LIEBERMAN APPLIES STRICTER STANDARDS TO OBAMA THAN BUSH…. A couple of weeks ago, Greg Sargent reported that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) was considering holding a hearing on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on President Obama’s “czars.” Dave Weigel reports today that the senator is going through with it.
Lieberman … will preside over a hearing on presidential “czars” in his Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. The hearing will be this Thursday, and the scheduled witnesses are Tom Ridge, George Mason University Prof. James Pfiffner, former OLC Lee Casey, and Harold Relyea, formerly of the Congressional Research Service.
There are a couple of relevant angles to keep in mind. First, the Senate Judiciary Committee just held a hearing on the “czars” earlier this month with a bunch of credible experts, and we learned what we already knew: there’s nothing problematic about the president’s team of advisors. There’s no reason at all to hold another hearing in another committee, unless the goal is to further validate the baseless, paranoid fears of right-wing activists.
Second, Lieberman was chairman of this committee in 2007 and 2008, when George W. Bush had 36 so-called “czars,” and the Connecticut senator never said a word. More the point, Lieberman didn’t hold any oversight hearings on questions surrounding the Bush administration, deciding not to hold the Republican president accountable for anything.
In other words, Lieberman, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, is playing favorites: going easy on Bush and going after Obama, believing in oversight of a Democratic White House after rejecting it for a Republican White House.
This is, by the way, exactly what some of us predicted when the caucus decided, with the president’s blessing, to let Lieberman keep his gavel.
And as for those who claim Joe Lieberman stands with Democrats on everything except foreign policy, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.