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Let the Investigations Begin!   April 22nd, 2009
I predicted it back in 2006, though I thought it would happen sooner       

 
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It took a little longer than I thought but Democrats in Congress are commencing on the investigations I predicted back in 2006. I admit I thought they would start much sooner--soon after Democrats took power after the 2006 election--but it would appear they had the good sense to bide their time until they were able to solidify their Congressional majority and win the presidency.

Back in 2006 I wrote: "Extremists in the Democratic party have been wanting in-depth investigations into Bush for years. With control of Congress, they can now do that. They could form investigation after investigation and issue subpoena after subpoena on everything that Bush has done over the years that they've been complaining about. WMD intelligence... the Foley scandal... warrant-less wiretaps... Re-open 9/11 investigations."

The topics have changed since then, but today we have two articles:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pressed the case for creation of a special 'truth commission' to investigate the interrogation of terror suspects during the Bush administration.


Truth commission? That sounds Orwellian. With an unofficial name like "truth commission" it seems almost certain that the commission will be driven more by an interest in politics than in the truth. But who knows, anything is possible.

And we have:

Washington loves investigative commissions and the Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the creation of another one: The Financial Markets Commission...

The seven-member, bipartisan financial commission is to be modeled on one that was established to investigate the causes of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The financial commission, like the 9/11 Commission, would make recommendations on how to avoid a future crisis.


What will these commissions end up concluding? I suppose we could be surprised. But I'd be willing to bet, given the composition of Congress, that the "truth" commission will find Bush and/or subordinates guilty of something, even if it amounts to Oliver North-like testimony that goes nowhere. Of course, they could surprise us and actually convict someone of something. Probably a scape goat. But who knows, maybe they'll double down and try to go after Dick Cheney.

As for the financial crisis, does anyone really think they're going to discover something that isn't already known? Seven months later I still think my original analysis was correct. Perhaps there are additional contributing factors or nuances, but I think the cause is already pretty clear. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see some attempt to exonerate the Community Reinvestment Act (and Carter and Clinton as a result) and/or criticize supposed deregulation by Phil Graham--even though that argument doesn't seem to have merit, and even President Clinton has refuted it.

I'm actually surprised to see the Democrats pushing for an investigation of the financial crisis. It would seem that any honest analysis would have to conclude that the bulk of the blame is on some of their members and their policies. I don't think a political party launches such a potentially dangerous "investigation" like this without already having a pretty good idea of the conclusions... so I'll be interested to see how this is spun.

Anyway, I was about two years off. I really thought the investigations and commissions were going to be launched in 2007 or 2008. But it would appear the Democrats had the strategic vision to recognize that that wasn't going to help them in 2008. I'm curious as to why they think it will help them in 2010.

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