WASHINGTON -- Two weeks after the 2006 elections put Democrats in charge of Congress, Time magazine depicted Rep. Henry Waxman, now the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as "The Scariest Guy in Washington." In the column by Karen Tumulty, the ultraliberal Beverly Hills Democrat is portrayed as "tenacious," and Tumulty says there is "no one tougher." Quoting from the left-wing magazine The Nation, she calls the Napoleonic Waxman the "Eliot Ness of the Democrats" and describes those who work for him as "one of the most highly regarded staffs on Capitol Hill."
In the blatant Time puff piece, Tumulty gushes, "What Waxman does love to do is write laws, and he has been extraordinarily good at it." She also quotes Waxman as saying his role as committee chairman will give him free rein to investigate "everything that the government is involved with (sic)." Notwithstanding the poor grammar, that may be the most accurate statement in the article.
Since becoming committee chairman, Waxman has initiated numerous investigations into the activities of the Bush administration. According to his own news releases, he has probed -- if that's the right word -- the case of Valerie Plame, the celebrity CIA operative; Karl Rove; medical treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Karl Rove; Defense Department and State Department contracting practices; Vice President Dick Cheney; Karl Rove; construction and hiring practices at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; and the democratically elected government of Iraq, and he has tried to smear the White House over erroneous reports on the tragic death of Pat Tillman and the rescue of Jessica Lynch. Other than reducing entire forests to pulp for the paper to print his reports, the American people, in whose name all this is being done, have precious little to show for his tireless work.
Notwithstanding Waxman's billing as a legislator who loves to "write laws, and he has been extraordinarily good at it," only three of the 95 bills he has sponsored in the past decade have been enacted. Seventy-seven of them were so good that they didn't even make their way out of committee.
Waxman's supporters describe him as a crusader for transparency in government. But the Time magazine flattery feature failed to disclose that the Time Warner Political Action Committee was the number one donor -- $13,500 -- to his 2006 re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Perhaps this revelation will prompt him to investigate the Federal Election Commission.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.