Yesterday, the opening day of the 112th Congress saw the Republicans retake control of the House of Representatives. One of the Republicans gaining the most with this development is Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the new chairman of the Oversight Committee. When it became clear the GOP would run the House, the political talk has been that Issa would use the power of the committee to subpoena and investigate the Obama administration.
During the lame-duck session last month, the White House made efforts to, if not
woo Issa, to ensure he didn’t use the committee’s clout for purely political purposes. Reports indicated this might have been working. Sunday morning, Politico published an article entitled, “Issa the Statesman?” Most the of the early investigations that had been announced seemed to indicate that the Oversight Committee would act as something more than just a means to score political points.
On the same morning Politico’s article was published, it was reported that Issa, during an appearance on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, said that President Obama’s administration is “one of the most corrupt administrations.” If they were around, folks from the Nixon, Harding, and even the Grant administrations, would probably have something to say about that.
Having taken some hits this week for a report that he sent a letter to business interests asking them what regulations they didn’t like, Issa attempted to walk back his comments about corruption and the Obama administration. On CNN, Issa told John King, “I think people misunderstand the meaning of the word corrupt, and obviously CNN does. Corrupt or corrupted or failure – it’s no different than a disc drive giving you some bits that are wrong.”
Yea, so that happened. He wasn’t talking about ethics or broken laws, but he was talking about that busted Commodore you haven’t gotten around to replacing because you really got a thing for MS-DOS. It would be nice if Issa didn’t equivocate here and come up with a lame excuse. Back in the world where the word corrupt in politics doesn’t refer to a busted hard drive ,there were really only two options for Issa here. Either he sticks to his guns, saying he does believe the Obama administration is one of the most corrupt and he will hold their feet to the fire or acknowledge that when he made those comments, he exaggerated his actual sentiments. Even if he went with the latter, he could still say he believes programs and funds were mismanaged and his only motivation is to save the American people money and have the government function as smoothly as possible.
As TalkingPointsMemo astutely boils it down, Issa’s point can be summed up as,
“When I said Obama is Corrupt, I Meant Like a Computer.” It seems strikingly similar to a lyric from “The Most Beautiful Girl [In The Room],” by Flight of The Conchords, where Jermaine sings, “You are so beautiful – like a tree.” If Issa is really going to embrace this, can he make Murray majority counsel on the Oversight Committee?