THE CONYERS PLAN....

THE CONYERS PLAN. Obviously stung by Republican accusations that he's just achin' to impeach, Rep. John Conyers, potential chair of the Judiciary Committee in a Democratic House, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post laying out the Conyers Plan for his committee.

Impeachment, at least in the short-term, isn't on the agenda. Nor are partisan investigations. Instead, Conyers will create "a select committee made up equally of Democrats and Republicans and chosen by the House speaker and the minority leader" to find evidence of potentially impeachable offenses. If that emerged, the committee would then forward their recommendations to the Judiciary Committee and appropriate action could be taken. Conyers is taking such a leisurely route, he says, because the "House Republicans who took power in 1995 with immediate plans to undermine President Bill Clinton by any means necessary...did so in the most autocratic, partisan and destructive ways imaginable. If there is any lesson from those �revolutionaries,� it is that partisan vendettas ultimately provoke a public backlash and are never viewed as legitimate."

Conyers plan seems like smart politics, but surprisingly unserious policy. By specifying that the Republicans will be chosen by the minority leader, Conyers killed his ability to name independent Republicans actually concerned with congressional oversight to the panel. I'm surprised he closed the door on himself like that. The impetus here is probably Nancy Pelosi, who's been growing more concerned by the Republican invocation of, ironically, the Republican overreach of the late-�90s. She'd already removed impeachment from the table, and now she's got Conyers taking partisanship off as well.

--Ezra Klein

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