Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Speaking of Harry Reid...

I just popped over to his blog, which is usually good for a laugh, and I was not disappointed. The title of his top post:

"The slide into irrelevance"

Yeah, I guess he'd be the expert one that particular topic. Ironically, however, the post is not autobiographical. Let's read on.

"It was no surprise to me that the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee has once again caved to George Bush and refused to open an investigation into President Bush’s domestic spying program. One is left to wonder what it would take to make this Republican Congress stop rubberstamping the Bush Administration and actually do real oversight."

Harry Reid defines "real oversight" as "impeaching George W. Bush so I can finally score some political points, for once in my career." Yeah, I can see why Senate Republicans might be a little slow to accede to Harry's wishes.

"Last week 30,000 of you joined me asking for an Independent Katrina Commission."

Umm, wait a second here. You're the Senate Minority Leader, right? As in, the most powerful Democrat in the enitre country? And you only mustered 30,000 signatures? Even under the most generous possible scenario (the one in which I don't assume a large number of those signatures were fake) that's utterly pathetic. Which -- remember, this is a post called "the slide into irrelevance." Again, I think he'd be the one to know.

"We need to expand our call beyond Katrina and demand that the Bush Republicans in Congress do their job, stop looking the other way and conduct oversight of this administration."

I'm just going to wonder aloud for a moment whether the call for an investigation into Katrina also involved an investigation into failures by Kathy Blanco. While I'm wondering that, I'll point out that Congressional intrusion into the President's Article II powers is not exactly what most Americans are interested in these days. I'm stunned that Reid is too stupid to read the polls that say most Americans favor the wiretap program.

"We need to take our message directly to the American people. This week, help me send 20,000 letters to the editor demanding the Republican Congress do its job and conduct oversight of the Bush Administration."

Way to aim for the stars, big guy. 20,000? Yeah, that'll do the trick.

Let's just put that number into perspective. On the Senate Homeland Security Committee, there are nine Republicans. In the 2002 election, Chairwoman Susan Collins (ME) beat her opponent by 86,000 votes. And that's in friggin' Maine, of all places. That same year, Ted Stevens (AK) got 78% of Alaska's vote. In 2004, George Voinovich won Pennsylvania with 64% of the vote. You get the idea. 30,000 signatures on a petition is pathetic. 20,000 letters to the editor is pathetic.

So where did Reid get this idea that 30,000 is anything other than a symbol of his own slide into irrelevance?

Ah yes. In Reid's 1998 race against John Ensign, Reid won by 428 votes.

Anyway, I digress... No, wait a second, pointing out Harry Ried's insignificance is directly on topic in a post about "the slide into irrelevance." So let's continue.

"We cannot effectively legislate on the NSA spying issue if we do not know the facts ..."

True, but you can certainly go into a conniption-fit of mass hysteria without knowing the facts. Incidentally, while Reid points out that he cannot effectively legislate on a certain issue, he seems less concerned with proving that any legislation is necessary in the first place. I submit that Reid can't effectively legislate on what I should have for lunch tomorrow, but whereas Harry thinks that means Congress should conduct an inquiry into my tastes and budget, I think that means maybe Congress shouldn't be troubling itself with my gastronomic adventures in the first place.

"...we will not know them if the Republican-controlled Intelligence Committee persists in refusing to do its job."

Because, presumably, the job of the Intelligence Committee is to encroach on the President's constitutinal powers. Sure thing, Harry.

Also, I like how he points out that Republicans control the Intelligence Committee. In case you missed the memo, Harry, Republicans control the entire Senate.

And the House.

And a majority of governorships.

And soon the Supreme Court.

I'm sorry, were you saying something about irrelevance?

"My colleague, Ranking Member on the Intelligence Committee, Senator Jay Rockefeller, said it best:"

Unless the next sentence is "try to forget about that memo I wrote, explaining how Democrats need to politicize national security while ignoring the actual safety of the American people, because man that was embarassing..." I suspect Sen. Rockefeller didn't really say it best. But ever the optimist, I'll keep reading.

"'For the past three years, the Senate intelligence committee has avoided carrying out its oversight of our nation’s intelligence programs whenever the White House becomes uncomfortable with the questions being asked.
'The very independence of this committee is called into question as we are continually prevented from having a full accounting of pre-war intelligence on Iraq, the CIA’s detention, interrogation, and rendition program, and, now, the NSA’s warrantless surveillance and eavesdropping program.
'If we are prevented from fully understanding and evaluating the NSA program, our committee will continue its slide into irrelevance.'"

Wow. You know, before I read that quote, I had no idea that any Democrat, anywhere, was aware that any government program could ever become irrelevant. So that's news to me.