Jeff Flake supports confirmation of Obama’s questionable selection; candidate McCain can’t afford to follow suit
The Daily Signal, the Heritage Foundation’s investigative reporting arm, provides an important insight into the recent vote to confirm Carla D. Hayden, 63, as the 14th librarian of Congress.
Conservative critics of Barack Obama’s nominee were blindsided Wednesday when Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt a key Republican, engineered her lopsided confirmation by the Senate despite concerns she is, in the words of one opponent, “an unqualified, far-left progressive.”
Critics say Hayden falls short of the scholarly credentials traditionally expected of the nation’s librarian of Congress.
Despite recommendations to the contrary, Blunt, chairman of the Rules and Administration Committee, scheduled a June 9 committee vote recommending Hayden’s confirmation to the full Senate. Wednesday, the Senate voted 74-18 to confirm Hayden.
“Hayden has made a name for herself in the far-left community as a radical activist,” the conservative group Concerned Women for America wrote Blunt and the committee before that vote. “This position is not one for radical activism, but for academic honesty and integrity.”
The group made these points in a series of letters to Blunt and other members of the Rules Committee in opposition to Hayden’s nomination. In a letter dated June 7, the group wrote:
“Dr. Hayden does not possess the credentials necessary to act as the librarian of Congress, as shown by President Obama’s decision to highlight her race and gender in his nomination speech, not her academic accomplishments. Additionally, Dr. Hayden has made a name for herself in the far-left community as a radical activist.”
Prior to the Senate vote, Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, called Hayden “an unqualified, far-left progressive,” declaring “Republicans should be very concerned about what her confirmation could mean for the Congressional Research Service, which is the research arm from which they get unbiased, nonpartisan research.”
“This is someone so far to the left that The Nation magazine ran a headline when she was nominated about how a ‘radical librarian’ may soon run the Library of Congress,” von Spakovsky said in an interview just hours before Blunt’s unexpected move to bring the nomination to the Senate floor.
Hayden succeeds Dr. James Billington, a Reagan appointee who served 28 years before retiring last fall.
The Library of Congress — the world’s largest library — with an annual budget of $630 million and about 3,200 employees, controls the nation’s Copyright Office as well as the Congressional Research Service. The library also provides members of Congress with legal advice.
Although Hayden may be qualified to serve in the public library system, the librarian of Congress is a unique, distinct position that should be occupied by well-credentialed scholars and authors, Heritage’s von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.
When they think we aren’t looking, Republicrats reveal their actual left wing bent. They campaign as conservatives in their home states and turn blue on the banks of the Potomac without ever touching as much as a toe in the icy water. That’s what earned Jeff Flake and John McCain an “F” rating from Conservative Review.