GETTING OVERSIGHT RIGHT…It’s probably smart for John Conyers to be trying to put to rest Republican claims that a Democratic House would impeach Bush (although you can still imagine a GOP attack ad that uses a few well-placed ellipses to make hay out of the phrase: “At the end of the process, if — and only if — the select committee, acting on a bipartisan basis, finds evidence of potentially impeachable offenses, it would forward that information to the Judiciary Committee.” But whatever.)
More important, it’s good to see that Conyers doesn’t seem to be listening to the sizable subgroup of Democrats arguing that essentially any attempts to investigate Bush administration transgressions will be seen as partisan witch-hunts, and will backfire politically. When I asked some prominent Democrats how the party should conduct oversight if it wins in November, I was surpised by the number who took this view. Lanny Davis told me ?I don’t care about digging up whether Bush lied or not, or whether they manipulated evidence or not. That’s just playing gotcha.? And one committe staffer cautioned “when you do oversight, ultimately, the press is the judge of your credibility.” I’m glad that Conyers seems to be more concerned with providing a full accounting of what’s happened during the Bush years, and less concerned with what David Broder might say.