George W. Bush seems to have made a mistake: in recruiting a chair for the 9-11 Commission with a reputation for independence, he seems to have stumbled on someone who can only be pushed so far before complaining. Thomas Kean is threatening subpoenas, and he is doing so on the front page of the New York Times
On the other hand, the White House stonewalling will almost certainly lead to a good outcome from Mr. Bush’s viewpoint. Commission members are already admitting that the obtructions they have been facing will make it impossible to issue a report in May, as planned. So here’s what’s going to happen: They’re going to ask for an extension, and after due consideration the Republicans on the Hill will grant them one, with a report date somewhat after the election. Any objection from the Democrats will be met with cries of “partisanship.” And John McCain will persuade the victims’ families to go along with it.
Really, the Washington game isn’t that hard to play, if you start with unlimited shamelessness.