Yesterday, I heard that Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman said that he had a mind to bring for White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan before Waxman's committee and have him give sworn testimony. PLEASE, MR. WAXMAN, DO IT NOW!!!
Of course, the problem is that if he does that the political gain for the Democrats evaporates the moment that McClellan takes the oath. Given the rapid news cycles these days, once the hearing is over a new issue will replace McClellan's. For politicians of both sides, the point isn't solving the problem, it is getting as much political gain out of each and every issue. Between the two parties, the Democrats play the game masterfully. When they held the majority, the Republicans were stupid enough to either let issues die or to run with hearings and advance legislation that solved problems rather than using them for political gain.
Anyone notice that the Democrats have not done a thing about gas prices other than piss and moan? Anyone notice that the Democrats have accused Bush of all sorts of criminal acts but have never held a single hearing looking into any of it? There's a reason for all of this: The Democrats don't want a solution--they want the issue. That's why you will see nothing come out of the recent Senate hearing with the oil executives. (Besides, that was simply a media event that was staged solely to give the Senators a chance to vent for their constituents.)
So, we hear about "possible" hearings into the allegations by Scott McClellan. We have Nancy Pelosi blinking her way around the country and praising Iran for the success of the surge in Iraq. (Sorry. Had to throw that one in there.) You have Democrats of every stripe braying about the high oil prices, accusing "big oil" of gouging, and threatening a windfall profits tax and stripping the oil companies of subsidies.
The answer to all of this is for the Republicans to say: "Okay, let's vote. Bring it on. Take your shot." Indeed, I'd almost be willing to let the Dems have a windfall tax and let them strip the oil companies of their subsidies just to let the country see how destructive such a proposal would be. But, hey, you want to impeach Bush and Cheney? Bring it to the floor and we'll vote this afternoon. You say the oil companies are illegally colluding to raise gas prices? Fine, you guys pick any special prosecutor that you want (heck, you can have Eliot Spitzer if you want) and then you can bring it on, investigate to your hearts content. You want out of Iraq? Great! Let's vote right now! Up or down! The Dems would flee in terror from that. "How dare you!" they would scream. The last thing in the world they want is to have to vote on something. They don't want to solve anything. They only want the issue, not the vote.
Even though the Dems have the power in both houses to hold hearings and pass legislation, they don't want to do that. The Republicans should be out there every day of the week telling the press "We're ready to vote on that today." But then, that would be asking the Republicans to do what is impossible for them: Lead.