Archive for Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Roberts’ future

It would be unfortunate if Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chooses to resign his seat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

November 28, 2006

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Apparently there is the possibility U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas might decide to leave the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Kansas Republican has served as chairman of this important committee, but with Democrats winning control of the Senate, as well as the House, Roberts lost the chairmanship and West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller is due to take over.

Washington media representatives have been high in their praise of Roberts for the manner in which he has handled the chairmanship and his effort to keep partisan politics to a minimum in the committee's deliberations and investigations. It's been a difficult task.

Now, there are concerns that, with the change in the committee's chairmanship, partisan politics may be far more pronounced, a prospect that doesn't please Roberts. In fact, he has told some he may ask to vacate his seat on the committee, preferring to become a member of another committee. Roberts has been the target of mean-spirited and ugly attacks, and he questions whether he wants to continue putting up with this kind of vitriolic abuse.

On the other side of the issue, however, is the fact that many believe it is even more important today that he continue to serve on the committee, even as the vice chairman, so he can do what he can to keep the body focused on its mission and not becoming a tool in Democratic efforts to steer the country one way or another.

Roberts enjoys a reputation many senators wish they merited: that he is honest straight-shooting, unpretentious, a patriot and someone who epitomizes the saying, "what you see is what you get."

It would be a shame, and a loss for the country if Roberts were to leave the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Comments

achill 8 years, 9 months ago

hilarious editorial. Throughout Capital Hill, Roberts is known as Senator Lickspittle. He has done this country a terrible disservice by covering up the Admininstration's lies and crimes. For the good of the country, he should not only step down from the Intel Committe, but from the Senate altogether.

Then he can get a pay boost by becoming lobbyist or war profiteer.

Wildmannn 8 years, 9 months ago

"Washington media representatives have been high in their praise of Roberts for the manner in which he has handled the chairmanship and his effort to keep partisan politics to a minimum in the committee's deliberations and investigations. It's been a difficult task"

What kind of bubble have you been in?

blackwalnut 8 years, 9 months ago

Worst Bush rubber stamper of all. Stonewalled the investigation of 9/11 time and time again. Horrible man. An embarrassment to Kansas.

Kansas did the nation a disservice by sending this man to Washington. He cannot be gone too soon for me.

prex 8 years, 9 months ago

wow. i mean, just...wow.

"Now, there are concerns that, with the change in the committee's chairmanship, partisan politics may be far more pronounced"

because the partisan politics over the last 6 years have been so...um...subtle.

this editorial is downright shameful. one gets the impression that the journal-world just handed the editorial reins over to pat roberts' spokesperson.

whatever criticism mr. roberts has been subjected to recently has been well-deserved, i can assure you. if any member of the journal-world's editorial board would care to read the constitution, they might find some clues as to the responsibilities of congress -- OVERSIGHT comes to mind.

unfortunately, pat roberts saw the word oversight, and thought it meant OVERLOOK.

jinny 8 years, 9 months ago

What a snow job this editorial is. Roberts knows very well that he now has to produce documents and answer questions about the manner in which he has enabled this most corrupt regime. He has lied to everyone time and time again and now he has the choice of telling the truth or facing the cosequences. He is a national disgrace.

I hope Senator Rockefeller hangs him out to dry.

prex 8 years, 9 months ago

jinny has it right on. there's no way a senator would give up his seniority on such an important committee, unless he was afraid there would be either embarrassing or incriminating revelations that were going to surface.

otherwise, kansans need to consider the following: if senator roberts doesn't have the guts to face some "partisan politics" then maybe kansas needs a new senator who is up to the task.

the reality is that pat roberts knows the truth is going to come out once democrats are running the investigations and his abhorrent, obstructionist conduct is revealed, so he's getting the heck out of dodge.

his real fear is that HE will be investigated. i'm sitting here at home and i can see that plain as day.

great piece of journalistic effort, ljw! fantastic analysis! score another triumph for the "liberal media"!

not_dolph 8 years, 9 months ago

What is unbelievable is that none of you realize that this is an accurate portrayal of a true statesman. I typically avoid the political threads on this site because most of our Lawrence bretheren are lost in the liberal tsunami...

Sen. Roberts has done more to balance our country than anyone you can imagine. He is also responsible for millions of dollars flowing to our state - to our universities, to our cities, and to our military establishments.

Those dollars find their way to your pockets if you work at a grocery store, or a bank, or a clothing store, or a gas station...and so on.

It would be a loss of cacluable proportions if he "moves along."

prex 8 years, 9 months ago

not_dolph, i believe you're missing the point.

i repeat:

there's no way a senator would give up his seniority on such an important committee, unless he was afraid there would be either embarrassing or incriminating revelations that were going to surface.

ranking members of committees tend to hold those positions until they either retire or are defeated electorally. for senator roberts to simply "move along" is inexplicable. his willingness to so easily walk away from this post suggests that he is willing to throw away all of his influence and seniority, to the detriment of kansans, over his distaste for "partisan politics".

you can defend the guy if you want -- "true statesman", whatever -- but if he is going to give up his seniority to take a lesser rank on some other committee, just because partisan politics makes him queasy, then kansas may as well have a new senator.

no, i think there are other reasons for him wanting to step down from this post. and they have nothing to do with balance.

prex 8 years, 9 months ago

"And his membership or lack thereof would change the alleged revelations how?"

he leaves on his terms now, and gets to pick which committee he wants to join, and probably gets higher placement over a senator of lesser standing in the caucus. if he is embarrassed or disgraced later, he'd have to step down from the intelligence committee, and likely wouldn't get another committee appointment (mid-session, when the committee positions have already been determined) -- he becomes low man on the totem pole because all the appointments have been made.

not_dolph 8 years, 9 months ago

prex - you raise several interesting points. More importantly, I appreciate your diplomacy - most do not offer that courtesy.

I certainly think that he has brokered many deals between R's and D's for the betterment of our state...and our country. He has served as the glue that holds the process together. He has fought off filibusters. He has supported his leadership, and in doing so gets painted by many as a "rubber stamp" for the Administration.

Clearly, because of his position, he has knowledge of a number of topics that I believe should remain confidential...that is where the partisan politics kick in. Just because some may not like the Administration's politics does not give license to detractors to interrogate a chairman's knowledge of confidential information. I am not naive, but I am also okay with not knowing some of the details that may be privileged.

I would contend that he is above the pettiness of the partisanship that is about to play out and that is why he chooses to move on. But I am guessing that we will just agree to disagree on that point.

Either way, I will re-read the editorial again...but I don't know if I will have a different understanding.

dbkundalini 8 years, 9 months ago

he is honest straight-shooting, unpretentious, a patriot<<<

Honest? Are we talking about the same guy? Isn't Roberts the guy who unquestioningly, unapologetically carried Bush's water on WMD for years, and basically dragged his feet any time there was any actual oversight or accountability to be done? I'm afraid so. Roberts was simply no good as a part of this committee. The guy needs to be kicked to the curb.

Shoreline_Dem 8 years, 9 months ago

...In fact, the Republican-controlled Congress has created a new standard for the use of oversight powers. That standard seems to be that when a Democratic president is in power, there are no matters too stupid or meaningless to be investigated fully -- but when George Bush is president, no evidence of corruption or incompetence is shocking enough to warrant congressional attention. One gets the sense that Bush would have to drink the blood of Christian babies to inspire hearings in Congress -- and only then if he did it during a nationally televised State of the Union address and the babies were from Pennsylvania, where Senate Judiciary chairman Arlen Specter was running ten points behind in an election year.

The numbers bear this out. From the McCarthy era in the 1950s through the Republican takeover of Congress in 1995, no Democratic committee chairman issued a subpoena without either minority consent or a committee vote. In the Clinton years, Republicans chucked that long-standing arrangement and issued more than 1,000 subpoenas to investigate alleged administration and Democratic misconduct, reviewing more than 2 million pages of government documents.

Guess how many subpoenas have been issued to the White House since George Bush took office? Zero ,-- that's right, zero, the same as the number of open rules debated this year; two fewer than the number of appropriations bills passed on time....

from a liberal source, but worth a read. What happened to our gov't in Washington is not pretty.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/worst_congress_ever

Shoreline_Dem 8 years, 9 months ago

Washington media representatives....

I guess that would mean the Washington Times and perhaps the FAUX News team.

Shoreline_Dem 8 years, 9 months ago

....Congress has repeatedly refused to look at any aspect of the war. In 2003, Republicans refused to allow a vote on a bill introduced by Rep. Waxman(D) that would have established an independent commission to review the false claims Bush made in asking Congress to declare war on Iraq.

That same year, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Porter Goss, refused to hold hearings on whether the administration had forged evidence of the nuclear threat allegedly posed by Iraq.

A year later the chair of the Government Reform Committee, Tom Davis, refused to hold hearings on new evidence casting doubt on the "nuclear tubes" cited by the Bush administration before the war.

Sen. Pat Roberts, who pledged to issue a Senate Intelligence Committee report after the 2004 election on whether the Bush administration had misled the public before the invasion, changed his mind after the president won re-election. "I think it would be a monumental waste of time to re-plow this ground any further," Roberts said.

Page 5 on the Rolling stone linked piece

JustAnotherAmerican 8 years, 9 months ago

You folks in Kansas SPIN just like a TORNADO.....

And you call yourself a News Paper..... Ha Ha Ha

Let the joyous news be spread. The wicked witch at last is dead!

not_dolph 8 years, 9 months ago

Blackwalnut - so is Roberts the worst - or is Brownback? Because you said the same thing about him a few days ago in the story about Brownback praying...so which is it? Brownback or Roberts?

You only get to pick one.

prex 8 years, 9 months ago

pilgrim,

clearly by your choice to use the word "machiavellian" (note the correct spelling) as if it is merely an abstract concept, you misunderstand a basic premise in politics: the currency of politics is power. that may be machiavellian, but it's also reality; and i'm certain senator roberts understands it.

the senate isn't called 'the world's most exclusive club' for nothing. pat roberts has to know that if he gives up his position of chairman on the senate select committee on intelligence, he loses power -- power to influence decisions about policy, power to steer funds and incentives to kansas, and especially the power to gain favors from the white house by being in the position to do favors for them in return.

to suggest that senator roberts wouldn't be intimately familiar with this after all his years in the senate is simply naÃive (how sad for you). in washington, political expediency is put above morality every day of the week.

prex 8 years, 9 months ago

not_dolph,

yes, we can agree to disagree, although i would like to respond to your statement, "I would contend that he is above the pettiness of the partisanship that is about to play out and that is why he chooses to move on."

i would contend that the pettiness of partisanship has been playing out all along, and in fact more so in the last dozen years then i can recall in my lifetime (if you don't believe me, see shoreline_dem's first post upthread).

so by my reckoning, senator roberts is fine with the partisanship -- whether he has played a role in it or not -- as long as he is in the majority, but now that he's in the minority, he suddenly has qualms and wants to (pardon the phrase) cut and run.

furthermore, we have yet to see if all this nasty partisanship that republicans are predicting will actually play out. because merely the republicans preemptively squawking "partisan politics on the way!" is in and of itself a partisan strategy to frame the debate before the debate has even begun, wouldn't you agree?

not_dolph 8 years, 9 months ago

prex - fair rebuttal. I re-read shoreline's first thread. While interesting, it seems to be anecdotal history - as no citation is offered. If I took the initiative, I could probably find evidence to refute it, but probably not worth my time or yours.

I will give you your last point, but indeed we will need to see how things play out. I also think we are talking about a "select group" of Republicans...much in the same way we might talk about a "select group" of Democrats. The majority of both parties probably dont' get as caught up in the in-fighting. Having typed that out, I would not put Roberts in the "select group" for these purposes.

Interestingly, today's Dodge City Globe reprinted the LJW Editorial. I know it's Pat's "hometown," but found it interesting that they would reprint without comment.

50YearResident 8 years, 9 months ago

If Roberts had been up for re-election in November the problem would have been solved. We would have a Democrat in office come Jan 1st and Roberts would be in line for the war trials that are coming up soon.

not_dolph 8 years, 9 months ago

Posted by 50YearResident (anonymous) on December 1, 2006 at 1:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If Roberts had been up for re-election in November the problem would have been solved. We would have a Democrat in office come Jan 1st and Roberts would be in line for the war trials that are coming up soon.


Clearly you've never been to western Kansas in your 50 years as a resident.

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