Saturday, August 04, 2007

The House's Watergate

That's what Thursday night's blatant Democrat vote theft on a victorious Republican motion to deny agricultural boodle to illegal aliens has become in the space of forty-eight hours. The House Donk leadership appear to believe they're in some serious doo-doo given that they've consented to a bipartisan investigative committee of the sort they've sicced on Republican presidents in the past:

The House last night unanimously agreed to create a special select committee, with subpoena powers, to investigate Republican allegations that Democratic leaders had stolen a victory from the House GOP on a parliamentary vote late Thursday night.

The move capped a remarkable day that started with Republicans marching out of the House in protest near midnight Thursday, was punctuated by partisan bickering, and ended with Democratic hopes for a final legislative rush fading. Even a temporary blackout of the House chamber's vote tally board led to suspicions and accusations of skullduggery.

While Democratic leaders hoped to leave for their August recess on a wave of legislative successes, the House instead slowed to an acrimonious crawl that threatened to stretch the legislative session into next week.

The agreement to form a special committee was extraordinary. Such powerful investigative committees are usually reserved for issues such as the Watergate scandal and the funneling of profits from Iranian arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s.

"I don't know when something like this has happened before," said House deputy historian Fred W. Beuttler. He called the decision "incredible."

I'd call the decisi0n damage control. What the Dems did Thursday night was something extraordinarily difficult to do: they pissed off the Republicans into unified partisan anger. If Crazy Nancy and co. tried to bulldoze arrogantly ahead with business as usual the minority would declare open partisan warfare, the already meager accomplishments of this Congress would be lost, and by a year from now swing voters, who love "bipartisanship" and "working together" and "putting aside differences to get things done" and all those other moronic "moderate" bromides, would be ready to take out their disapproval on the party most responsible - and that quite clearly would be the Democrats.

So they beat a hasty retreat. This investigatory panel will submit an interim report on September 30th and a final report a year from now - interestingly, right smack in the middle of the 2008 general campaign. But, in the mean time, it will satisfy the Democrats' most immediate need: pacifying GOPers. Once calmed down, this incident will blow over, this panel can be back-burnered, and the Dems can move inexorably back to where things stood before Thursday evening. By Christmas eveybody will have forgotten about it.

The only thing that could re-open that scab would be another "indiscretion" re-highlighting the Democrats' true dictatorial nature. After they expand their majorities and install Hillary! in the White House next November, they won't have to worry about keeping their left-wing autocratic plans under wraps. But until then they'll have to be more careful. This "bipartisan investigatory panel" will see to that.

That, and never letting Mike McNulty near the speaker's gavel again.