Oversight, Oversight, Who's Got the Oversight?

Sometimes you just have to sigh. Senator Mitch McConnell says taxpayers "deserve nothing less" than "tough scrutiny and oversight" of the economic recovery bill that the Obama administration hopes to pass in its opening days. You mean, like the tough scrutiny and oversight Republicans insisted upon when voting for the financial industry bailout?

Oversight is necessary, of course. Republicans just aren't very good at it, as the Bush administration's implementation of TARP makes clear. Republicans should stop posturing and leave oversight to the Dems.

< Bush's Undoing: Katrina or Iraq | A Going Away Present For the President >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    As near as I can determine, (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 09:32:13 AM EST
    the tough oversight of the last two years of Democratic majority has seen little more than a lot of hearings that culminated in sternly-worded letters to those departments, agencies and personnel from whom more information and accountability was requested.  Letters that were pretty much stamped "Return to Sender" and ignored.

    Sure, with the arrival of a Democratic president, we will get - one hopes - Democrats in charge of all the agencies and departments the Republicans have screwed up, but I would expect the same kind of circling-of-the-wagons from them when the Republicans attempt oversight - isn't that pretty much how it works?  GOP will criticize, Dems will defend.  GOP won't control the Congress, which will make their job harder, but criticize they will.

    Many of the programs and legislation we find so objectionable would not have happened without a fair amount of Democratic cooperation, and let's remember that we are about to swear in the Come Together President, who is going to be looking for more bipartisan, across-the-aisle efforts and will, I suspect, discourage the Democrats from making too much of a fuss about anything that happened in the last eight years.

    This is not an administration that is looking to come in and start punching people in the mouth - this is going to be the administration of handshakes and group hugs; will that make for better oversight?  I have no idea - what I fear, though, is the acceptance of mediocrity because it will not upset either side enough to make waves over.

    It Just May Be Possible... (none / 0) (#5)
    by santarita on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:23:42 AM EST
    that the Democrats looked at their options and decided that they would use the period from 2006 to 2008 to expose the failings of the Republicans through Congressional investigations and then make the case to the American electorate as opposed to trying to make the case to a federal judiciary that has been loaded with Federalist Society judges.  

    It remains to be seen whether real change has come to Washington or whether it is just the same old cheap red wine in new bottles.  But with the economy in the tank, the global climate changing quickly and several countries on the edge of war, significant change may be forced on us.


    Yes, I'm looking forward to competence in DC (none / 0) (#1)
    by barryluda on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:03:06 AM EST
    We've been putting up with little or no oversight from this Republican administration for too long.

    The head of OSHA, for example, has been literally sleeping on the job:

    Foulke quickly acquired a reputation inside the Labor Department as a man who literally fell asleep on the job: Eyewitnesses said they saw him suddenly doze off at staff meetings, during teleconferences, in one-on-one briefings, at retreats involving senior deputies, on the dais at a conference in Europe, at an award ceremony for a corporation and during an interview with a candidate for deputy regional administrator.

    In fairness, let's hear Foulke's side of the story:

    Foulke denied falling asleep at work, although he said he was often tired and sometimes listened with his eyes closed.

    You can't make this stuff up.  I can't wait until 2009; January 20, 2009, in particular.

    Nail them (none / 0) (#2)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 08:56:43 AM EST
    I hope the Democrat's have enough backbone to throw the oversight issue back in the Republican's face at every opportunity. After eight years of issuing blank checks to the president, the Republican's need to sit down and shut up.

    There isn't an agency or policy left in this country that hasn't been severely damaged by this admonistration. All done with the blessing of the Republican Party.

    This all started with Reagan (none / 0) (#4)
    by BernieO on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:05:47 AM EST
    When he couldn't get regulations dropped, he made sure there were not enough people to make sure regulations were adhered to. This is a direct result of his belief that unfettered markets will magically solve all our problems. Bush and most Republicans believe the same thing and fight regulation and oversight at evey turn, as we all know.

    Unfortunately most Dems have been afraid to stand up to this crackpot ideology, partly because the public bought into it and, more importantly because they needed donations from corporate America to get reelected. Now that our economic house of cards has collapsed Dems may change their ways, but not if they allow the right wingers to get away with putting the blame on government for the meltdown, something they are desperately trying to do. I don't have a lot of faith in the ability of Democrats to articulate a strong case for their policies, but maybe now they will. One can only hope - and speak out loudly when they don't.


    gee, i think we all are. (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Tue Dec 30, 2008 at 11:33:51 AM EST
    Yes, I'm looking forward to competence in DC

    however, unlike you, i don't expect to actually see it, new administration or not.

    one of the harsh realities i've learned, from living and working in the DC area for over 40 years:

    the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    the obama administration, like many before it, will come in with a bang; a seeming breath of fresh air (a breath we sorely need), ready to roll up its shirt sleeves to put things right.

    and then..............it won't. obstructionist republicans, personal senate/house fiefdoms, some senior sen./rep. bent because his/her district doesn't get enough federal largesse.

    you name it, it will bog the works. sure, stuff will get done, but not nearly as much as could be, if the dems were to actually be a unified, cohesive, effective unit.

    that'll be the day!