False equivalence of the day

Here's the Washington Post's Shailagh Murray on what will happen if Republicans win control of the House of Representatives:

The GOP would regain control of committees and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), likely to become chairman of the powerful House oversight committee, would launch wide-ranging hearings into White House policies and use his subpoena power to call administration officials to testify (just as Democrats did with Bush officials).

Well, maybe not just as Democrats did.

After all, the last time Republicans controlled the House with a Democratic president, they ran around subpoenaing everything that moved; GOP committee chairs shot up vegetable gardens in an effort to 'prove' that the president killed his close friend. They impeached him over an affair. Congressional Democrats simply didn't do anything even remotely similar during the Bush administration, even in the face of torture, warrantless wiretapping of Americans, and a war started on false pretenses. And so far, Darrell Issa has shown signs of being closer to Dan Burton than to Henry Waxman.

I don't believe that Washington Post reporters and editors actually think that Democrats and Republicans have approached congressional oversight of the opposing party's president in an equivalent way over the past twenty years. How could they? It's preposterous. Yet they reflexively pretend that things that are actually quite different are the same. And the result is much like the result of pretending that both sides are equally dishonest: It incentivizes bad behavior.

And here's Murray on what would happen if Democrats maintain control of Congress:

The shock of nearly losing power after just four years would be certain to temper the Democrats' legislative ambition. The most chastened Democrats would be liberals who fought for the health-care and climate change bills that distracted Congress from the jobs agenda voters say they would have preferred. [Emphasis added]

Murray doesn't consider the possibility that the most chastened Democrats would (or should) be conservatives who opposed a larger stimulus that might have done a better job of improving the economy and, thus, the Democrats' political fortunes. She just reflexively blames the Left.