The political horse-trading and parliamentary sleight of hand that went on in the Senate during the Manion judgeship vote, did not exhibit that august body in its finest hour. How refreshing it would be to witness our representatives voting their best judgment rather than political expediency.
But political expediency was clearly the order of the day. How else can you explain Reagan nominating a man--to a federal court just one step below the Supreme Court--with these "qualifications": Manion could not win the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee; he was deemed "not qualified" by 44 prominent law school deans; his legal experience is limited, his briefs are (we are told) of poor quality, his grammar and spelling deplorable.
The President was upset that the "liberals" opposed a man of such sterling qualities, saying the opposition was based purely on ideological grounds. I'm upset that he would scrape the bottom of the barrel to nominate a man, purely on his ideology, to the next-to-the-highest court in the land.