Time for Darrel ("I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille") Issa to step down. This mini-Joe McCarthy, a guy who never met a camera he didn't love, this blatantly self-serving scoundrel who's been using his position on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee as a personal showcase for his overweening, self-assessed wonderfulness and as a handmaiden for Fox New and the GOP has finally gone and done it.
Nobody who's followed this guy over the years is the least surprised. They know him by his true colors --a bully-boy whose job isn't "oversight" or "reform," but is, instead, an opportunity to use the Committee he heads to manipulate facts in order to mislead the public and thereby further his personal and political career. It's ultimately all about Darrell, 24/7.
Like Joe McCarthy before him ("I have here in my hand a list of names . . . ."), Issa is a demagogue willing to wave about carefully edited "facts," misleading "findings," out-of-context details, all carefully crafted into fake, misleading sound bites and all carefully fed into the 24/7 news cycle to be amplified by the Republican/Faux News sound machine.
Meanwhile, the actual facts that the Committee uncovers (almost all of which runs totally contra to what Issa is claiming) sinks into the media Dead Pool. Which is what Issa is counting on. I mean, when you're conning the Rubes, you don't want them to catch on.
But, eventually, every demagogue goes too far. In this case, closing down the hearing without allowing ranking Oversight Committee member, Congressman Elijah Cumming, his (proper procedural) opportunity to speak. Instead he cut off his mic, told the sound-men to "shut it down." Which is the wrong thing to say to Mr. Cummings. Who had plenty to say and didn't need a microphone to say it.
This astonishing breach of Congressional protocol resulted in a call for Issa's censure and/or removal from the Committee. Fat chance. But the uproar did force Issa to "apologize" to Cummings by claiming that he "should have been much more sensitive to the mood of what was going on . . . "
Like all things Issa, that statement has only a glancing acquaintance with the Whole Truth.
Ultimately, the great misfortune here is that, unlike the McCarthy Era, we don't have an Edward R. Murrow. Or a Joseph Welch to take the microphone and say to Issa, "Finally, Sir, have you NO shame???"
Shame? Not in this Congress.
And, finally, the greatest misfortune here is that Americans apparently are fine with a partisan "oversight" committee chaired by a guy who repeatedly cries wolf to advance his career.
And when an actual wolf, a real wolf, shows up during a committee's investigation?