The Jade Monkey

I didn't have a superiority complex until inferior people gave me one.

Name:
Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

12.02.2004

Unpublished Business

Thought I'd start today by (briefly) addressing 2 items, both about happenings in Congress, that I wanted to talk about but never got around to, one already rather out of date, the other still relevant, if a bit late.

1. Sensenbrenner, Hunter, and the Intelligence Czar:

First, I must admit some level of bias against the 9-11 commission, as I felt (rightly, I think) that it was doomed to become political, not to mention largely unnecessary, as it was easy to tell what went wrong and what needed to be fixed. It was, in short, a laughable, pathetic sideshow. I never had a problem with Jamie Gorelick as many pundits on the right did. She never seemed to me to be the partisan hack that Bob Kerrey and Richard Benveniste were, taking outrageous adversarial tones in their questioning. I felt it was as wrong to try and blame Bush as it was for some on the right to play CYA and blame Clinton. While he surely made some mistakes in hindsight that may have been contributing factors, I don't think they were necessarily unreasonable moves given the situations at the time, and at any rate that way solves nothing.

Nor do I think their word and recommendation ought be taken for Gospel. I don't think they should be adopted just so Congress is seen to be doing something. I think the debate over the details is healthy, and I think Sensenbrenner and Hunter's concerns are fairly legitimate. That said (and I know I'll take heat for even appearing to side with a RINO), I think both Susan Collins and Duncan Hunter made valid points this Sunday morning in their "debate," and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Debate and tinkering is a good thing, but I think the bill passing in large part, with a few minor modifications, is probably also a good thing. I don't think the President would be for it if it posed a serious threat of endangering the troops (that said, the one issue I do take some issue with the President on - immigration, although upon some consideration I've come a lot closer to his position than I ever thought I would - is the one on which Sensenbrenner's objections largely seem to hinge. Nevertheless, I'm not sure this bill is the appropriate place for that debate).

2. Tom DeLay Bends the Rules:

This one's the one that's already out of date (and so I'll be even briefer), but much like #1, I find myself somewhere in the middle. Even creating the appearance of inpropriety, of a compromise in principle, is something I simply can't take lightly. It's yet another thing, like the Specter debacle, that can only be used against us. That said, I can completely understand the motivations behind it, too. The partisan attacks of the Democrats must be thwarted, and if the move prevents unserious charges from being brought in the first place because the prosecuter realizes he won't bring down the leader, well that can only be a good thing too. But I still hope they change the rules back immediately once this nonsense is over.

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