Congress Senate

The Next Witch Hunt

Have Congressional Republicans found their next witch hunt?

While the Select Benghazi Committee continues to waste time and money, Senate Republicans are planning to hold ‘robust hearings’ concerning Cuba.

“What you’re going to see in the Foreign Relations Committee is a robust set of hearings around all of this. Not just the issue of the administration’s policies but the embargo itself. This has not been top of mind,” [chairman] Corker said at the joint Senate-House Republican retreat at the Hershey Lodge. […]

First thing I want to understand is what the administration is attempting to do, what the Castro administration is looking to do — behavioral change, in regard — and then we can look at the bigger policies.”

It seems obvious to me that we’re ending a half-century old embargo because it hasn’t produced results and because it’s inhumane and uncivilized, but who knows? Maybe the president and the Castro administration are working in cahoots to sneak socialism across the gulf and into America.

I’ll allow that it’s possible the intent of these hearings is benign, but recent history tells us they will be anything but.

Chairman Corker would not say if he thinks the embargo should be reinstated but, if recent statements from several Republican presidential hopefuls are any indication, the GOP may campaign on reinstating the embargo in 2016 and these ‘robust hearings’ could drag out for the next two years. Senators who’ve been infuriated by the administration’s actions will surely want to have their 15 minutes of grandstanding.

Spending the next two years on a non-scandal wouldn’t be unprecedented. Congressional Republicans spent an equal or greater amount of time on Solyndra, Fast and Furious, and the IRS. We’re still on Benghazi.

  • Nefercat

    After years and years of never-ending hearings about things that turn out not to be scandals at all, I wonder how much this will actually benefit republicans, if it does at all.

    We have had an election. They now control both houses. We have checks and balances in place in the form of filibusters, vetoes, overturning or not overturning vetoes, and so on.

    At some point, at least with the sane, non-political Americans, the relentless hearings and investigations, all amounting to nothing, will just turn into background noise, ignored by all except the crazy-eyed base and clown car 2016 candidates. People carve out normal lives in war-torn landscapes. We adapt.

    Until the next election, when mildly annoyed but sane Americans decide that other than wasting time, the republicans accomplished nothing for the American people and wasted millions of dollars, and they vote Democratic. I hope this is what will happen, anyway.

  • bphoon

    …it’s inhumane and uncivilized…

    Sounds like a perfect fit for the GOP agenda to me.

  • muselet

    I think the argument isn’t that the Obama and Castro administrations are working together, but that Barack Obama is such a terrible negotiator that Raúl Castro got everything he could possibly have wanted out of the deal while Obama got nothing.

    Left unasked, as far as I can tell, is what the substantive difference might be between Cuba and Vietnam (against which we fought a war), or for that matter China (which was part of the—nonexistent—Sino-Soviet Bloc during the Cold War). I do wish someone would ask the Rs about that, because the answer might be enlightening (and would certainly be amusing).

    Also, I think Steve Sack summed up the politics of ending the embargo quite nicely last month.


    • JMAshby

      I was being flippant, but yes I agree. As always, they are looking for a “gotcha” moment where none likely exists.

    • bphoon

      I’d like them to tell me what we got out of their adventure in Iraq.

    • j hentai

      that’s a great cartoon!