Tuesday, November 14, 2006


One of the tired scare tactics the GOP dragged out during the midterm campaigns was the specter of endless Democratically led congressional investigations into the various misdeeds and lawbreaking by the White House during their time in leadership; investigations they refused to carry out even with a constitutional mandate for oversight (and there is certainly no shortage of instances to investigate). But the GOP attempted to use this as a reason not to vote for the Dems. After all, there's nothing Americans hate more than accountability; or at least, I guess that's what the Republicans thought.

Now, thanks to the power of the internet, and more specifically, Crooks and Liars, we can look back to a simpler time in America, say 1994, when the GOP was poised to take over Congress and hold the almighty power of the subpoena. As John Amato notes over at C&L, "Gingrich went nuts over Clinton and his new-found subpoena power, yet if Democrats want to hold hearings on oversight and Iraq war profiteering that's supposed to hurt them." Gingrich basically ran on his ability to subpoena and investigate the Clinton White House. According to a Washington Post article at the time, Gingrich told a group of assembled lobbyists at a meeting that if the GOP wins control of Congress and the ability to subpoena, they would "spend the next two years investigating corruption in the Clinton Administration." Newt's not even being subtle about it, yet all the GOP could do was whine about the coming endless investigations if Dems regained control.

As I recall, all that investigating of Clinton turned up next to nothing as Whitewater and Travelgate and all the other "-Gates" that came along amounted to a hill of beans. Yet here we've got an adminstration that's been admonished by no less an authority than the Supreme Court, but of course Dems shouldn't waste time looking back.

I suppose that ultimately the right wing and their bobbleheads to say whatever they want - whether it's complaints about the specter of investigations or whether we elected a bunch of conservative Democrats last Tuesday - the proof will come when we're doing the investigating and we're passing a progressive agenda and we're doing what's right for the country while the sit in the corner and complain.

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