A man who was too extreme for the U.S. Senate, but not too extreme for President Obama or Sen. Mark Udall, has withdrawn his name from consideration for being the next head of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Nearly six months after he was rejected with bipartisan support, Debo Adegbile, the controversial nominee, will instead return to private practice.
Opposition to Adegbile was fierce, with seven Senate Democrats defecting to vote with Republicans. The primary reason Adegbile’s nomination was met with such resistance was Agegbile’s willingness to help commute the death penalty sentence of a cop killer. With many vulnerable Democratic Senators voting no at the time, Udall instead acceded once again to Obama’s wishes and voted yes; showing, yet again, he is in no way capable of thinking independently of Obama and the White House. As one Democrat who can think for himself, Sen. Joe Manchin (D- WV) told The Washington Post at the time:
“I made a conscientious decision after talking to the wife of the victim,” Manchin told reporters. But the senator, who usually likes engaging with reporters, was otherwise tight-lipped on his decision, saying repeatedly that “I made a conscientious decision.”
A statement by an anonymous Democrat to The Washington Post illustrates just how willing Udall is to buck Colorado just so he can stay in the good graces of Obama:
…several offices were “very angry” with the White House for moving ahead with the Adegbile nomination even though they knew it created an unnecessarily uncomfortable and politically treacherous vote for several vulnerable Democrats in tough reelection races this year.
“It’s a vote you didn’t have to take. It’s a 30-second ad that writes itself,” said the aide, who asked for anonymity in order to speak frankly.
Udall’s 99% voting record with Obama is not just about how Udall is too liberal for Colorado, it is about how he has more allegiance to the power-brokers in D.C. than he does to representing us Coloradans. If Udall can’t understand how nominating a man who was willing to take the side of a cop killer is not what the people of Colorado want, then it just shows how out-of-touch Udall has become from Coloradans.