Crank Up the Outrage Machine.

Steve Benen explains how absurd Republican demands are that a special prosecutor be appointed in the question of Joe Sestak's alleged White House job offer, and this raises a rather important issue. In case you are unaware, Sestak says that someone in the White House told him that if he would shelve his primary campaign against Arlen Specter, they'd give him a job. What job it was, he won't say, and the White House doesn't want to talk about it. In any event, this is fairly standard political horse-trading, which Republicans are now expressing faux outrage over.

But here's why it's important: If Republicans were in charge of Congress right now, they'd be holding endless hearings on not just this issue but a hundred other cases of alleged Obama administration malfeasance. For those of you too young to remember, the Clinton years were a parade of ridiculous "investigations" into things like whether aide Vince Foster was murdered by a nefarious conspiracy. The Republican Congress heard 140 hours of testimony -- repeat, 140 hours of testimony -- on the burning question of whether the Clintons had misused the White House Christmas card list.

Should they be fortunate enough to take one or both houses of Congress in this fall's elections, you can bet the GOP is going to get right to work on renewing that sorry spectacle. The only thing holding them back now is the fact that their lack of institutional power renders them unable to create events -- like hearings- - to which cameras can go and around which news stories can be built. If they do take back even the House, it'll be a long two years.

-- Paul Waldman

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