CommunityPam's House Blend

Why do Senate Republicans fear an independent Katrina Commission?

The president has taken responsibility for mistakes made at the federal level in response to Katrina. So why do the Senate Republicans not want to find out why those mistakes occurred?

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Wednesday scuttled an attempt by Sen. Hillary Clinton to establish an independent, bipartisan panel patterned after the 9/11 Commission to investigate what went wrong with federal, state and local governments’ response to Hurricane Katrina.

The New York Democrat’s bid to establish the panel — which would have also made recommendations on how to improve the government’s disaster response apparatus — failed to win the two-thirds majority needed to overcome procedural hurdles. Clinton got only 44 votes, all from Democrats and independent Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont. Fifty-four Republicans all voted no.

Well, this cannot stand! What of the “will of the people” the Repugnicans are always touting?

The 9/11 Commission was established in 2002 after resistance from Republicans and the White House, and opinion polls show the public strongly supports the idea. In a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll taken Sept. 8-11, 70 percent of those surveyed supported an independent panel to investigate the government’s response to Katrina. Only 29 percent were opposed.

What is it that the Repugs suggest we do?

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has rebuffed a bid by House and Senate GOP leaders to create a committee patterned after the 1987 Iran-Contra panel that would have a GOP majority — reflecting their dominance of Congress.

Reid has instead vowed that any bid by Republican leaders to establish a special bipartisan committee involving lawmakers from both House and Senate will go forward only if Democrats have equal representation.

Yeah, that Iran-Contra commission sure brought justice to the government heads who told us they’d never trade arms for hostages or negotiate with terrorists, and then went ahead and traded for hostages, negotiated with terrorists, and pumped up the black ops budgets by funnelling CIA-controlled crack cocaine into the inner cities. Oh, wait, my bad, nobody ever did get punished for Iran-Contra, because they all got pardoned by Bush Sr., and Reagan and Bush Sr. remained untouched.

History is about to repeat itself. Again. Expect pardons for Karl Rove over the Turd Blossom Leak, and for Brownie and Chertoff to get their Medals of Freedom any day now.

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