Robert Novak

Waxman concedes he sounds like the French police inspector in the movie "Casablanca" who was "shocked" to discover gambling. "I recognize that federal political appointees have traveled to events with members of Congress in prior administrations," he wrote Taylor. "What is striking about your memo to [the drug control office] is the degree of White House control, the number of trips and the agency involved." He claimed a "tradition of non-partisanship" in an office where the first drug czar was William J. Bennett.

Waxman's multiple inquiries wage all-out war against Bush. He has accused Lurita Doan, administrator of the General Services of Administration, of soliciting political activity by her employees. He heard testimony from former Surgeon General Richard Carmona that the White House politicized his work. Waxman also has said he plans to revisit what Taylor knows about the sacking of U.S. attorneys.

Henry Waxman planned payback through 12 years in the minority. In response, the Oversight Committee's ranking Republican, Rep. Tom Davis, in a April 25 committee meeting tried to extend Waxman's subpoena of Republican e-mails to include Democratic e-mails during the Clinton administration. Davis was rejected on a party-line vote.

The White House is feckless. Once off the government payroll, Sara Taylor was on her own to explain a world she never built. While the president ordered his former counsel Harriet Miers not to testify about firing U.S. attorneys, Taylor was given ambiguous instructions on what she could and could not discuss. Now, she faces the need to defend under oath the politics of the Drug Control office.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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