Congressman Jim Matheson responded to the story about his brother's nomination to the federal court--just as President Obama is trying to persuade the congressman to switch his vote from No to Yes on health care--with this statement to Fox News:
"I am happy for my brother... The federal 10th Circuit Court will gain a judge devoted to judicial integrity, fairness and knowledge of the law. The Weekly Standard's piece is rubbish."
By pretending that the issue is whether or not Scott Matheson is qualified to be a judge, Congressman Matheson and Jonathan Chait are deploying a "weapon of mass distraction," to quote another estimable Democrat, Alan Grayson. No one has questioned Scott Matheson's qualifications; my original post included his sterling credentials, as detailed in a White House press release.
The real question is whether or not the White House used the nomination to influence Congressman Matheson's vote on health care. Did the White House engage in an explicit quid pro quo, i.e., did someone in the administration threaten to hold up the nomination until Matheson agreed in private to vote for the bill?