"Specter of Action"

Howard Kurtz's Column at the Washington Post:

Once upon a time, Congress engaged in oversight of the executive branch.

In the last five years, though, that concept has been tossed out the window. The Republican-controlled Congress has little desire to investigate, examine, audit, scrutinize, challenge, call on the carpet or in any way bother a Republican White House. With precious few exceptions, it's been rubber-stamp time. (This in sharp contrast, of course, to the zillion congressional probes of the Clinton administration.)
Nice opening. This could be good.
But one committee chairman is about to change that, and you may not be surprised to learn that it's Arlen Specter.
Damn. I knew there had to be a catch.

Now, I appreciate the concept of investigations into the President's law breaking. I think they'd be a great first step towards impeachment. But let's be real here. This is 'Pro-Choice' Arlen Specter that let how many judges, Supreme Court Justices or appellate judges, get through his committee, appointed by a president controlled by Anti-Choice zealots?

And once these sham hearings are held, the Republicans, either in congress or on the campaign trail, can say "this was all investigated and nobody found anything! The Democrats are just stirring up stuff and aiding terrorists."

And if Democrats retake control of any part of congress (big if) the Republicans will use the same argument to prevent anybody from revisiting the subject.

* * * * *

If I could be sure that Specter was the Senator I thought he was four years ago, I'd be all for these hearings. At the time, Specter was my Senator. I would defend him, periodically, as a reasoned conservative. I thought he was someone I could respect. He's never been a Christo-fascist or used the issues that they support to get elected. His position was 'Pro-Choice' when it came to abortion. I guess technically, it still is. He was a moderate. His voice in the Republican Party was, in my opinion, one that benefited the country - if only by acting as a counter balance to the 'Fundies.

Since then, I've seen him cave to many times to the parts of his party he claims to oppose. I'm hoping he'll win me back with these hearings. I'm not holding my breath.

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