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Political Judo, Part Two: Reciprocity is a female canine

Back before the election last November (and the heady rush immediately afterward), the Democrats repeatedly assured us that they would not conduct a "government by investigation," that they would not try to govern by investigations and hearings and subpoenas. They were focused on the future, not the past, and would devote their efforts towards moving forward.

Well, that lasted long. And foolish were the people who took them at their word.

We're seeing now precisely what so many predicted, and so many denied: government by investigation. Rumors become insinuations, insinuations become allegations, allegations become accusations, and the next thing you know someone's headed for jail.

The philosophy behind it seems to be "where there's smoke, there's fire." The only problem with that theory is when it's being applied by a lynch mob bearing pitchforks and torches. When you're carrying a torch and looking for smoke, you tend to find it pretty readily.

So we have the spectacle now of endless investigations, prosecutions, panels, and the like unleashed by the Congress against the White House.

This is the sort of time when I reconsider some choices I've made in my life. A long time ago, I decided that I would not seek positions of power and influence. I would take them, on occasion, mainly on the theory of "keep the power out of the hands of the pinheads," but I wouldn't enjoy it, and look for ways out of it as soon as convenient.

Part of the reason for that is principle, but another part is self-awareness. I have a particularly twisted mind, and a mildly vindictive streak, and I know that every now and then I indulge those tendencies. And were I in the White House, I pretty much know what course I would counsel.

"Congress is conducting a series of criminal investigations, threatening people with jail, and even sending some of them to jail. I think we need to remind them that while they can do that, we -- the Executive -- have the original, accept no substitute version of that power."

In other words, if they wanna play the prosecution game, bring it on.

Dianne Feinstein recently resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee after it was revealed that her husband's companies had received literally billions of dollars from that committee. Sounds like solid grounds for a major investigation right there, perhaps even enough to make her husband, Richard Blum, "Scooter" Libby's cellmate.

Nancy Pelosi's family, as I understand it, owns a vineyard and some hotels. I've also heard rumors that they might employ a great number of illegal aliens. I think ICE ought to give them a thorough examination -- after all, we can't have the woman two heartbeats away from the presidency to be even slightly touched by scandal.

Louisiana congressman William "Cold Cash" Jefferson Clinton was caught with almost a hundred thousand dollars in his freezer that he has yet to give a plausible explanation for -- or, for that matter, any explanation whatsoever. He's still in office, still a Democrat in good standing, still under investigation -- and nearly triggered a Constitutional crisis. Time to ratchet up that investigation, see just where that money came from -- and who else might have tapped into that source of money.

Harry Reid has been involved in all sorts of questionable real estate deals, and his son is a major power player in Las Vegas. I think it's well past time to start going over his dealings with a fine-toothed comb -- considering the influence organized crime and big labor (but I repeat myself) have there, the idea that he's squeaky-clean boggles the imagination.

There's just rour off the top of my head. Considering the leadership positions of Feinstein, Pelosi, and Reid, I'm sure that if they're dirty, they're symptomatic of a "culture of corruption" that infests and dominates the Democratic Party in Congress. Who knows how deep it runs? I think only a full investigation -- with witnesses compelled to testify under threats of perjury -- can assure the American people that those who hold the reins of power on Capitol Hill are worthy of that trust.

After all, as I've heard numerous people say, "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."

If that's the game they want to play, then so be it. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. You're in the big league now, Democrats, at the high stakes table. You wanna go all in?

Bring it on.

And that is precisely why I should never hold public office.


Comments (28)

Oh Jay, but don't you think... (Below threshold)

Oh Jay, but don't you think the army making up a story about Pat Tillman's accidental death is more important than a sitting congressman's bribery?

What did anyone expect from... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

What did anyone expect from the left? If they fooled you once, shame on them, if they fool you twice, shame on you. The democrats have proven once again that their word is worthless. Promises made are not kept. The promises they made to the radical base are kept but the ones to the general public, forget it.

Right on. I have NO idea wh... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Right on. I have NO idea why GW and his administration take such a passive stance against the BS being floated all over. Incidently, I did not believe the dimmers when they said no hearings or investigations. I knew this was precisely where they were headed. It is who they are. They love blame. They enjoy ruining republicans lives. ww

Corruption is clearly bipar... (Below threshold)
MikeBC:

Corruption is clearly bipartisan and I say, by all means investigate the hell out of everyone til the place is clean. . . or at least cleaner. DiFi should clearly resign as should William Jefferson and both should probably be indicted.

"Democrats repeatedly assur... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

"Democrats repeatedly assured us that they would not conduct a "government by investigation," that they would not try to govern by investigations and hearings and subpoenas. They were focused on the future, not the past, and would devote their efforts towards moving forward."

ah Jay..nice try..how about some links that support your claim..
Where does your quote come from?
..yep there are countless polls demonstrating the disgust of voters over the actions now being taken by the investigations of the Dem House and Senate..
oh yeah..if you want to engage in link "wars"
my first "shot"
http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/07/election.exitpolls/ just show me some feedback from America that demonstrates America believes that Dems are going too far..
I still remember how the Republican Leadership..although knowing about Foley..did nothing..
Do you really believe that investigations into Gonzalas seem over the edge by Americans?

...There have been times when your point of view is supported by reality...but this is not one of them..

..yep you can discount exit polls..but the reality of the election results are not just about Iraq...

"Harry Reid has been involv... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"Harry Reid has been involved in all sorts of questionable real estate deals,"

Didn't you have to retract your post on that Jay?

Yeah. You did.

"I think it's well past time to start going over his dealings with a fine-toothed comb"

Let's hope it's not you doing the research again. Stick with the notary thing.

U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ari... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., could soon step down in the wake of a federal investigation into his involvement in a federal land swap deal and FBI raids of an insurance agency owned by his wife.

And

Retired Rep (R) JD Hayworth is now under investigation.

Barney, yes or no.... (Below threshold)

Barney, yes or no.

Should Jefferson be subject to a public investigation by congress.

yes or no. Can you do that?

More "I know I am, but so a... (Below threshold)
Ran:

More "I know I am, but so are you!" crap from the trolls.. *still looking for SOME comments from the trolls about the Dems Jay mentioned*..not JUST Hairless Reid. Fienburger?.. Palooshi?..Jeffy?..ANYBODY?.. *CRICKETS CHIRPING*

BarneyG2000:<b... (Below threshold)

BarneyG2000:

U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., could soon step down in the wake of a federal investigation into his involvement in a federal land swap deal and FBI raids of an insurance agency owned by his wife. And Retired Rep (R) JD Hayworth is now under investigation.

Since you don't seem able to grasp the obvious, I'll spell it out for you: JayTea's post regards the Democratic leadership, not odd ball criminals of lesser congressional standing. It's the leadership that is spearheading the plethora of investigations (or threats thereof) in Washington, not some freshman Representative from the smallest legislative district in Rhode Island.


Ran, I'm a Democrat, look a... (Below threshold)
MikeBC:

Ran, I'm a Democrat, look at my post. I think anyone involved in public corruption should not only be forced out of office and indicted but should commit ritual suicide, regardless of party. I won't defend Feinstein or Jefferson. I think it's pernicious to make distinctions like the one langtry is making between the leadership and the rank and file. Where do you think the leadership comes from? Unfortunately our system rewards those without a conscience.

"Should Jefferson be subjec... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Should Jefferson be subject to a public investigation by congress.

yes or no. Can you do that?" wavy

He is already under investigation by the FBI.

"not some freshman Representative from the smallest legislative district in Rhode Island." Langry
First, he represents a district in AZ
Second, He is in his third term
Forth, each congressman gets the same number of votes, One

Cold cash is nice when it g... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Cold cash is nice when it gets warm out of doors.

I'm sure that's what Cong. Jefferson was thinking about.

Or, maybe he thought money would "go bad" if not frozen within a certain period after receiving it.
It is made out of plant fiber, you know.

If they fooled you once,... (Below threshold)
mantis:

If they fooled you once, shame on them, if they fool you twice, shame on you.

Zelsie, you got the saying all wrong. Here you go.

Great article. I wish the ... (Below threshold)

Great article. I wish the pubs would grow some and start the investigations immediately!!! It's become a dirty business but if the dems want to play that game they have to be willing to pay the price.

Harry Reid has been invo... (Below threshold)

Harry Reid has been involved in all sorts of questionable real estate deals,

Oh yeah, like NO ONE has made ANY money in real estate in Las Vegas in the last couple decades.

Jeez...If Reid had LOST money on real estate in Las Vegas then I would be in favor of investigating him for stupidity.

But let's see the facts if you've got them. What did he buy, where and what did he sell it for? I grew up in Las Vegas and I can easily determine through contacts if any of those transactions were way above or below current market value (like Duke Cunningham's transactions were).


"..after all, we can't have... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"..after all, we can't have the woman two heartbeats away from the presidency to be even slightly touched by scandal."

Jay, how about applying the same standard to:
Bush
Cheney
Rove (Not in-line for presidency)
Gonzo (Not in-line for presidency)

????

Barney, that's already bein... (Below threshold)

Barney, that's already being taken care of by Congress. You might have overlooked it, as it was only the MAIN POINT OF THE PIECE.

I'm sorry it was so subtle.

J.

Bwahahahahahah, Jay.<... (Below threshold)
Wieder:

Bwahahahahahah, Jay.

By the time the American public starts digesting the implications of Tenet's book, the only trouble is that the public woill be demanding 100's of investigations. At worst, the public will wonder how the Democrats allowed the farce of the Bush/Cheney Regime to continue the lying death march into Iraq.

BTW Jay Tea, there were 1052 subpoenas issued by the Republican Congress during the Clinton presidency.

The total number of same thus far issued by the Democrats ...5.

Your premise is ludicrous.

"If that's the game they wa... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

"If that's the game they want to play, then so be it. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. You're in the big league now, Democrats, at the high stakes table. You wanna go all in?

Bring it on.

And that is precisely why I should never hold public office."

In MY opinion, that is precisely why you or someone like you (SHOULD) hold public office!!!!!!!!!!!

You would govern fairly, but if called upon you would stand up and deal with garbage.

Yeah Weider, just like the ... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Yeah Weider, just like the public DEMANDED action after Richard Clark's book, Paul O'Neill's book, Joe Wilson's book, (insert "disgruntled former govt employee looking for gravy train by using the MSM/60 minutes to trash Bush" here)'s book.

I'm sute this time it'll be REALLY different, lololol.

Wieder, you seem to have fo... (Below threshold)

Wieder, you seem to have forgotton the long string of scandals, bribery, threats, strongarm tactics, etc. that went on in the nineties. Refresh your memory by googling a timeline of the Clinton presidency. Especially his second term. It reads like a whole file cabinet full of rap sheets in a prison. Allow me to just throw out a few names there to get you started:
John Huang
James Riady
Charlie Trie
Jorge Cabrera
Wen Ho Lee
Dan Lasater
And a whole lot more

Let's go one step further and throw out some other words you may remember:
Memogate
Chinagate
Travelgate
Whitewater
Waco
Los Alamos
And a whole lot more

Only 1052 supoenas? Someone was asleep at the wheel.

metprof,You left o... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

metprof,

You left out Tenet's. He has a pension, a Medal of Freedom, and he's STILL "disgruntled". The ingrate!

Larkin-Funny that ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Larkin-

Funny that you should ask-

What did he buy, where and what did he sell it for?

BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZ. -- It's hard to buy undeveloped land in booming northern Arizona for $166 an acre. But now-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid effectively did just that when a longtime friend decided to sell property owned by the employee pension fund that he controlled.

In 2002, Reid (D-Nev.) paid $10,000 to a pension fund controlled by Clair Haycock, a Las Vegas lubricants distributor and his friend for 50 years. The payment gave the senator full control of a 160-acre parcel in Bullhead City that Reid and the pension fund had jointly owned. Reid's price for the equivalent of 60 acres of undeveloped desert was less than one-tenth of the value the assessor placed on it at the time.

Six months after the deal closed, Reid introduced legislation to address the plight of lubricants dealers who had their supplies disrupted by the decisions of big oil companies. It was an issue the Haycock family had brought to Reid's attention in 1994, according to a source familiar with the events. If Reid were to sell the property for any of the various estimates of its value, his gain on the $10,000 investment could range from $50,000 to $290,000.

Source ? It's that Conservative Rag-

The L.A. Times.

Here's your link Larkin-research away-

Link

The sad truth is that elimi... (Below threshold)

The sad truth is that eliminating corruption, as we now define it, from Congress is akin to telling the sun to leave the sky - it's just impossible.

What we now see as corrupt - jobs and contracts going to family members and political allies - was historically viewed as "patronage," the prize the winner gets for winning. The advent of civil service laws began to change this, ensuring that not every federal job would be subject to political influence. But while the obvious benefit of protecting those public servants who merely do a job instead of formulating policies from political intrigue was great for secretaries and janitors and truckdrivers, it also covered far too many positions which are, in fact, engaged in policy-making, rendering large portions of the policies of the government beyond the President's control.

With the Executive's ability to dispense patronage thus inhibited, the focus of favor-seekers turned to Congress, as should have been foreseen (and may have been).

The Founders realized that both the Executive and Legislative branches would be prime targets for those with their hands out. Their solution was limiting the powers of the central government so there would be fewer morsels to distribute, a concept wholly abandoned in the postwar years.

Now, public outcry might be able to eliminate earmarks inserted secretly, which will restrict the dispensing of some favors, but there will still be earmarks included in appropriations bills. They will only be made public before enactment, not vanquished completely.

So long as Congress spends nearly $3 TRILLION every year, there will be no shortage of friends, relatives, and political supporters beseeching each of the 535 members of Congress for their share, fair or not. In order to secure one cousin's job, a member must support many other contracts for others' political supporters or wayward children.

This could be corrected by a radical reform of the congressional budgetary process, but that will not happen. No political entity ever gives up significant powers, and budget reform necessarily entails reducing the ability of Congress to generate pork, payola, and perqs.

Like the Glen Frey song said, "It's the lure of easy money, it's got a very strong appeal."

Speaking as a liberal and a... (Below threshold)
jim:

Speaking as a liberal and a voting Democrat, I hereby hope and request that you examine all Democrats to the utmost degree for any dishonesty, illegality, fraud, and corruption.

All I ask is that you condemn Republicans to the same degree that Republicans are culpable for their own dishonesty, illegality, fraud and corruption.

That's fair, right?

I want this, because I want the Democratic Party to stay as free from corruption as possible - and I feel the current woes of the GOP stem from no one really having the power to give them a hard investigation for a long, long time. That's how people like Mark Foley were able to stay around so long, that's how the Republican budgets have been increasingly out of control, that's how Abramoff and Safavian happened, etc. etc. etc.

Investigation is hard in the short term, but when evenly applied it's the best for the nation as a whole.

Jay, again the dimmers don'... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jay, again the dimmers don't understand your post. You must type slower. Your post concerned the repeated promises and assurances during the election cycle of 06 not to have non stop hearings and investigations. Also, the 1000 plus supeana's given out during Clinton's regime is suspect. Also, one dimmer wanted facts to support Harry Reids land swindle. Why? No facts of wrong doing in the US Attorneys but the dimmers will fish and fish. No facts of Lynch and her heroics chorused by the Army. No facts that GW knew about the Tillman cover up. But when the dimmers are questioned, we need hard facts. See how they play? ww

"He is already under invest... (Below threshold)

"He is already under investigation by the FBI."

So then, it is your position that no Congressional committee should undertake an investigation of its own if the subject of the investigation is already under criminal investigation?

Think Barney. Think back.




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