In this Findlaw article, John Dean considers ther nomination of William J. Haynes to the Fourth Circuit.
Dean, famous for his role in the Nixon administration, says this: "Plainly, the case in favor of Haynes's nomination - extremely poor even before the torture memoranda came before the public eye - is now appallingly poor. So why in the world is Bush renominating Haynes?" His answer seems to be that Haynes was renominated so the Democrats can exorcise themselves of their indigation over "Torturegate" in dealing with Haynes, thereby taking the heat off of others.
The best I can make of this article is that it does sound like something from the stereotypical thinking attributed to the Nixon administration.