The story involves warrantless wiretapping, a little bit of ever-so-subtle power tug-of-war between two Representatives from California and a lobby group with a formidable history.
There are allegations that, in exchange for "reduc(ing) espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee . . . the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi (now the Speaker of the House) to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections . ."
So, who is blogging about the Congressional Quarterly article? PJTV? Fox News? George Will?
Why on earth would blogs favoring liberal opinion write fervently about the allegations of quid pro quo and/or possible Obstruction of Justice?
Here is where I insert my many years of mid-level business management experience into this political morass.
In 2006, the Democrats (which include Harman and Pelosi) wanted to take advantage of the public's frustration with the lack of progress to retain as many Democrats already in place in the House and win enough seats in the House to put the Democrats back into the majority for the first time since 1994.
In my management experience, when our department is short staffed, the last thing anyone wants to do is suspend or fire any employee. Much more effort is made toward correcting employees who made mistakes and/or keep calling out sick or showing up late to work.
So, in that spirit, it looks like in order to keep Harman in the House, the worst that happenedin '06 was that Pelosi did not give Harman the coveted Chairperson position in the Intelligence Committee.
Now that there is a much bigger Democratic majority in the House, it appears that the chatter about Harman has ramped up again. It did not hurt that a recent revelation that some of Harman's phone conversations were monitored (see emptywheel's post to which I linked earlier in this post).
Listening to a few liberal talk show hosts on the radio lately, it looks like the pressure is mounting to kick off a full investigation of the unseemly political mess from three years ago.
Again, in my management experience, once the department has become fully staffed and everyone is fully trained, the vice of policy enforcement begins to squeeze. Suddenly, those employees whose infractions were overlooked, now find any continued poor performance or bad habits prosecuted much more vigorously and their suspension and/or firing become more likely.
If it has now become time for the Democrats in the House to police their own and peel off those whose dealings are more gray/shady than most, it looks like this former candidate for Harman's seat in Congress is priming herself to run next year for that same seat.
Can't wait to see how long and far this "housecleaning" will go.