Democrats Subpoena Barney

During the Congressional elections of 2006, Democrats assured voters they would not follow in the footsteps of the Republican Congress during the Clinton years by wasting time with frivolous investigations. Less than six months on, they to appear to have backtracked on that promise. Last night, Congressman Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced a subpoena for Presidential Pooch Barney to appear before the committee.

Apparently, a dispute has emerged within the halls of Congress as to just how much influence the Scottish Terrier has over administration policy. This is after the President was quoted by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward as saying he will not pull out of Iraq even if “Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.”

“We need to know exactly what Barney has been saying to the President,” said Waxman. “Clearly, the dog has a vested interest in the war in Iraq succeeding, and this interest seems strange for such a friendly breed. If the rationale to go to war was based even partially on Barney’s analysis of the intelligence, he must tell us about it.”

The White House immediately rejected the idea of Bush’s best friend testifying before the committee. Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino said that “in order for the President to ensure he receives candid advice from all of his pets, we cannot allow Barney to appear. Executive privilege clearly supports the President’s position, and we will not budge on this.”

However, some senior administration officials who asked not to be named left open the possibility of Barney appearing before the committee in a closed-door session. Also, under this scenario, Barney would not be allowed to bring his own lunch.

Democrats, and even some Republicans, rejected this outright. “If Barney is not required to eat the dog food we provide, this will just be an exercise in futility,” said Republican Arlen Specter. “Our dog food is clean; there is no reason for the administration to worry about it being from a poisoned batch.” Specter’s offer of another dog to taste-test the food first was promptly rejected.

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich added fuel to the fire when he stated, “This is completely idiotic. When we were in charge, we only investigated important things, like White House Christmas card lists. Further, our investigation of the Clintons’ cat was totally different from this subpoena. We were focused on stationary, not something as meaningless as war. The Democrats are completely misusing the trust the voters bestowed upon them for their own political gains.”

With the Supreme Court being the ultimate arbiter of what exactly is and is not covered under executive privilege, it is unclear how far the Democrats are willing to take the argument. All parties agree a court case would take at least a year to be heard and ruled upon. Further, Justice Antonin Scalia’s affection for terriers is common knowledge throughout Washington society. Until a solution presents itself, White House staff has been ordered not to trim any of the Bush’s pet’s coats for fear that evidence may be destroyed.

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