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.