Daily Kos. Like getting the newspaper nine months in advance.
Friday marks six months since the House Judiciary Committee moved to hold White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to the committee's subpoenas.
It's also roughly one and a half years since Nancy Pelosi told the world that the most important thing about winning back the majority in the House could be expressed in two words: subpoena power.
In July, they said they needed to do the FISA bill, but would get to the contempt issue right away when they got back in September. But September was Magical September, and they said they needed to deal with Petraeus, and they'd surely get to it in October. In October, they said they had to do appropriations, and they'd surely deal with it in November. In November, it was SCHIP, but they'd definitely do it before the first session adjourned. Then in December, they adjourned, saying it'd be taken up within the first couple weeks of the second session.
And now? Well...
"Right now, we’re focused on working in a bipartisan fashion on [the] stimulus," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), indicating that the contempt vote is not expected for weeks, depending on how quickly the stimulus package moves.
Keep in mind that these are subpoenas issued in the probe into the political firing of the U.S. Attorneys around the country, and the use by the White House of other U.S. Attorneys to conduct politically targeted prosecutions and investigations of their bogus charges of "voter fraud" against Democrats. It's the trumped-up fears of such alleged fraud that in turn have led the DOJ, in conjunction with state and local Republican parties, to conduct the racially targeted purges of voter rolls around the country -- purges that are intended to put Democrats at a distinct disadvantage at the polls by suppressing their ability to cast ballots on election day.
I don't know if any of you have noticed, but we're actually kind of heading into another presidential election this year.
Does anybody feel like we've gotten to the bottom of what the Republicans and the Bush DOJ has been up to on this score? Does anybody feel like we've really gotten a handle on rooting out the people and policies responsible?
Does anybody think it might, you know, maybe be important for 2008?
Because it actually is 2008, you see.
Pelosi told TIME, "Anybody who's ever dealt with me knows not to mess with me."
Psst. Don't look now, but I think they're messing with you.
So here we are, with the subpoenas still unenforced in the case that was supposed to crack the "administration's" engineering of bogus "voter fraud" allegations against Democrats immediately preceding critical elections wide open, and now witnessing... the "administration" engineering bogus "voter fraud" allegations against Democrats immediately preceding a critical election.
What ever happened to those bipartisan brownie points were were supposed to have earned with the stimulus package that, like, totally saved the economy? Or for that matter, from passing the $700 billion bailout package that, like, totally saved it from the saving we gave it last time?
For abandoning our attempts to end the war rather than be accused of "defunding the troops?"
For abandoning our attempts to stop retroactive immunity for FISA lawbreaking by the telecom companies (lest they not assist perverts in the NSA in passing around digital files of phone sex calls from soldiers in Iraq to their significant others)?
For abandoning the decades-old commitment to the protection of our shorelines in exchange for some nebulous roll of the dice on maybe getting a couple bucketsfull of oil in ten years?
Where? Where are our brownie points? Where's the dry powder dividend here?
What did we do with all the "oxygen" we decided not to "suck up" with this issue and related issues of accountability?
With the possibility of some significant gains in the House this year, we may be looking at a fairly sizable freshman class. Now, as everyone knows, it's these first term Members of Congress who are the most vulnerable in the next election, which is why it's typically the instinct of the leadership to protect them as much as possible. Combine that with the old (and mostly true) saw about how the party in the White House tends to lose seats in Congress in mid-term elections, the leadership could really find itself on edge when it comes to thoughts of maintaining or solidifying any gains from 2008.
Does anybody get the sense that right after the election might not be "the right time" to tackle these still outstanding issues, lest we lose the momentum for our agenda of change? And does anybody get the sense that after waiting a little bit, heading into the 2010 elections won't be "the right time" either, lest we endanger the majority that enabled us not to add correcting the mistakes of the past to our agenda of change earlier in the year?
No, you should by no means let these concerns keep you from hitting the streets to win in November. But assuming you do and you win, these concerns should keep you from settling back in on the couch when we're done.