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May 11, 2004
Mark Dayton, Partisan Political Hack

Mark Dayton, our illustrious senior Senator, managed to make a name for himself again today in the hearings regarding the abuses at Abu Ghraib. While the rest of the Senate asked questions of Maj. General Antonio Taguba, who spent months investigating the incidents, Dayton could not be bothered to ask one single question. Dismissing the opportunity to actually get information from an important witness, Dayton instead spewed forth with his partisan posturing during his entire ten minutes, making clear that the purpose of the public hearing was to score as many points against the military and the administration:

On the other side of the aisle, Democrat Mark Dayton of Michigan [sic] never asked a question during his time, instead using it to accuse Pentagon officials of sanitizing the abuse and obscuring the truth.

"That's why the pictures have been so important," he said. "The pictures showed us the truth. ... We were told there were papers and orders ... and everyone followed those orders except for a few people who did very bad things unbeknownst to anyone else who were all doing what they were supposed to be doing to save American lives."

"Those pictures were disruptive," he added, "because they defy that sanitizing."

Someone please tell me any purpose served by opening these hearings to the public? So far with this Senate Armed Services Committee and the 9/11 Commission, public hearings have delivered counter-productive behavior from panelists, and in this case, the volatile rhetoric tossed around so carelessly will cost American lives in the field. Now we have senators (ours, unfortunately) who don't even bother with the pretense of asking questions before drawing conclusions.

Mark Dayton has exposed himself as a partisan political hack, as well as a dullard, twice in the past week. Minnesotans need to keep this in the forefront of state politics for the next two years and commit to replacing him with an intelligent and serious individual in 2006.

NOTE: I just realized that CNN put Dayton in Michigan instead of Minnesota. Normally, I'd make fun of that, but under the circumstances I'm inclined towards gratitude instead.

UPDATE: H-Bomb sounds pretty darned happy to have CNN move Dayton to the Motor City. Check out his blog; he's a 23-year-old Minnesota conservative, an endangered species at times. I've blogrolled him under the Northern Fleet.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 11, 2004 5:29 PM

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