Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We Were in Favor of Oversight Before We Were Against It

Remember when oversight was the favorite word of Democrats? Back in 2006, Democrats were interested in oversight of the environment, welfare, and the FCC. Democrats were really hot for oversight when it meant trying to hobble a Republican president.

Of course, oversight is just another word for putting the brakes on stuff we don't like, which is why it's ok when we're exercising Congressional oversight powers over a Republican president (cuz he's gonna destroy us) but is a shocking power grab by the rat bastards when exercised by Republicans against a Democratic president. In this case, oversight comes in the form of a provision of the 1996 Congressional Review Act.

House Republicans will have carte blanche next year, and will be able to pass as many of these "resolutions of disapproval" as they want. The key is that a small minority in the Senate can force votes on them as well, and they require only simple-majority support to pass. If they can find four conservative Democrats to vote with them on these resolutions, they can force Obama to serially veto politically potent measures to block unpopular regulations, and create a chilling effect on the federal agencies charged with writing them.

Considering the midterm elections were all about reining in government, you'd think Democrats would be all squiggly about doing the will of the people and fulfilling their constitutional duties to provide oversight to the president. But that only applies if the president is a Republican. I'm sure Democrats will love any ramp-up of executive power as long as the guy wielding it has a "D" after his name.