Sunday, November 21, 2010

Trouble In Paradise

The love-fest in the Democratic caucus which just reelected Nancy Pelosi as House party leader is not the start to an era of good feelings among the Demo left. The Representative from Mars District 1, Dennis Kucinich, has announced he will make a run to unseat current House Oversight and Government Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns.

Now one would think that any Representative who communicates with UFOs would be a shoo-in for a job as future Democrat ranking member on any committee he chooses. But one must never forget the vicissitudes of leftist thinking. Towns has been a very weak chairman since he has neither overseen nor reformed much of anything. That has slowed down the Obama juggernaut unintentionally. The only other serious contender for the spot is Rep. Elijah Cummings, and he has said he will not challenge Towns unless Towns decides on his own to step down.

So what could be the trouble? Simple--Kucinich for all his leftists credentials suffers from insufficient melanin. In other words, he's white, and Towns and Cummings are both black. It is the position of the Congressional Black Caucus (which has not yet decided if it will allow a black Republican into the Caucus) that the senior position on the committee is a "black seat." Now I was surprised to find out that Kucinich is white. I thought Martians came only in green and gray.

Be that as it may, Kucinich has not yet directly attacked the current chairman beyond stating that he simply thinks he could do a better job. Kucinich is very good at knowing how to pick his fights. And one of the oldest tricks in the political and diplomatic worlds is to find a common enemy, and by boldly attacking that enemy, leave behind the inference that the current chairman hasn't attacked the enemy sufficiently. For purposes of this seat, the common enemy is Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) who is currently the ranking minority member and presumptive chairman when the House changes hands in January.

In declaring his candidacy via a letter to the committee, Kucinich stated: "Mr. Issa, through his eagerness to make unsubstantiated charges and to draw conclusions in advance of evidence, reveals a lack of restraint and basic fairness. This conduct in the Chairman of the Committee will degrade Congress' oversight credibility and undermine the institution of the House through a lack of restraint in the use of subpoena power."

Kucinich is staking his claim to be the king's champion on the committee in preparation for the expected onslaught of subpoenas calling doctrinaire leftist Democrats before the committee. The first in line is likely to be Attorney General Eric Holder both for his decision to dismiss the Black Panther voter intimidation judgments and his determination against the public will to try terrorists as common criminals in civilian courts. Holder has consistently ignored subpoenas from the US Commission on Civil Rights, but a Congressional subpoena is not as easy to ignore.

Aside from its belief that the chairmanship/ranking member position on the committee is a black seat, the Black Caucus would now have to face the ordeal of a white Congressman protecting the reputation of a black Attorney General (and by association, the president himself). Undaunted, Kucinich states in his letter that he has four basic goals: Zero tolerance for smears and innuendo, encouraging a "team approach" to committee activities, weekly updates for the members to give input, and cooperation with future Chairman Issa (whom he has declared uncooperative).

But for a peacemaking, cooperative, colorblind candidate, Kucinich's own house isn't in very good order. Kucinich staffer (and Capitol Hill regular) Jean Gosa, who is African-American, has lodged complaints about racial tensions in the Kucinich office. This started long before Dear Dennis considered his run against the current chairman. Kucinich's Domestic Policy Subcommittee staff director, Jaron Bourke has been feuding with Gosa rather publicly. And no, that's not Jason Bourne, which is a whole other leftist story. Gosa's fellow staffer, Noura Erakat, has posted as a regular at the Huffington Post, referring to Kucinich's office and Bourke's part in its operations variously as "the plantation," and "slave and overseer."

Then there's the problem with Gosa herself accidentally admitting publicly that she proposed doctoring testimony contained in documents for the committee which were edited and back-dated so as to appear valid and timely in accordance with certain deadlines for submission set by the chairman. Although they refused to be identified, several other staffers both confirmed Gosa's admission and stated categorically that it was impossible for Kucinich not to have known about it.

Not having to worry about offending Kucinich's Ohio constituency, The New York Times allowed reporter Janie Lorber to quote an unnamed committee staffer (not on Kucinich's staff) that "Mr. Kucinich would be a 'wild card,'" and that he was seeking the post only for political gain. The Times didn't include a full disclosure that it has long worked hand-in-glove with the current chairman, who is a New York Democrat representing the 10th District.

I think the whole jolly feud can be summed up by the ancient expression "a falling-out among thieves."


Tennessee Jed said...

good article, Hawk. I, for one, enjoy the falling out immensely!

Unknown said...

Tennessee: If ever the word Schadenfreude applied, this is it.

AndrewPrice said...

Racial tensions in the Kookcinich office? Never! He's a liberal, it can't be true.

I always find it interesting when liberal start fighting each other because those fights are brutal and ugly, and every always they start lobbying all of the insults they claim the rest of us are not allowed to use (like racist language, homophobic language, sexist language, etc.). It makes for good television viewing.... and tells you what lurks in the heart of liberals everywhere.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I know it's hard to believe. I gotta tell ya, the most left, liberal, touchy-feely, politically-correct city I've ever lived in was also the most racist--all the way around. Wanna guess which one? Or is it really obvious?

chas7007 said...

Uhhhhhhhhh......SAN FRANCISCO FOR A 1000 ALEX!

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