Dan Burton strikes again

DAN BURTON STRIKES AGAIN…. Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security released reports, requested by Bush administration officials, on the threats posed by potentially violence radical extremists — on the right and left. By late April, several House Republicans had called on DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to resign because of the reports.

The demands didn’t make any sense; the White House ignored the right-wing lawmakers’ tantrum; and in time, conservatives found new toys to play with. The political world moved on.

Eight months later, at least one House Republican has decided to kick off a new round of calls for Napolitano’s resignation.

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) on Tuesday became the first lawmaker to call on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to resign after the recent attempted airline bombing.

The veteran member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee called for Napolitano’s ouster in the wake of the attack on the Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day.

Now, the details matter here. Did Burton call for Napolitano’s resignation because of a problem with the no-fly list? No. Did Burton call for Napolitano’s resignation because of Adbulmutallab’s visa to enter the United States? No. Did Burton call for Napolitano’s resignation because of a TSA breakdown? No.

Burton called for Napolitano’s ouster because, as he sees it, her comment on Sunday that “the system worked” means Americans may no longer have “confidence” in her abilities.

Think about that. A high-ranking cabinet official should quit, Burton believes, because of a three-word phrase that was entirely reasonable in context. A so-called “gaffe” is more important, the argument goes, than actual on-the-job performance.

This is terribly nutty. Then again, we are talking about Dan Burton — a man who used his role as chairman of the House Government Reform Committee back in the ’90s to fire a bullet into a “head-like object” (reportedly a melon) in his backyard to test whether former White House counsel Vince Foster was murdered.

Americans have every reason to have lost confidence in Burton. Maybe he should resign?