Friday, March 23, 2007

Oversight Can Prevent Hurricanes!!

Ronald Brownstein opines on the L.A. Times opinion page:

At times, President Bush's second term has resembled a laboratory test of what happens to a large institution when all mechanisms of accountability are disabled.

The results have not been pretty.

Hurricane Katrina, the chaotic occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, the breakdown at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the FBI's abuse of Patriot Act powers, the troubling dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys — everywhere, the administration has been plagued by an epidemic of incompetence.


The Republican majority so completely abdicated its responsibilities to conduct oversight on the executive branch that its governing motto might have been "don't ask, don't tell."

Key House and Senate committees sometimes went months without oversight hearings on Iraq.


Many of the decisions now causing Bush grief could have been made only by a politician who did not believe anyone was looking over his shoulder.

I'll grant Bush has made a multitude of mistakes while in office. And I wish the Republican Congress had been more aggressive with oversight while they had power. But this is over the top moonbat-ery.

First of all, which is it, Brownstein? Incompetence, or lack of oversight?

If you are as arrogant and ignorant as I'm sure Brownstein believes Bush to be, I really don't see how all the oversight in the world would make any difference.

Second, Brownstein makes it sound like the only way the Congress could have been keeping Bush in check is with "oversight hearings". What a bunch of bunk. The intelligence comittees regularly meet with the Whitehouse for briefings. You know, those briefings Silvestre Reyes apparently slept through?

Osama's Counting On YOU, LA TimesThird, even though the Republican Congress didn't do much in adversarial oversight, the press sure did. Your paper has been criticizing Bush since he took office.

In fact, your paper's whole excuse for running the terrorist banking data surveillance program story was:

But we also have an obligation to cover the government, with its tremendous power, and to offer information about its activities so citizens can make their own decisions. That's the role of the press in our democracy.

But Bush hasn't had any oversight, right?

Fourth and finally, oversight can't stop hurricanes. And your choice of wording — "The results have not been pretty. Hurricane Katrina, the chaotic occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, ..." — makes it sound like you either believe it can, or you're just out to get Bush as best you can.

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