Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Remember Transparency and Oversight? Not by Dems

I remember being told that with Democrats in control of Congress, there would be much more oversight than before. I guess the person who told me that wasn't really talking about oversight of Democrat wrongdoing. What we have, instead, are Democrats locking Republicans out of committee meetings for having the audacity to demand Congress conduct oversight of wrongdoing.

The Democratic chairman of the House committee responsible for government oversight has indefinitely locked Republican members out of the hearing room, following a dispute over a mortgage loan controversy.

Kurt Bardella, spokesman for ranking Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., had the locks on the Republican entrance changed Tuesday.

The move was apparently was in retaliation for Issa's efforts to subpoena records on Countrywide's so-called VIP loan program and for a video Issa's staff recorded of Democrats darting from their chambers a week ago in the face of a vote.

Here is the offending video:

The problem, of course, is that Democrats don't want to look into the Countrywide sweetheart mortgages given to Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad as bribes.
On Thursday of last week, as the committee was about to meet, the Republicans said that they wanted a vote on whether to subpoena Countrywide's records on the VIP program. The Democrats were between a rock and a hard place: the last thing they want to do is investigate their own party's corruption, but at the same time, they don't want to be seen voting to cover up the Countrywide scandal.

So what did the Democrats do? To a man (or woman), they hid. They failed to show up for the scheduled committee mark-up, leaving the Republicans sitting there by themselves in the committee room. The Democrats claimed that they didn't show up because of a conflict with a Finance Committee hearing, but in fact they were there, and were caught on video sneaking out a back door of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's offices.

It's hard to duck corruption in your party after you campaigned as Change We Can Believe In. But we have a word for it around here: democrisy.