For the Democrats, Mitchell's replacement by Lee Hamilton was a good choice, as were their other choices of :
retiring Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Indiana, who spearheaded the creation of the independent commission; outgoing Sen. Max Cleland, D-Georgia; former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick and prominent Democratic lawyer Richard Ben-Veniste.
What remains to be seen is who Bush and the Republicans choose as their additional committee members. John Danforth is their usual "go-to-guy" If the names Ed Meese or James Baker come up, you might as well flush the report right now.
Hamilton, Cleland and Ben-Veniste are beyond reproach; Gorelick will undoubtedly be the target of wingnut smears just for being within 5,000 miles of the Clinton Justice Department. But one can't hope for much from the commission with Kissinger in the chair and a Republican veto on every decision.
I'd like to see Danforth on the commission in one of the Republican slots, just to piss off the wingnuts who hate him for his Waco report. But the Administration can do a lot worse than Meese or Baker (who would probably think working with others on a commission was beneath them, anyway). Think Joe DiGenova, David Bossie, Chris Ruddy. Think Dick Armey. Most likely, Bush will pick five noncontroversial nobodies to keep the commission off the front pages as much as possible. But the game is rigged, and there's no way Bush can lose.