NY Times' Egan: Rep. Issa's Failed Investigations Are Good Business For Fox And Limbaugh
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For Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been a "dream come true," according to The New York Times' Timothy Egan. In a July 11 post on the Opinionator blog titled "The Charade of Darrell Issa," Egan detailed how Issa's numerous congressional investigations, despite being predicated on "half-truths and conspiracies," have given the conservative media much fodder for content.
For Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, it's a dream come true, all the things they've been ranting about, finally getting the imprimatur of official business. For Darrell Issa, the congressman given free rein to free range in half-truths and conspiracies, it's what he's always wanted. He's a player! He exists to give Fox and friends programming.
But then, after millions of dollars in investigative forays, the wheels come off the ride. Fast and Furious -- that gunrunning scheme into Mexico by federal agents, known to conservatives as a vast conspiracy by Obama to bring on gun control -- is traced to the White House, just as Issa predicted. Except, it was George W. Bush's White House, where the practice of letting guns cross borders originated in a similar program called Operation Wide Receiver. Move along.
Solyndra, the subsidizing of a money-losing solar energy company, and the tragedy of Benghazi -- Watergate-level cover-ups, yes? They both sank with truth that was much more banal and sad. Next.
In May, Issa hit it big with a story about Internal Revenue Service field agents questioning the nonprofit claims of Tea Party groups. This was "a targeting of the president's political enemies," said Issa. Again, don't worry about facts, he could trace it to Washington somehow -- "we're getting to proving it," he said.
He never proved "it," of course. Just the opposite. Upon closer examination, it was found that the I.R.S. was aggressively targeting liberal groups, as well, flagging those with "progressive" or "medical marijuana" in their names. D'oh!
By now, it should be obvious that Representative Issa, a Republican from California who is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, is not the least bit interested in governing, a sentiment shared by a majority of his fellow nihilists in the House. Immigration reform -- the most significant thing lawmakers could do in this decade -- is a critically ill patient in the emergency room of the Republican House.
Issa made his governing intentions clear three years ago, when he told Rush Limbaugh that President Obama "has been one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times." He later took back the comment, but his motive was exposed for the method that would follow: he would exercise all of his official power to prove a sinister narrative. He would do exactly what he accused Obama of doing, using government muscle to harass his political enemies. Anything that disproves his narrative -- e.g. I.R.S. targeting of liberals -- is swept aside. He starts with a conclusion and works his way back.