(Washington Times) — Members of the U.S. Senate surely are tempted to give their insufferably arrogant colleague from Massachusetts a pass in confirmation hearings for his nomination to become the next secretary of state. Quite apart from the tradition of senatorial courtesy practiced in the exclusive club once known as “the world’s greatest deliberative body,” most of them must be anxious to see John F. Kerry leave it.
There are, however, compelling reasons to resist this temptation and ensure that Mr. Kerry is subjected to rigorous scrutiny with respect to his past conduct, his judgment and his policy predilections. Conventional wisdom holds that he is certain to be confirmed. Whether that proves to be the case or not, senators have a duty to serve as the framers had in mind — as a means of ensuring quality control with respect to Cabinet-level and other senior presidential appointments and with respect to the treaties that a secretary of state in particular is wont to promote.