If there is one, just one, good reason for the Senate Republicans to refuse to allow congressional investigators to have subpoena powers as they probe the potential crimes associated with the massive - and ongoing - oil spill in the Gulf by BP, then wouldn't they tell us what that reason was? Senator Jim DeMint refuses to even say out loud the names of the Republicans who want to protect BP.
Steve Benen at Washington Monthly says it best:
"Given the 420 to 1 vote [as it passed in the House] , Senate Democrats sought unanimous consent yesterday to resolve the issue and let the commission do its job. It's an easy one, right? Wrong. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) refused, objecting on behalf of others in the Republican conference that he would not name.
"I have to conclude by the objections that there are colleagues on the other side that either don't want to get to the bottom of this -- or are standing on the side of the oil companies and not of the victims and their families," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told reporters.
I've long since run out of adjectives to describe these folks. The commission can't get answers without subpoena power, and Congress has routinely extended subpoena power to related commissions -- including panels investigating the JFK assassination, the Three Mile Island disaster, and the 9/11 attacks. And yet, Senate Republicans yesterday blocked the authority for the BP commission, and wouldn't say why."