House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in an e-mail that Pelosi supports "measures that have been reported out of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, and such efforts need strong bipartisan support."
That seems to put the ball squarely in the GOP's court -- where it does not belong. As Stewart noted, "It's really not the Republicans' job to bring it up. It's the Democrats'."
If anything, the Durbin bill makes Kagan look like a seer. In 1997, she and her policy colleagues opposed the Sentencing Commission's 1995 recommendation to apply the five-year minimum for 500 grams of either crack or powder in favor of a proposal to trigger a five-year sentence for 25 grams of crack or 250 grams of powder cocaine.
"The one downside of this recommendation is that the proposed approach risks placing the (Clinton) administration in the center of a debate that has no center -- with members of Congress attacking from both directions," Kagan and domestic policy adviser Bruce Reed wrote in a 1997 memo.
In 2010, the dynamics have changed little -- except that both sides have gotten better at blaming the other guy for inaction. There is no center. Everyone's pure and there is no progress.