In his inaugural address yesterday, President Obama proclaimed an end to the "petty grievances ... that for far too long have strangled our politics." And today, what's he dealing with? What seems like a lot of seemingly petty grievances.
For example, President Obama still has no Treasury Secretary. Despite the fact that after a week's delay Tim Geithner finally faced a confirmation hearing. He's expected to be confirmed eventually - even by the GOP senators who spent today voicing concerns about mistakes he made on his income taxes.
Republican objections are also responsible for the delay in getting President Obama's Secretary of State confirmed.
Hillary Clinton's vote didn't happen until just a few hours ago. And that's because a certain senator from Texas... who is not named Kay Bailey Hutchinson... apparently still had some questions about Bill Clinton's foundation and the donations it gets from foreign entities and, even though this Texas senator said Hillary Clinton was qualified and that he indeed intended to vote for her confirmation, he felt it was necessary to hold up the process for a beat.
Now, principled opposition to any nominee is not a bad thing. Democracy! But when the person in opposition isn't really opposed and votes for the nominee? And just enjoys the delaying tactics for the purposes of getting attention? That person doesn't get his name mentioned on the TV because that would seem to be rewarding his only motive.
Finally, that same nameless GOP Senator is also responsible for the hold-up of another important member of President Obama's team: Attorney General-designate Eric Holder.
The Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on Holder today but now Republicans have gotten that pushed back, too -until next week- citing his answers on torture as a rationale.
That's three vitally important Cabinet nominees, delayed by people who appear to end up voting to confirm them anyway.
While the power of one individual Senator to take a stand - be it in a filibuster or a confirmation hearing - is one of the great things about our system of government, individual Senators who hold up important confirmation hearings for no other apparent reason than to call attention to themselves seems not only petty, but just plain wrong.
Which means that once again, I need someone to talk me down...