This week we were reminded how fragile the new Democratic majority is when South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson had brain surgery on Wednesday. Nevertheless, Democrats are assuming the reigns in January and their incoming committee chairmen have said they will hold a series of hearings and investigations to promote phased withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.
There is plenty of material for Democrats to examine: war profiteering, prewar intelligence, the shameful treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib and Guantanomo Bay and the governments domestic surveillance program.
I am especially interested about what Congressman Henry Waxman, incoming chairman of the House Reform Committee will find. Waxman and his staff are renowned for their investigative talents and aggressiveness.
We can expect President Bush will fight subpoenas all the way to the Supreme Court and obstruct congress as much possible. Even so I suspect the public will receive an extensive education about the Bush Administration's criminal activity.
Unfortunately when Bush is out of office historians may be limited by what they can turn up. One of Bush's first executive orders after 9/11 limited public access to his presidential papers after leaving office. The cover-up was underway before the crimes were committed.