From the Washington Times:
Emboldened by the ouster of presidential adviser Van Jones, conservative and business groups are launching fresh challenges aimed at derailing President Obama’s nominees.
The latest of these targets is David Michaels, Mr. Obama’s pick to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), who as an academic published a book attacking corporate executives for the tactics they used to fight class-action lawsuits. Republican critics said they considered Mr. Michaels to be too close to trial lawyers because of his aggressive advocacy on their behalf … The drumbeat of criticism aimed at Mr. Michaels follows a pattern that began with the case of Cass Sunstein, who last week was confirmed by the Senate as the White House’s top regulator. Critics attempting to kindle doubts about Mr. Sunstein first outlined their objections on conservative blogs.
Regardless of the outcome, [Grover] Norquist said, such cases represent an important shift in Washington.
For several months, he said, many Washington lobbyists and advocacy groups were reluctant to challenge a new administration that was showing widespread public support, and had strong backing from partisan majorities in Congress.
Mr. Norquist said he thinks the summerlong activism in town-hall meetings, rallies across the country, Mr. Jones’ resignation, and Mr. Obama’s declining poll numbers, have persuaded Republicans to fight presidential nominations that raise strong objections.
“Traditional K Street was paralyzed by fear of the Obama administration,” Mr. Norquist said. “The first reaction was, a president who has 60 votes in the Senate can pass anyone he wants, so why complain.”
Now, he said, they have realized “it’s worth the fight.”
It is worth the fight, he said, because at a minimum, it forces members of the Senate to think carefully before casting a vote on someone who may carry some political baggage.