Michelle Bachmann Suggests Republicans Make The Same Mistakes All Over Again

If Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann gets her way, the 112th Congress will feature a lot of committees "investigating" the Obama Administration.

Minnesota Congressman Michelle Bachmann has a very interesting idea of what Republicans should do if they regain control of the House in November:

Want a sneak preview for what the 2011 legislative calendar has in store?

The Intrade prediction market is giving the GOP a 57-percent shot of taking back the House of Representatives this fall, meaning it is more likely to happen than not. And a lot of polls seem to be indicating the same thing. But should that happen, then what?

According to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the House Republicans should exercise their power to subpoena and hold continuous hearings. Speaking to a gathering for the GOP Youth Convention on July 22 in Washington, D.C., she emphasized this point.

“Oh, I think that’s all we should do,” Bachmann said. “I think that all we should do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another. And expose all the nonsense that is going on. And it’s very important when we come back that we have constitutional conservative leadership because the American people’s patience is about this big.”

And their patience for pointless Congressional hearings is even smaller, Congresswoman Bachmann.

Fortunately for Republicans, Bachmann does not speak for the leadership, although she would be in line to get a Committee Chairmanship if the GOP took over the House. Nonetheless Bachmann is not the first Republican politician or pundit who’s suggested that the GOP should use it’s (currently purely hypothetical) majority to hammer the Obama Administration with investigations over the various issues that have served as Outrages Of The Day over the past eighteen months.

It strikes me as an incredibly dumb strategy.

For one thing, it would constitute a massive mis-read of the results of the election; if the Republicans do win big in November it will be principally due to voter dissatisfaction with the state of the economy. A GOP Congress that shows up in January and gives them a repeat of the post-1994 investigations of the Clinton
Administration could very well find that they’re on the wrong side yet again.

For another, history should show the Republicans that this type of investigatory show-down doesn’t always work out to the benefit of the side doing the investigating. The Clinton impeachment, for example, ended up being a huge political bust for House Republicans and resulted in losses in the 1998 elections in the House. Why they’d want to repeat that debacle is beyond me.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2010, Congress, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Dantheman says:

    “For another, history should show the Republicans that this type of investigatory show-down doesn’t always work out to the benefit of the side doing the investigating.”

    The post-1994 investigations into everything from Christmas card lists to Vincent Foster’s suicide seemed to work out just fine for the Republicans. It led to their longest run controlling Congress since the Great Depression. I strongly expect a repeat.

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    They won’t be able to help themselves Doug. Bachmann is only a few notches away from being off her rocker so the fact that she would get a committee chairmanship says it all.

  3. c.red says:

    It is not just Bachman, Darrell Issa has basically said the same thing and he is the ranking Republican member of the House Oversight Committee. Both have already mentioned impeachment, presumably for the crime of being a Democrat.

    I would be willing to dismiss them both as fringe nutjobs, but I have not heard much from ANY other Republican representative that makes me think there is anything else but this on their agenda should they gain a majority.

  4. Herb says:

    Yet another reason not to vote Republican in November….

  5. sam says:

    “It strikes me as an incredibly dumb strategy.”

    If Bachmann and Issa have their way, that will be the operational plan. With impeachment hard on its heels. You know, it’s not called the Stupid Party for nothing.

  6. Dantheman says:

    c.red,

    “but I have not heard much from ANY other Republican representative that makes me think there is anything else but this on their agenda should they gain a majority.”

    That’s not true. They have plenty of other items on their agenda, such as tax cuts targeted at the wealthy, ending the estate tax, privatizing Social Security, attacking Middle Eastern countries (Iran certainly leads the list), etc. Call it Bush the Younger, Part II.

  7. Brummagem Joe says:

    “Call it Bush the Younger, Part II.”

    You’ve been reading too much Krugman, but he’s not without a point.

  8. c.red says:

    “That’s not true. They have plenty of other items on their agenda, such as tax cuts targeted at the wealthy, ending the estate tax, privatizing Social Security, attacking Middle Eastern countries (Iran certainly leads the list), etc. Call it Bush the Younger, Part II.”

    Those are on the table for 2013 when the Palin/Gingrich superticket arrives…

  9. Juneau: says:

    They won’t be able to help themselves Doug. Bachmann is only a few notches away from being off her rocker so the fact that she would get a committee chairmanship says it all.

    This, in the face of a recently failed investigation of the 2006 AG actions of an administration that has been gone for two years, on top of an investigation into the so-called torture rulings 6 years ago by Yoo, et. al. And you’re talking about the “mistake” of republicans investigating?

    Brummagem Joe, you’re definitely a plant here, talking up like you’re some kind of conservative 🙂 You had me fooled for a bit.

  10. Juneau: says:

    Yet another reason not to vote Republican in November….

    Yet another reason to vote conservative in November…