When not trying to force a pullout from Iraq, their main effort has been chasing Bush-administration scandals that loom large only in their fevered imaginations. Democrats consider this “change,” but it is really a toxic repeat of the Republican investigative onslaught against Bill Clinton in the 1990s and of the Democratic one against Ronald Reagan in the 1980s — in other words, business as usual when Congress confronts a hated presidential adversary.Oversight of the government is an important function of Congress and one that should be taken seriously. The GOP didn't do it very well when they ran things under President Bush, arguably the GOP Congress didn't do it at all. But the Democrats have run screaming in the opposite direction and have become so wrapped up in trying to find the "gotcha" moment that they have all but ignored the rest of their business.
The Democrats’ latest tactic is to give an implicit choice to Bush officials: They can either come to Capitol Hill to testify so Democrats can try to build a perjury case against them, or they can refuse, in which case Democrats will cite them for criminal contempt of Congress. Either path leads inexorably to Democratic calls for a special counsel. Democrats love the prospect of another couple of Patrick Fitzgeralds, drumming Bush officials out of public life with onerous legal bills for their trouble.
While the House's legislative hopper is scheduled to get a motion to impeach Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today, there is not much for the Democratic Congress to point to in terms of legisaltive successes. Congress may be on the verge of passing a lobbying reform bill, of which parts are likely to get tossed out by the Courts for violating First Amendment freedoms. Their "Ethics" reform bill should be a joke in the Simpsons movie, and this Congress thinks that American problems are too esoteric to be considered by Congress that it must talk about other nation's problems.
In the meantime, prominent liberal commentators are discussing positive signs in Iraq, much to the Democrats dismay, our immigration laws are in desparate need of enforcement, we have a growing crisis in entitlements and a whole host of other problems the government should be addressing. But right now all we get for our taxpayer money is more investigations of political questions, more subpoenas that can and should be ignored and empty threats of contempt of Congress charges.
At this point, I don't want more "scandals," I want my tax dollars back--at least I know I can put them to good use.