Gawd....will we EVER learn anything?
If you saw the IRS hearings last night, one thing was obvious: Trey Gowdy OWNED Koskinen. Gowdy was magnificent. Here's the video. Watch..watch it again:
And at the end, we are forced to witness Issa gavelling Gowdy down, as his time has expired, as he is skewering Koskinen.
I don't fault Issa here..as Chair he is charged with seeing that time is allocated equally and fairly on both sides. and if he didn't do it, the Dems would be screaming that he's unfair, that the hearing is political..yada, yada, yada..
What really pissed me off, however, is that Republicans couldn't get get together before hand, and have 2 or 3 of them cede their time to Gowdy, and give him 15-20 minutes to really go at Koskinen.
As I understand it, committee rules call for alternating questioning by the majority, then the minority. However, because the GOP has more seats on the committee, when we get to the end of the line, you'll have several GOP members questioning in succession, before a Democrat has the chance to bloviate and spin. And if most Democrats have already left the hearing, GOP members will get a chance for a second round...as did Jim Jordan.
By my estimate...at the end we had 6 GOP congressmen, one after the other...imagine if Gowdy had 30 minutes to eviscerate Koskinen.
But no...that couldn't happen..everyone has to have their 5 minutes of camera time..to repeat the same old facts, or enter a series of articles into the record. Is this a book club, or a congressional hearing?
This is where the Speaker should have put his foot down, choreographed it before the hearing, and told several members to yield their time to Gowdy. As if..
A few other observations:
1. Jim Jordan and Jason Chaffetz both were superb.
2. John Mica is near senile. He needs to be sent to play shuffleboard with Thad Cochran. Instead, he's a lock for re-election this fall, and reports are that he wants to chair the committee in the next Congress, as Issa is term limited by GOP rules. THAT CAN'T BE ALLOWED. NO WAY!! It would be a disaster. The GOP , when Newt first took over, ended the practice of seniority as the only criteria to be chair. So take it one step further. Have the leadership ignore it altogether..give the chair to Jordan or Chaffetz. The caucus will support the decision to do just that. The committee will be very busy in the next Congress.
3. Gowdy rocks!!!!...and you could see that he was really pissed at having to stop his questioning. Good. I trust he learned from the experience, and will structure his special committee's hearings to make them far more productive.
4. Hillary Clinton should be very , very nervous.
5. Ranking member Cummings really didn't seem to have his heart in it. His opening statement was, compared to his earlier efforts, tame and subdued. And he rarely voiced a comment or objection during the hearing. One gets the sense that he might have a premonition that it's not going to end well for the IRS...( dare I say it)..he thinks "the jig is up."
6. Several junior Democrats ( I can't remember which ones) stepped in it a few times..attempting to assert that the WH wasn't involved..reminded everyone that the WH IS actually involved up to their necks...one was pointedly reminded by Issa that today's witness, a WH counsel..actually used to work at the IRS, during the time in question. Ouch!!!
7. John Koskinen and James Carville: separated at birth?