05 Jan 2011 Out of Power, House Liberal Now Champions Compromise
With Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) now in control of the subpoena power of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, liberals who once kept Republicans in the dark about virtually everything and demanded hasty votes on unread legislation during the past few years now are pleading for caution and transparency.
Obviously fearing the results of what Issa’s investigations might uncover about the Obama Administration, Oversight Committee ranking member Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is now suggesting a compromise be reached between the White House and Issa to possibly keep some things under wraps.
On MSNBC, Cummings said he feels that shading Issa’s efforts to spotlight the truth is necessary to “make sure the country isn’t threatened.”
Previously, the Obama Administration ignored inquiries from then-ranking member Issa. Now, Issa has compelling, hard-to-ignore subpoena power. Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella, however, reassured the Daily Caller, “When there’s not reason to antagonize or create a conflict that doesn’t exist, we’ll err on the side of being judicious.”
That being said, the Obama staff can still expect to have to journey to Capitol Hill answer to questions about ACORN, “Friends of Angelo” Countrywide mortgages, the AIG bailout, deals with businesses in exchange for Obamacare support and reports of political jobs being offered to get candidates out of contested races — among other things.
In apparent damage control mode, Cummings is likely trying to focus on, at least in the near-term, conflicting statements among the military and the White House about policy toward North Korea and the Wikileaks debacle.
Interestingly, the Wikileaks disclosures disseminated by Julian Assange are welcomed by many on the left, and possible prosecution of leakers is being decried by the likes of former Judiciary Committee chairman (and Cummings’ Congressional Black Caucus colleague) John Conyers (D-MI), who said, “it is clear that prosecuting Wikileaks would raise the most fundamental questions about freedom of speech… and about what the public can know about the actions of its own government.”
Project 21 member Kevin Martin is amused, but still annoyed, by the liberals new interest in taking things slow and easy.
It would seem that Representative Elijah Cummings has forgotten the message and the consequences that come with last November’s midterm elections. In particular, that was when his party lost their majority status in the House, and thus lost their control of the agenda of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
I say this because Cummings, who is now simply the ranking member of that committee, appears to be seeking to float a deal between Chairman Darrell Issa and the White House over his professed concern about leaks of sensitive information.
But wasn’t Obama the guy who heartily promised transparency in executive branch affairs? Aren’t liberals the ones who talked about rooting out corruption and draining the swamp in Washington?
Cummings is a member of caucuses that have had their fair share of ethics problems. Additionally, his appearance on a news network whose hosts have sought to make Wikileaks founder Julian Assange into some sort of twisted hero despite his release of sensitive information that may hurt our nation’s role in the global fight against terrorism, put allies and undercover operatives in the field at risk and set back our diplomatic efforts worldwide is ludicrous.
If Representative Cummings is interested in protecting sensitive information, then he should publicly support an investigation to get to the bottom of the Wikileaks scandal rather than cutting what seems to be deals for the purpose of protecting partisan officials. Likewise, he should welcome Chairman Issa’s efforts to enact the once-promised transparency of the 2008 elections.