Put on your hip boots: Charges of McCarthyite lynch mobs are on their way. The nomination of Daniel Pipes to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace has been put off after the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee failed to get a quorum in his confirmation hearing.
Here are two stories, from the Arab-American Insitute and JTA News. AAI's Jennifer Salan tells me there doesn't seem to be a new date for hearings, and there's a slight chance President Bush may appoint Pipes during the August recess, allowing him to skip the confirmation but only serve until the end of the 108th Congress.
I still maintain that Pipes' credentials more than qualify him for the job, but I take with much salt the Chicken Little conspiracy mongering that depicts poor Pipes as the victim of CAIR, AAI and the other usual suspects. They're out to get him, and he's out to get them—a point that gets lost in the hysterical shrieking of Pipes defenders like David Horowitz. This is a straightforward case of two sides dedicated to inclusion doing their best to exclude each other from positions of influence. (For a more reasoned defense, see Mistah Kurtz's argument that the Arab and Muslim groups should be engaging Pipes rather than attacking him.)
Interestingly, Pipes himself is an old hand at studying the conspiratorial style in politics.