Mr. Brinkley’s response not withstanding, I’ve always wondered about these hearings when the citizens are asked or required to testify, why are the “servants” of the public sitting high above on the dais looking down their noses, over their glasses with a grand sense of majesty? Seems to me that the inquisitors should be on the floor with the citizen on the dais.
When Congressmen are professional politicians government turns against the people. Yes, they simply use hearings as an opportunity to record sound bites and get quotes in the record that they can use to appeal to voting blocks, mostly their base (i.e., “see how I raked that evil businessman over the coals ?”).
If the Congressmen were citizen politicians, i.e., very well known AND respected in their home state, accomplished people widely acknowledged to be of excellent character (think in terms of the year 1790 or so), then their time in these hearings would serve a good purpose. Being of good character would mean, of course, they would take their fiduciary responsibility of overseeing the nation’s Treasury seriously, and - other than in time of war - there would always be a surplus at year’s end - NEVER a deficit. The government would accumulate a very large reserve of cash, then refund surplus to taxpayers every year after that, keeping just enough to add a bit to reserves.
When the morals of society at large go down the toilet, so go the morals of the leaders of society.
Having been to the Senate Judiciary Committee, I feel the same way. I wondered who the f**k they thought they were, looking down in us like that.
Mu thoughts, exactly.
Having given 4 open congressional testimonies and one in Executive Session, the way you can get to testify is any one of the following:
1. You ask to testify based on information/experiences you have that are relevant to the subject of the hearing. (2 of my testimonies on Vietnam/Cambodia).
2. You are ordered to testify by the Hearing chairman because he thinks you have something worthwhile to say on the topic of the hearing (1 testimony on Vietnam and POWS).
3. You did something that caught the attention of a congressional committee and they asked you or ordered you to testify) (1 - asked based on my undercover work in the Left). In this case, maybe Brinkley wrote something that the committee was interested in, or he was nominated to testify by a member of the committee.
4. You can also submit a “statement” or paper to a hearing for inclusion in the Exhibits/Appendix that is relevant to the subject of the hearing (1 report submitted because we didn’t learn of the hearing’s date and deadline to apply to testify until it was too late to do so. (Report on Illegal Use of Tax Exemptions for Lobbying was published as a submitted document).
5. You are a recognized “expert” or “expert witness” on a subject, often something scientific or historical, and are asked to testify about a subject within your realm of experience/research. (Not yet, but I am classified as an “expert witness” in my professional work - mainly for court cases but could apply to congressional hearings).
Hope this answers your question.