Friday, March 07, 2014

Darrell Behaving Badly

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?

What then?


Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky said...

Issa comes from California which makes it doubly sad for me. What sort of people elect a guy like this? The viewing of this was SO DEPRESSING.

Churadogs said...

He's always been this way. Never met a camera he didn't fall in love with. And getting hooked up with a symbiotic relationship with Fox Noise (he gins up some fake headlines, they ensure big splashy coverage which gets him face time on TV) sure didn't help.

Sewertoons AKA Lynette Tornatzky said...

Issa looked like a bully on TV on the center and left wing stations, but I missed how they could have edited him to not look mean and contemptuous of the process itself, never mind the blatant nastiness to Mr. Cummings on Faux "news."

Bob from San Luis said...

Ah yes, Darrel Issa, that paragon of virtue;
1.) While in the Army, on active duty in 1971, he was accused by a fellow soldier of stealing his yellow Dodge Charger; when the soldier confronted Issa, the car turned up on the turnpike, abandoned.
2.) Three months later, after he left the Army, Issa and his brother were arrested for stealing a red Maserati from a dealer showroom; the case was eventually dismissed.
3.) While the Maserati case was still pending, Issa was observed driving a Volkswagen the wrong way down a one-way street; while retrieving his registration, one of the officers making the stop noticed something in the glove box. After a search was executed, they found .25 calibre Colt automatic handgun inside a box of ammunition along with a "military pouch" that contained 44 rounds of ammo and a tear gas gun with two rounds of ammo for it. Issa was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of having an unregistered gun, paid a small fine and received six months probation.
4.) In 1982, Issa was buying out the owner of a company called "Steal Stopper", which would eventually become Issa's car alarm company. The former owner of the company gave a lengthy recorded interview on the suspicious actions Issa carried out for a short while; Issa removed the companies' Apple II computer from the building, including all of the hardware, all of the instruction books, discs for accounts payable, accounts receivable, customer lists, basically a complete backup of digital records. He also transferred a copy of every single design used by Steal Stopper from a file cabinet and put them into a fireproof box, along with the silk screens used in the production of the circuit boards. Less than three weeks after Issa had increased his fire insurance from $100k to $462k, there was a suspicious fire that burned down the factory. Issa sued the insurance company when they refused to pay for the damage and eventually settled out of court for $20,000.
4.) The insurance company uncovered an unrelated to the fire claim fact that they found disturbing, but could not do anything with; they could find out where Mr. Issa's fortune came from for him to be in the business venture he was in, including interviewing a family member.
5.) While running for the Senate in 1998, Issa claimed that he was part of an elite bomb detecting unit that guarded President Nixon at the 1971 World Series. The Nixon Presidential Library reports that President Nixon did NOT attend the World Series in 1971. The reporter that tracked that down also contacted the Army about the career of Mr. Issa and was informed that he had a bad conduct rating, was demoted and that they had a report of a fellow soldier accusing him of stealing his car.

Yeah, paragon of virtue, for sure. But he sure seems to be the "right" representative for Orange County ...

Churadogs said...

Now, Now, Bob, regarding the stealing of cars, Issa wasn't "stealing," he had, at that point, decided he'd, uh, "acquire" a car alarm company and he was just testing out some car-stealing theories that he could use in the new car alarm business he was going to . . . "acquire."

As to the rest of it, Hey, that just seems to me the perfect Bio needed to become a Faux News Republican Congressman from Orange County.