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Democrats "Hear" Victory

Check out this week's Congressional hearing landscape, and you'll see the spoils of the Democratic victory last fall across both ends of the Capitol.

Far and wide, House and Senate committees are holding oversight hearings into various actions and activities by the Bush administration, highlighting controversies from the handling of recuperative care for Iraq war veterans and the allegations of political reasons behind the mass firings of federal prosecutors three months ago.

Democrats openly gloated yesterday at the prospect of holding President Bush and his advisers' feet to the fire -- and gaining the requisite media attention to further highlight these issues.

Democrats now say they have held 81 oversight hearings on the Iraq war since taking over the gavels from the former GOP chairmen, and that's just on one issue.

This week started with a hearing Monday on the deplorable conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the pace picked up Tuesday morning with a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in which four of the ousted federal prosecutors testified and, in some cases, blamed their ousters on politics.

That hearing ran concurrently with a Senate Armed Services hearing on Walter Reed, and those hearings were followed up by a re-run of the hearings on dismissed U.S. attorneys before a House Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday afternoon.

And on Wednesday a Senate Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on "defense medical programs" and there's an afternoon hearing before a House Appropriations subcommittee -- again on Walter Reed.

"America voted for change in November. This is just the beginning," Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), a member of the Democratic leadership, declared in a Tuesday morning House floor speech. "What a difference a year makes."

These hearings have helped mask coverage of ongoing divisions within Democratic ranks of how best to proceed with their plans to challenge President Bush on Iraq war policy, as The Post's Jonathan Weisman demonstrated again Tuesday with a story showing the latest shift among House Democratic leadership on Iraq.

Even Republicans admitted that the pace of hearings was taking its toll.

"I've always thought that the best part of this job is there's never a dull day -- and this is probably as good an example of that as there is," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

A member of the Armed Services and Judiciary committees, Cornyn faced a choice on Tuesday between Pentagon failures at Walter Reed or the hearing on fired U.S. attorneys.

He chose Walter Reed.

And all these hearings were scheduled before the third branch of the government, the judiciary, came in with bad news Tuesday for the White House: I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, was found guilty of perjury and obstruction in relation to the investigation of the leak of a classified operative's name. An already bad day got worse for the White House and its Capitol Hill allies.

Oversight became a key talking point among Democrats, capped off by an evening release from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) highlighting the hearings on Walter Reed and the U.S. attorney matter.

Clearly, Hoyer and Democrats are considering this week a victory on message issues.

"The Administration's missteps and miscalculations went unchallenged for far too long," Hoyer said. "When concerns arise, they need to be dealt with quickly and decisively in order to ensure that problems are remedied and challenges are overcome."

By Paul Kane  |  March 7, 2007; 7:15 AM ET
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Can the Democrats name ONE thing they have done since assuming control of Congress to support the mission in Iraq and Afghaninstan? All they do is undermine the CINC and weaken America on the global stage.

This is why I

Posted by: VA Patriot | March 7, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the alleged "patriot" is of the opinion that the soldiers who got blown to pieces in Iraq are just disposable supplies that can no longer contribute to the mission in Iraq. Since the Democrats are fighting hard to get these soldiers treated as the heroes they are by the Pentagon, who until now hasn't even treated them like human beings, the Dems must be undermining the President. Except the President himself has denounced the Pentagon's failure to fulfill its duties to wounded veterans. So the Dems are actually doing the dirty work that the President's party failed so completely to do when they had the reins in Congress. Who else remembers the good ol' days when Republicans were the ones fighting for our troops? Oh, how the mighty have fallen...

Posted by: Patrick Huss | March 7, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

81 hearings on oversight and still this criminal administration operates with impunity. I am a veteran and a democrat and I am sick of meetings that dont show results. Indict the theives and criminals and stop holding do nothing meetings.
The democrats should stop worring what the public thinks about withdrawal, the people who will vote democratic will continue to vote democratic and the repubs wont vote their conscience anyway so forget them.

Posted by: Bob A | March 7, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

My my how things change - when the Republicans did this to the Clintons in the 90s it was decried by the Post and other DNC tools as "partisan", "mean-spirited", "putting politics above the peoples work". Remember all that? ...And the difference is???? Oh that's right, I forgot there's no liberal bias in the media, especially at the Post. What would Congress look like if the RNC had tools like this paper?

Posted by: Rick | March 7, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for the Post to detail the:

a) lack of results of these hearings, like we heard all about during Clinton

b) the millions of dollars spent

c) the fringe special interests running the show

Maybe the Post will pretend its Clinton in the WH and the Republicans running Congress and we'll hear about some of this, instead of letting a Clinton era official, who helped craft the Clinton counterattacks, gloat about the number of investigations we are having. I won't hold my breath. March along America, the new Fascism is here, brought to you by the Washington Post.

Posted by: rick | March 7, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

To all you libs, its Democrat, not Democratic, party. Somehow the Democrats think 'Democratic' sounds better (or has more inclusion), so they use it (including on their website). But a noun is a noun is a noun. Amazing how they have so little grasp of the English language.

Posted by: HILLARYisAshemale | March 7, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

At long last, the lights are on and the roaches are scrambling for cover. What we've learned so far is only the tip of the iceberg regarding the disgraceful Bush administration and its partner in shame, the Republican Party.

Posted by: StevieB | March 7, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think that the "patriot" speaking so negatively about democrats, should go over himself and fight. How about that!!!

Posted by: Jackie Parham | March 7, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Thank Goodness!

For all those who think this won't have an affect or does not represent accomplishment, who are you kidding? I mean haven't we had enough no-bid contracts, sweetheart deals, insufficient veteran care, horrific troop conditions, lying, deceit, etc., etc.?

If you don't think bringing these things to the light of day does not result in accomplishment, you haven't been paying attention. Just the last 10 days the focus on horrific Walter Reed conditions, the politically-motivated ouster of US Attorneys, and the conviction of Scooter Libby have brought sorely needed attention to the sort of endemic problems the republicans have been sweeping under the rug for waaay too long.

Posted by: Woodbridge, VA | March 7, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"to support the mission in Iraq and Afghaninstan?"

There is the apparently trivial-to-YOU matter of our troops not having sufficient body armor. Not surprised at your admission that that R's hate America and like seeing Americans die more quickly when they are sent into battle without the armor they need. When are you moving to the Anbar province to fight beside Al Queda?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | March 7, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Now that Libby has been convicted
Time for congressional hearings
With a subpoena for Libby with a promise of use immunity so as I recall he cant invoke his 5th amendment rights or risk contempt of congress
Thank you Fitzgerald
Thank god the congress stayed out the way and let him do his job
Now their job begins

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

It's like opening the windows and letting in some fresh air. We need another two years of this and then we'll know for sure how to vote next November.

Posted by: Realist | March 7, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

You are the Tool, Bob A.

Posted by: IowaBoy | March 7, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

A quote by Sen. John Cornyn, Republican nutbag from Texas, on violence against judges--". . . we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence." Spoken like a true coward by another Republican chickenhawk.

Posted by: mikeasr | March 7, 2007 11:57 PM | Report abuse

"To all you libs, its Democrat, not Democratic, party.... But a noun is a noun is a noun. Amazing how they have so little grasp of the English language."

Oh my God I don't even know where to begin, HILLARYisAshemale...

Yesterday you wrote, "I bet their chanting death to America and burning our flag right now." It's "they're," as in, "they are."

As far as "Democrat" vs. "Democratic" goes, 2 things: YES Democrat is a noun, GOOD JOB!! But the fact that you figured that out makes it even more unsettling that you don't realize that it's not supposed to be a noun... Democratic Party... "Democratic" describes the word "Party." I'm glad, for your sake (notice, "your", the 2nd person possessive adjective), that the word "Republican" is both an adjective and a noun. Given, ahem, the grasp of the English language that its membership possesses, it's quite fitting.

FURTHERMORE, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party are names, or titles, if you will. Grammar rules do not apply to names of organizations. Or perhaps you'd like to start going after all organizations with names that aren't complete sentences too...

I think it would be best if you just left WP blogs alone. You (and a few other posters) are an insult to news article comment boards (that's right, YOU are obnoxious and detrimental to the integrity of NEWS ARTICLE COMMENT BOARS, a medium with minimal integrity to begin with...) and I wish you would stop and go away. Go hang out with VA Patriot. I think you'd make a beautiful couple.

Posted by: Can speak English | March 8, 2007 2:15 AM | Report abuse

So let's summarize the Democrat controlled Congress so far:

Debate a few non-binding resolutions that mean nothing.
Debate ways to undermine the mission in Iraq and offer NO SOLUTIONS. Sure you oppose the war, but if we leave Iraq tomorrow, have the Dems even thought about the consequences?
Work to raise the minimum wage which will actually HURT those in poverty.
Payback the Unions by empowering them to pressure workforces to unionize thus destroying another company/industy.
And my favorite, coming soon, Ted Kennedy will bring Illegal Alien Amnesty 2007, like the horrific 2006 version, only worse.

The good thing is the Dems leading candidates are a liberal version of Bush (divider, not a uniter) and a novice who is about 10 years before his time whose limited record is in the top 10 of most liberal in the Senate.

This is why we:

Posted by: VA Patriot | March 8, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The poster calling himself 'HILLARYisAshemale' writes: "To all you libs, its Democrat, not Democratic, party. Somehow the Democrats think 'Democratic' sounds better (or has more inclusion), so they use it (including on their website). But a noun is a noun is a noun. Amazing how they have so little grasp of the English language."

-Sir, as the holder of a degree in English, I have to tell you, the part of speech you are looking for is an adjective, not a noun - and the adjectival form of the noun 'Democrat' is indeed 'Democratic.' You see how that works? I AM a "Democrat," and I support the "Democratic" Party. You may want to inform your fellow party members, so that they do not continue to embarrass themselves, as you have just done.
"Amazing how they have so little grasp of the English language," indeed.

Posted by: grammar | March 9, 2007 1:22 AM | Report abuse

In any other way, the words democrat and democratic are noun and adjective (duh!), except when its used as a title (ie. a noun). Look in the dictionary, Democrat and Democratic Party are both NOUNS! Is it the Republic party and I am a Republican? Of course not!

Your English degree must have been from a liberal arts school (pun intended).

I'll continue to post on here as I wish. Another thing you libs love is censorship - but not on here!!!

Posted by: HILLARYisAshemale | March 13, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

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