Hypocrites: House Democrats only want transparency and government oversight when a Republican is in the White House

Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee aren’t even trying anymore to pretend like they care about the White House’s lack of transparency. They’ve long defended the Obama administration from scandals, often appearing like they don’t care that the White House tried sell a lie to Americans about Benghazi or that the IRS targeted organizations simply because of their political views.

But a lesser controversy brought out a revealing admission from a couple of Democrats on the House’s primary oversight committee.

During a Friday hearing on alleged violations of the Hatch Act by the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, Delegate Eleanor Norton Holmes (D-DC) blasted her Republican colleagues on the committee for trying to get to the bottom of this latest controversy.

Holmes is upset that Republicans have subpoenaed David Simas, director the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, to testify over the use of a taxpayer-funded government office for partisan political activity. The White House, however, has refused to comply, absurdly and arrogantly claiming executive privilege. Simas has missed the two recent Oversight hearings on the matter.

“I agree that there are circumstances where you don’t need wrongdoing, but you need a predicate for a subpoena. You need more than a fishing expedition,” Norton complained. “You don’t have a right to know everything in a separation of powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation of powers government.”

Norton’s rant was echoed by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who told his nonvoting colleague, “I associate myself with your comments.”

Republicans argue that the scrutiny on this matter is on the same level that Democrats, then in the majority, brought on the Bush administration in 2008. The committee approved a resolution rejecting the White House’s claim that Simas is “immune” from testifying and will look at their options to enforce the subpoena.

Back to Norton’s lame screed for a moment. Sure, each branch of the federal government has separate powers from the others. But, the way in which our system was designed, each branch serves as a check on the power of the others.

Democrats have a keen awareness of that when a Republican is in the White House. Sadly, they don’t care about transparency when a Democrat — one that promised Americans the most transparent administration in history — is in office.

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