Michelle Malkin has a devastating piece for National Review Online about the most disappointing member of the 9/11 commission, former Senator Bob Kerrey. Kerrey’s conduct during the hearings has been bad enough. However, it is his television appearances, especially his most recent one with Jon Stewart, that have truly earned him the title “Commissioner Buffoon.” When Kerrey was in the Senate, he seemed like a guy who had his moments, but ultiimately wasn’t serious enough for prime time. Malkin’s piece shows that he is just about serious enough for cable comedy.
For years, high-profile investigative commissions have been mostly bad jokes, full of grandstanding partisans masquerading as earnest truth-seekers. However, the panels were able to maintain their credibility, and in some case even mystique, because their members generally had enough sense to limit their theatrics to the hearings themselves. But several members of the 9/11 commission, looking into a matter more serious than the ones before past commissions, have been unable to restrain themselves. To the extent that they set the pattern for future commissioners (and in our society, who can believe that the trend will be toward more restraint?), we may be witnessesing the end of the effectiveness of these sorts of bodies.
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