Michael Mukasey Appointed Attorney General

The nation has a new Attorney General.

The Senate confirmed former Federal Judge Michael Mukasey. But he takes the job with less support than any other Attorney General in the last half century.

The confirmation was largely a fight among Democrats about Judge Michael Mukasey's views on waterboarding. Mukasey refused to clearly classify it as torture.

In the end the half dozen Democrats who sided with Republicans said they were won over by Mukasey's experience and reputation for fairness.

He'll head a Justice Department criticized for policies on torture and electronic surveillance, and accused of politics in the firings of US attorneys. But Republicans say it was politics that held up this confirmation.

Both sides agree: the Justice Department desperately needs a leader.
This morning, it has one.

Democrats who voted for Mukasey said they were motivated as much by his sense of fairness, as they were by fear of who President Bush might temporarily appoint, if they rejected Mukasey.

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