July 6, 2007

Oversight Overkill

Republicans have criticized the White House for its poor communications skills and its inability to get its message out to the general public. Those critics will find themselves happy with the latest White House pushback against the Democrat-controlled Congress. The Hill reports that the Bush administration has quantified the amount of time Congress has spent on oversight hearings, and compared that to the amount of actual legislation Congress has managed to produce.

At Heading Right, I argue that this shows some responsiveness on the part of the Democratic leadership that has been lacking on other parts of their program. That sets up a big conundrum for the Democrats in next year's elections, as these efforts have left them rather vulnerable for a big fall.


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Comments (16)

Posted by Gary Gross | July 6, 2007 11:45 AM

As I said here, this is just the first White House shot across the bow. Expect other shots to happen when President Bush vetoes a number of the spending bills this fall.

It's long past time we got their attention.

Posted by Carol Herman | July 6, 2007 11:57 AM

Ah, yes, the ONE-PERCENTers are in charge of the freak show.

Too bad for them that between pelosi's rag and her driving skills, they're really not in a position to either brag. Or hide. Seems like they've made the radar screen, though, before "touch down."

Touch down happens when lots of people vote.

And, so far? The Bonkeys aren't adding voters. And, you have to exclude from the sounds you hear from them, that they've got their base screaming louder. Pounding harder.

While, it's the Inernet that grows.

I call this a TIPPING POINT. See? All you need is one guy. Like Paul Revere. To start alerting the farmers. Then? The best instruction remains: Don't fire until you see the white's of their eyes."

This means? The fightings up close. And, personal. So let the Bonkeys be led by a woman whose big on waving her rag. See if I care?

Posted by Lightwave | July 6, 2007 12:27 PM

It's not only long past the time the White House hits back on the "oversight" but that it works to put an end to the Democrats' grandstanding.

The ads write themselves: "You put them in charge in order to get something done. All they did was waste time and money with nothing to show for it, when the most important issues of our time were ignored."

And when the President correctly kills the billions of extra pork dollars in these spending bills this summer, it's going to get even more important that this White House wins the war of words.

Posted by brooklyn | July 6, 2007 12:29 PM

Interesting subject...

In relation to the criticism for the Bush Administration's communication, the cynics were happy with it prior to the reelection of 2004.

In an objective light, fairness, the Bush Administration faces one of the most slanted press, media, opposition, etc., in modern memory.

Again, no one should ever believe a President can do it alone...

Posted by the fly-man | July 6, 2007 12:29 PM

Oh, so now it's time for accountability. How many investigations did Dan Burton preside over? Give me a break.

Posted by Tom | July 6, 2007 12:33 PM

Oh, so now it's time for accountability. How many investigations did Dan Burton preside over? Give me a break.

Posted by: the fly-man

I believe Burton issued over 1050 subpeonas to the Clinton administration. Thats quite a few, no?

Posted by TW | July 6, 2007 12:50 PM

Only six a day? They're just getting started! There's so much to dig into between now and, oh, I dunno, election day 2008?

Given that Congress is evenly divided there's no way the Dems can pass any meaningful legislation on their own anyway - can we say 'Stem Cell Research'? I knew you could.

Besides, it's starting to look like Congress may have a bigger task:

Majority favors impeachment of VP:


Posted by IanY77 | July 6, 2007 1:05 PM

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who wasn't in a coma during the 90's. Remember when we had to look at Chelsea Clinton's slumber party list to check into executive power abuses? Oh, and Ms Herman, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this website is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


Posted by Darren | July 6, 2007 1:09 PM

Hey, isn't it GOOD when Congress doesn't get much done? I'd love to see them spend all their time fussing about the Executive branch (as part of the system of checks and balances) rather than getting legislation passed!

Posted by docjim505 | July 6, 2007 2:09 PM

Gotta agree with Darren: a do-nothing Congress is a Congress that does no harm. We need to encourage them to waste their time. Could we offer to pay them to stay home?

Posted by hapmoorii | July 6, 2007 2:30 PM

Also with Darren on this one. Why do we measure success by the number of pieces of legislation passed? Whichever side it comes from, the bills usually do more harm than good.

Posted by William | July 6, 2007 3:16 PM

I'm with Darren also. The less they do, the better off we all are.


Posted by MarkJ | July 6, 2007 3:21 PM

"Why do we measure success by the number of pieces of legislation passed? Whichever side it comes from, the bills usually do more harm than good."

This is why one of the greatest ideas, in my humble opinion, to come down the pike would be to directly tie congressmen's salaries to how much money they SAVE.

Ergo, the usual suspects could then propose all the spending bills they wanted...but they'd quickly stop once they realized they weren't going to get pecuniary "Scheisse" out of them...because such spending would, in effect, be cutting the pay of their colleagues!

Perhaps this is the key: want to stop the idiocy on Capitol Hill? Then make sure congressmen are hostage...to EACH OTHER.

Posted by Darren | July 6, 2007 4:09 PM

MarkJ, I love it! Now, how to get enough of the pigs to vote themselves off the gravy train...

Posted by docjim505 | July 6, 2007 5:29 PM

"Oversight" is a wonderful thing for a member of Congress: he gets to be on TV so the good folks back home can see him harumph and voice "grave concerns"... but he doesn't actually have to DO anything.

Oh, sure, I know: he has to show up for the occasional committee hearing (usually when the cameras are around), listen to his staffers give a quick summary of the issues (usually while on the way to the golf course), or possibly even read one or two of the staggering number of documents provided by the executive branch (usually while waiting for a lobbyist to drop by the office to discuss the size of this month's payoff... er, campaign contribution).

But he DOESN'T have to cast any votes that might come back to bite him. He gets to look busy and "congressional" without ever having to take a definite stand on anything other than his committment to good, honest, open government. Who could criticize him for that?

And that's the great thing about oversight.

Posted by harleycon5 | July 6, 2007 11:38 PM

Wow, the big bad whitehouse is going hog wild...hmm.

I am not holding my breath waiting for the President and "the Architect" to come up with a master plan to deal with the Dems.

Sure the Democrats are an easy target IF they go on the offensive. But lets look at the pitiful past:

1. Multiple leaks by the CIA results in a probe that uncovered the leaks. The President then prosecuted the culprits, resulting in jail time for the players. Bush then addresses the subject of the "internal enemy" to the American people via a stunning speech where he chastises the NY Times for siding with the enemy.

Oh wait, that never happened, the leaks continue.

2. Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson go on the talkshow circuit saying that she was "outed" by the President and Karl Rove.
The Whitehouse circulates it's own people and make it clear that via the fact that Plame was not under cover for a period of years, she was not considered a "covert agent" so no crime exists. They also remind the American public that it was supreme nepitism that drove Plame to recommend her hb for the job of investigating a Yellowcake purchase in Niger, although Wilson did little more than lie about the truth of the matter, and mostly spent his time lounging around the pool and writing a false story. This claim would also be buttressed by none other than Liberal Christopher Hitchens, who details that the Yellowcake purchase was indeed valid, and that Plame is nothing more than a Liberal prima donna.

Nope, that never happened either.

The Bush Administration decides that certain Federal prosecutors need termination. The Liberal media immediately goes after Alberto Gonzales, spurring an investigation by the Democrats. Upon being questioned about the firings, Gonzales is questioned about the reason for the terminations. He responds, "Any and all Federal prosecutors serve at the pleasure of the President, he has the right to terminate any of them at any time. Next question." Gonzales refuses to apologize for anything.

See a trend here?

Weakness is something that can be expected from the Bush whitehouse. This is something that even the corrupt Clinton Administration never tolerated. I don't have high hopes for any surprises here.