“The disdain and uncooperative nature that this administration has shown toward Congress… is so egregious that I can no longer assume that it is simply bureaucratic incompetence or isolated mistakes. Rather, I have come to the sad conclusion that this administration has intentionally obstructed Congress’ rightful and constitutional duties.”
That rather damning criticism comes not from a liberal opponent of the Bush Administration, but from one of its most right-wing supporters in Congress, California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.
“This administration is setting a terrible precedent. What people have to understand… is when there is a liberal Democrat in the White House, the President will have set [the precedent] that Members of Congress can simply be dismissed, and that when they are trying to do a congressional investigation need not be cooperated with, in fact, can be obstructed. Is that the type of President that we want? Is that acceptable? It shouldn’t be acceptable to Democrats and it shouldn’t be acceptable to Republicans,” he said on the House floor on February 26.
Rep. Rohrabacher described a series of incidents in which the Bush Administration blocked congressional initiatives or failed to meet his expectations. Some of the offenses described, like the failure to administer a polygraph to former national security advisor Samuel R. Berger concerning his theft of documents from the National Archives, seem idiosyncratic or otherwise questionable. But the Congressman’s outrage appears genuine enough.
“It is truly with a heavy heart, Madam Speaker, that I stand here reciting example after example of the maliciousness and condescending attitude exhibited by this administration. It is a problem that’s flowing from the top.”
“When I hear my friends on the other side of the aisle accusing this administration of stonewalling, of coverups, or thwarting investigations, I sadly must concur with them,” Rep. Rohrabacher concluded.