Dana Perino, W’s former press secretary and current FOX talking head, posted a piece on FOX News.com about how the GOP should handle Sibelius when she testifies on Wednesday:
Most of it is common sense pablum, but after watching most of the House hearings on Benghazi and the IRS, I think that the GOP has to come up with a totally different strategy.
They are going to have this ONE chance at her, and they can’t waste it.
Note: As I write this, I can’t find any notice that she is going to appear before a Senate committee, which itself is highly unusual. Usually both chambers want the chance to make headlines. This lack of interest suggests that the Democrat controlled Senate has ZERO desire to remind the voters that they are the ones responsible for the total failure that is Obamacare.
Everyone pretty much knows the format that House committee hearings follow: The chair,and the ranking member, each make opening statements, usually speaking as long as they choose, attempting to frame, and refute, the reason for the hearing. The ranking member, Waxman, will have to do the heavy lifting for the Democrats. Dingell will most likely drool, and Pallone, based on his previous behavior, will be nasty.
After Sibelius is introduced, and sworn, the chair and ranking member will most likely then each take 5 minutes to question her. Questioning then alternates between parties, with the order determined by seniority and who is actually present in the room.
It will be more than interesting to see how many Democrats are hostile, critical of Sibelius.
But now, to the Republicans on the committee. There are 30 GOP members, and each will be eager to get their chance to sound off for the cameras, and the voters back home. That’s going to result in a lot of 2-3 minute monologues, then maybe another minute for a question, then Sibelius will take a minute or two to say nothing….just speak in vacuous syllables, and nothing much will be gleaned, learned, or accomplished.
I’m not overly familiar with most members of the committee, but here’s one suggestion that seems obvious. For the first round, at least for the first 10 GOP questioners, have them yield their time to Marsha Blackburn, the committee vice-chair. She’s been an effective voice of opposition to Obamacare. Let her continue the questioning, after each Democrat has spent their allotted 5 minutes castigating the evil Republicans. Let her develop some key themes, issues, and questions, and pin her down. This way Sibelius won’t be able to escape answering, to duck the questions.
The media usually focuses on the first hours of the hearing, so more Americans will get a chance to watch and see for themselves the level of incompetence Sibelius is about to display. And having her questioned by a female will negate all the usual Democrat charges of bullying…the “war on women.”
This is one instance where Boehner and the GOP leadership should law down the law to Upton and the committee..make them do it this way.
Otherwise, it’ll be no big deal.