Senate Threatens To Block Nomination Of Federal Reserve Chairman Over Stance On Abortion
Democrats appear poised to block the nomination of President Bush's choice of Ben Bernanke to replace retiring Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan due to the nominee's stance on abortion.
Citing an allegation that Bernanke once made his pro-life views clear during an argument while at lunch in a Harvard cafeteria, Democrats are wary of what the nomination of an "activist" chairman could mean to Roe vs. Wade.
"I will not give my approval to anyone who conceals from the federal government or this nation's economists their view on a woman's right to have an abortion," said Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. "Though I'm sure he'll make a very good Fed chairman, I cannot submit to allowing any pro-lifers in any position of government anywhere."
The importance of the abortion issue in Bush nominations of John Roberts and Harriet Miers has overshadowed nearly every other issue, and continues to be a sticky point for any Bush nominee. Despite a very public performance record of his days on the Board of Governors and before, many still express concern over Bernanke's alleged pro-life views and their effect on the economy.
"Guess whose wife has never had an abortion?" asked Senator Kennedy distastefully. "That's right. Mr. Ben Bernanke. How can this man regulate the economy if he's too busy thinking about unborn babies all the damn time?"
"I will not vote 'yes' until I am convinced that there is no chance of Dr. Bernanke lowering the minimum wage and deflating the economy just to keep poor women from having abortions," announced Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). "His credentials in all other aspects are outstanding, but the women of this nation need their abortions without a Fed Chairman who will legislate from the chair."
Many Republicans also expressed skepticism of Bernanke -- oddly, for the same reason.
"If you ask me, Bernanke really sounds like the name of somebody who would burn babies if he had the chance," said former Majority Leader Tom DeLay. "That is just outrageous, and I can't believe he hasn't been put away for that."
DeLay then remembered that almost nobody pretends he is sane enough to listen to anymore, and stopped talking.
In a sign that even he does not have much confidence in Bernanke making it through, President Bush has already begun talking up his "backup nominee", a First National Bank ATM machine that the President says "has been a mainstay in the Crawford banking community for years, and can even give instructions in Spanish."
"Though the '6' key is sometimes jammed, this fella commands deep respect in the financial community of Crawford, Texas, where the machine stands out amongst the other gas station ATM's as the community's preferred automatic banker," Bush said.
Drawing from his vast knowledge of the works of Issac Assimov, and in particular his classic "I, Robot", Bush stated that he made his decision based upon The First Law Robotics.
"The great philosopher Will Smith once said that a robot cannot harm or, by inaction, cause a person to come to harm," proudly and knowledgeably stated the President, "which means that every time the interest rate is raised, it is done so with only the public's best interest in mind. You can bank on that kind of trust."
Even this nominee, though, already has potential opposition.
"This candidate has not left his post at 'Happy Go Lucky's Gas For Cheap' station since his arrival three years ago," complained Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD). "We don’t know what kind of real-world experience this candidate has, and I'm just not convinced that it will know what to do when faced with major decisions like when to raise minimum wage, or how to pull the economy out of recession, or if it even understands the basic economic tenet of 'needs vs. wants'."
If the nomination is in fact shifted to the ATM machine, Industry insiders expect the process to be protracted until the new candidate can satisfactorily answer the Senate's questioning over its position on the Roe Vs. Wade decision.