tweets (and public comments) from Trump, the newfound demand for civility by some Republicans does seem suspicious.

Several points seem obvious here:

First, cyberbullying is a genuine social problem, especially for children. Something about social media, especially Twitter, seems to bring out anger and cruelty. If we truly thought the mean-tweet standard being applied to Biden nominees represented a move toward online civility, we’d embrace it.

Second, politics is a contact sport. Some of the tweets we’ve seen questioned were harsh and hyperbole but within the realm of acceptability.

Third, senators can refuse to confirm a president’s nominees for any reason. The Constitution doesn’t say that nominees need the reasonable advice and consent of the Senate, just its advice and consent.

Fourth, Democrats hold a narrow majority in the Senate. If the Biden administration nominates people that its own members can support, they don’t need any Republican votes. What killed the Tanden nomination wasn’t the lack of GOP support, but the lack of Democratic support.

In an ideal world, newly elected presidents would get to choose their advisors with relative freedom. To implement the policies that were chosen through the democratic process, senators should generally confirm anyone who isn’t truly beyond the pale.

But we lost contact with the ideal a long time ago, and everyone agrees, the other side started it.

Biden should get any reasonable adviser he wants, but the ultimate responsibility for getting them confirmed is his.


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Editorial: The new Mean Tweet standard for Biden nominees is odd, but it’s Biden’s responsibility to get his nominees through the Senate

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Best known to the public for his four years in Congress from eastern Oklahoma's 2nd District, Carson has legitimate academic credentials. He grew up in Jenks, earned his bachelor's degree at Baylor University with Phi Beta Kappa honors, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently on the faculty at the University of Virginia, teaching courses in national security and the public sector.

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Shrum is a public college and Oklahoma higher education success story, the editorial says. A native of Coweta, she did undergraduate work at Connor State College, Northeastern State University and the University of Arkansas. She earned her medical degree at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. She also has completed executive leadership and management training programs at Harvard University and Stanford University.

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