During a presidential election year, congressional majorities don’t have much of a chance to make an impression. The media is fixated on the horse-race for the White House, and if there are other things going on, Congress gets nary a mention.

These days, congressional Democrats have even less of a chance to make much of a positive impression. The presidential contest is wide open, there’s a war in Iraq, global warming panic is gripping the media, and the world seems to be collapsing in many other different places (like Pakistan and Burma).

That is why it is so curious that congressional Democrats are using their precious little time chasing after a partisan witch hunt that will yield little positive press for their side.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) has issued a contempt of Congress citation to Harriet Miers for her refusal to testify before his committee on the already forgotten U.S. attorney scandal. While the Senate is busy voting to confirm the president’s nomination for the new attorney general, the House is still trying to beat up on the old attorney general.

What does John Conyers think he is going to achieve by getting into a pitched battle with the executive branch over the definition of executive privilege on an issue that the American people have put behind them? Doesn’t he have anything better to do? Can’t he find a better villain than Harriet Miers?

House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam’s (Fla.) shop put out a clever comparison showing the lack of progress by the Democratic majority on issues that people care about, things like the price of gas, taking care of our veterans, et cetera, while highlighting the number of investigations they have launched to try to drag the White House through the mud on this U.S. attorney issue.

The Democratic majority is suffering at the polls for a couple of reasons. People feel that they haven’t lived up to their promises. They feel that the Democrats haven’t accomplished anything of note. And they feel that Democratic partisanship is just way too partisan. This witch hunt doesn’t help things at all for the Democrats.