White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, like Scott "The Lyin' King" McClellan before him, does a great job serving up lies every day on behalf of George W. Bush. If the president or Dick Cheney told Snow to go before the media and say that today is actually Christmas, he would do it and treat everyone in the room like idiots for being unaware of that altered reality.
So there was Snow yesterday sounding a lot like a Democrat and detailing the amount of congressional investigation that's been necessary on the corrupt administration for which he is the mouthpiece, but actually using it to illustrate how the current Congress doesn't understand the view from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on their role -- that they only exist to rubber stamp King George's policies.
Here's Snow in his opening statement for the Wednesday press briefing:
"As you probably know, the House Judiciary Committee has just voted along partisan lines to have a criminal contempt of Congress referral against White House legal counsel and the White House Chief of Staff. For our view, this is pathetic. What you have right now is partisanship on Capitol Hill that quite often boils down to insults, insinuations, inquisitions and investigations rather than pursuing the normal business of trying to pass major pieces of legislation, such as appropriations bills, and to try to work in such a way as to demonstrate to the American people that Congress and the White House can work together.
"In any event, it's worth putting this in perspective in terms of the accomplishments of the present Congress. If you take a look at the 110th Congress right now, which had promised to have all of its appropriations bills done this month, here's what we have seen since the beginning of the Congress: More than 300 executive branch investigations or inquiries; 400 requests for documents, interviews, or testimony; we've had more than 550 officials testify; we've had more than 600 oversight hearings; 87,000-plus hours spent responding to oversight requests; and 430,000 pages made available to Congress for oversight. That's pretty significant."
"That's pretty significant," he says.
But what he means is that Congress is wasting their time doing the oversight inherent to that body -- because, as far as Snow is concerned, Congress represents the White House and not the American people -- and that they should spend more time helping Bush in his failed national agenda or, like their GOP predecessors, focusing on issues like Terri Schiavo or flag burning.
And then one intrepid reporter tries to remind Snow of that boring old checks-and-balances thing:
Q: Tony, this country -- if I'm correct from our history books, wasn't this country based on the system of checks and balances? You say they're not doing the people's business, but isn't that the people's business? If there is something in question -- granted, there might have been 400 investigations, but if there was something in question, isn't that the people's business?
Snow: That's a very good question. But what if there isn't anything in question and somebody is going on a --
Q: There are things in question.
Snow then goes on to explain how Congress is only on a partisan "fishing expedition" and that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are guilty of creating "a toxic atmosphere" in Washington.
I see... We have a Supreme Court-appointed president who has done everything but go up to Capitol Hill and urinate on the Senate floor and has systematically shredded our Constitution, but it's the people in the legislative branch who have polluted the political atmosphere.
And Snow wrapped up soon after one reporter expressed why Congress might be issuing contempt citations -- "you haven't made everybody available. You've made them available if they go without the oath, if they go without the transcript, and if they go in private" -- and another asked about Alberto Gonzales and whether Bush is "troubled by senators questioning his truthfulness and by Specter saying that he doesn't think he has any credibility."
Snow said the president "stands by the Attorney General" and, perhaps to lighten things up, "the president is bothered sometimes by the tone of debate in Washington."
Well, at least he ended on a comic note.
You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.