I don't get much of an opportunity to listen to C-Span these days. Although I like getting to hear various politicians politicking on the floor, and bulwarking in committee, my favorite part is always when people call in. For one, people not muting their televisions, and hearing the feedback or lag is always nice. The veiled curtness of the hosts' direction to mute the tv and the putting on hold is the sugar and spice that makes palatable the half-baked call-ins.
This morning, one caller responding to the SCOTUS ACA ruling, lobbed up this splendidly mixed metaphor to the effect that democrats brought their tool kits and republicans brought sledge hammers to the plate and Obama threw a fast ball straight down the plate and John Roberts was the umpire. I have no idea what the callers point was, or what side he supported; though, I think he was riffing on a Senate Dem's statement earlier in the broadcast about refining the ACA and needing the entire tool kit.
The AG Holder floor debate was pretty interesting. I wish that there was some forthcoming document that could satify the subpoena from the House. I wish that our government didn't waste money on they later deem 'fatally flawed' operations, as was the case with Fast and Furious. Obviously the House should, as an oversight body, make frowny faces at the Justice Department when they mess up. Maybe heads should roll even, I don't know.
What I do know is that discretion is necessary between political bodies, moreso with respect to law enforcement, and utterly so when an on-going investigation is underway. I presume that each of these is the case and that is why the Issa committee served what they considered to be a very "tailored" subpoena.
So if the Executive comes in and slaps an executive privilege writ on the subpoena, the first question shouldn't be "is it justified?"; the first question should be, "how can we more effectively request information. Purportedly there were attempts made to do so as well as whistle-blowers unsatisfied with the overall concept/planning/execution of the operation. At any rate, no one is attempting to convey the proper protocol for addressing these subpoena issues, nor are they narrating the story of how it unfolded. If you know of a good summary post in the comments I would love to read it, if just to learn how the House oversees the DOJ.
So anyway, what is the takeaway on the whole situation of gun-running, agent death, and politicking?
"This all comes back to Bush. He got us into two wars and that's why we're so broke. We're in Hell because of him" -some caller
Good enough for me. I like not germaine responses. I like when people call in and just make some point after they say they want to audit and abolish the fed and they lerrv Ron Paul. I like when I agree with someone who can barely string two cogent sentences together. I like when I disagree with callers. I like when people call in and play dress-up and talk like some talking head. That's the best.
I also like getting to hear the authentic politicians who get up there. I just listened to Dan Coats. I don't know if I agree with or believe anything he said, I've never seen him before, but when he said that the ACA should be brought back to the floor for not rejection, but debate and refinement, when he said that the people who voted for it should defend it and the people who voted against it should argue against it, he seemed genuine. He has a long career behind him as a politician, serving in the House and Senate, as ambassador to Germany, and returning to the Senate in 2011.
I doubt he's the kind of guy that shows up on the morning shows very often, so seeing him on the floor is somewhat refreshing. Although the floor is hugely polarizing both in form and physicality, frequently the politicians speak with a civic voice more than they generally are afforded the bandwidth to do so on the news. I like that. When all you see are the pols fighting for screen time, they seem utterly incoherent. At least when you see them on C-Span, outside of when they are broadcasting a press conference, you can actually see where they disagree.