I watched the television coverage of the House hearings and testimony of Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee before the committee chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA. The most fascinating aspect of the session was the split that occurred along partisan lines in the questioning of the two. It was just wierd.
The Republican members of the House oversight committee were favorable to Clemens and the Democrats were favorable to McNamee. A baseball hero vs a trainer/admitted liar and drug pusher. Interesting. Rep. Chris Shays, R-CT, called McNamee a 'drug dealer', and Rep. Dan Burton, R-IN called him a 'liar', several times. Then Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-MD made a point of reminding Clemens he was under oath before he answered Cummings questions, in a very bullying way.
Rep. Waxman is a slimy guy. He is not only physically ugly, he is ugly on the inside, too. His reputation on Capitol Hill is one of vindictive behavior towards anyone who doesn't follow his demands. Recently I read an article on WSJ.com titled The Waxman Method that summarized the case of Howard Krongard.
A successful man, Howard Krongard decided after working four decades in the private sector to accept a job at the State Department in 2005, as a way of doing public service for his country. He accepted the job of State's Inspector General and it is an 'independent' role. Krongard didn't realize that political hacks like Waxman think IGs are working for them.
Last July, Krongard was called to testify before Waxman's House oversight committee. His testimony was about a non-scandal involving "allegedly poor treatment of foreign workers at the construction site of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Mr. Krongard said he had inspected and found no evidence of human trafficking or human-rights violations. That's not what Mr. Waxman wanted to hear. In his opening statement, the California partisan insisted that State's approach to the inquiry was evidence of a "full bunker mentality."
So, the games began. It was time to get Krongard. Suddenly whistleblowers came forward, accusing him of being 'too cozy' with State Department officials, tht he didn't pick up counterfeit computers in Afghanistan and even of being a "high-handed boss." Those complaining were conveniently not under oath and no evidence was provided to back up their trashing of Mr. Krongard.
The Democrats complained that Krongard involved himself in the audit of Stae Department books. What happened was that he 'argued that the auditors should get extra time to complete their work--a position supported both by the Office of Management and Budget and Government Accountability Office."
Specific charges against Mr. Krongard were examined and refuted in a report by the Republicans on the committee. Krongard claimed he was not a big political donor, never met President Bush, and had only been to the White House as a tourist, not an invited guest. This wasn't prudent information for Waxman. He continued smears on Mr. Krongard, that he maintained 'partisan political ties' and that he halted investigations, censored reports and didn't cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
None of these charges were true, but that didn't matter to Waxman. He wanted to send a message to all the Inspector Generals in government. The message? They answer to Waxman. He wants political scandals in the executive branch and he wants witnesses for prosecution whether the facts are there or not. Mr. Krongards's mistake? Telling the truth.
You may remember that when the Dems took over in Congress after the 2006 elections, Waxman was quoted as saying there would be investigation after investigation into the workings of the administration. He said it with much glee and thought it would make him seem quite important. Maybe it does in his circles. For the rest of us, it makes him seem like a small, petty man.
Political hacks running on purely partisan politics are ugly people. Waxman leads the pack.