Monday, September 13, 2010

Seven (7) and 1/2 Weeks to Election

What does Peter King, R-NY, want if House majority becomes Republican in November? It is clear that Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, just never quite figured out what the Homeland Security Committee in the House was up to and now that failure will contribute to what looks like the switch in control in the 112th Congress. I am a fuzzy headed liberal as all readers of my writings know. But I have a great deal of respect for Congressman King, and so do many others on both sides of the aisle. Why? He is one of the few really competent Congressional members and could play a key role in a number of places. As Ranking Minority Member on Homeland Security he has at least provided some thoughtfullness to the Committee's agenda even while Thompson focused on things like field hearings in Mississippi on how to contract with DHS.

My hope of course is that both houses could agree on the formation of a joint committee on Homeland Security, one that would operate like the Joint Committee on Defense Production that lasted from the late 40's until 1977. Given the impacts on the domestic economy that joint committee might profitable be reestablished also. Hey other joint committees do exist now including the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Joint Committee on Intelligence. Peter King knows and understands Homeland Security as well as anyone and more so than some more prominent members in the House and Senate. But hey he might have the option of replacing Barney Frank on the Banking Committee and that is a really tempting assigment given the economic collapase that continues under this administration.
Well this is one of the crucial issues impacting policy in the runup to the 2012 elections. And note terrorism is no longer in the top ten of issues about which the American electorate is concerned. Interesting in light of a report released over the weekend indicating that most terrorism will be as a result of activities of domestic homegrown terrorists in the US in the near future. This raises a host of issues as the "Surveillance State" subsumes the National Security State that so miserably failed to protect the US against foreign non-state actors. Good luck Peter wherever you go!