Monday, May 17, 2004

Don't bite the hand that feeds you...

Senators to Press Scandal
For congressional leaders to get into such questions when a president from their party faces a tough reelection campaign isn't the way the game is meant to be played in Washington.

These days, politicians tend to march in lock-step with their party leadership, always "on message" and quick to deny their opponents even the smallest opportunity to exploit a weakness. That's partly because the political climate is highly polarized and partly because elected officials have become dependent on ideological constituencies that demand total loyalty.

As a senator, [Armed Services Chairman] Warner is also a child of an earlier era. He grew up when chairmen and senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, such as former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), were powerful players in military affairs, courted and consulted by presidents and senior defense officials regardless of party.

"Warner is a man of the Senate. He revels in the institution's traditions, and he knows that oversight is an essential part of the Senate's work," said a veteran congressional analyst.

Warner and his committee believe they have been treated cavalierly by Rumsfeld and his senior aides, which they find personally and institutionally offensive. For example, committee members are quick to recall that Rumsfeld appeared before Armed Services the day CBS News reported on the Abu Ghraib scandal — without notifying any of them.

"The entire Senate was shocked that they were not given any notice or even a whiff of this imploding scandal," a Senate GOP aide said.
Apparently, some Republican senators are finally going to do something to counter the current administration's obsession with secrecy and duplicity. And it only took 3-1/2 years!

It's not hard to see why they're ticked, either. They've been faithfully carrying water and toeing the party line for these criminals without question and have received little, if any, acknowledgement. I wouldn't want to tangle with a roomful of Senators with bruised egos in an election year. You reap what you sow, Dubya.