Monday, February 20, 2006

Keeping the Lid On

From the Washington Post:

At two key moments in recent days, White House officials contacted congressional leaders just ahead of intelligence committee meetings that could have stirred demands for a deeper review of the administration’s warrantless-surveillance program, according to House and Senate sources.

In both cases, the administration was spared the outcome it most feared, and it won praise in some circles for showing more openness to congressional oversight.

But the actions have angered some lawmakers who think the administration’s purported concessions mean little. Some Republicans said that the White House came closer to suffering a big setback than is widely known, and that President Bush must be more forthcoming about the eavesdropping program to retain Congress’s good will.

This isn’t news, but it interesting to see that the White House went after two members of the Senate — Hagel and Snowe — who are regarded by some as “mavericks;” they have been known at times to go against the marching orders of the White House.

It also strikes me as a bit odd that if the president is so convinced that what he did was both legal and proper, he would have no objection whatsoever to Congress doing their duty. Besides, after Karl Rove put the muscle on the Republicans — stick with us or we’ll find someone else to run against you in the primaries — the White House should expect a ringing endorsement from Congress and a Harry Whittington-style apology for having questioned the righteousness of our Dear Leader.