Although the buffet line that is the 112th Congress hasn't officially opened yet, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, already has his plate piled high. Politico reported Monday that he is planning to hold at least four separate hearings in the new session of Congress, evidently including one on how "regulation impacts job creation." But Rep. Issa wasn't even first in line at the gavel trough when the Republicans won the mid term elections. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, wins the prize and his own platter. Two months ago, he promised hearings into the administration's legal policies in the War on Terror.
Ah, hearings. The one word that most aptly describes what our curiously beloved "divided government" really means. The Republicans tore after President Bill Clinton with hearings (and ultimately impeachment) when they controlled the Congress in the 1990s. The Democrats tore after President George W. Bush with hearings when they wrested control of the legislature mid-way through the 2000s. And now its clear that House Republicans intend to tear after President Barack Obama and his Democratic administration two years into his term of office. This is good news for journalists, soon to have loads of catchy sound and video from the coming political circus, and bad news for administration officials and staffers, soon to be hauled in front of committees and cameras and sworn under oath.