Last Wednesday, while searching for an idea for today's column, I ran across a letter to the Daily Republic editor by a guy named Al. He seemed unduly upset about all the so-called White House "scandals" and wrote about the apparent lack of accountability within the Obama Administration.
Al wrote: "What do you want to bet that nothing will happen to this den of thieves and liars, when all is said and done?" Well Al, Congressional investigations into President Obama's "scandals" are being conducted by House Oversight Committee Chairman, Republican Darrell Issa. He is the Santa Claus enticing you with his brightly-colored packages and, if you find them empty, you should seek accountability from him.
For many months now, Darrell Issa and Fox News have been repeating over and over and over again, ad nauseam, that Hillary Clinton had been involved in a cover-up of the Benghazi attack and that President Obama was involved in the I.R.S. "targeting" Tea Party groups, delaying their unnecessary applications for non-political, tax-exempt status. It's easy to see how people could have been led astray by this continual and ever-lasting hype. Perhaps the root of the problem lies with Representative Issa's unusual, backwards approach to these situations: First he states his conclusions, that the Obama Administration is guilty of some heinous crime, and then later, looks for evidence. While his proof is always and forever imminent, Issa, nonetheless, incessantly flaunts his conclusions. Representative Issa's sensational, incriminating allegations are magnificent grist for the right-wing media mill and a boundless delight for Foxophiles, but so far, he has failed to deliver any substance. With the giddy anticipation of children on Christmas Eve, Obama-haters stare expectantly at Issa's shiny packages, only to awaken to the sad reality of coal.
Representative Issa's glitter-coated Solyndra investigation never exposed any wrong-doing, but we learned that it was actually the Bush Administration that selected the Solyndra proposal from 143 submissions, and moved it forward.
Despite all of Issa's damning declarations, his long-running "Fast and Furious" probe never did nail Attorney General Eric Holder, but a real investigation found fault with the plan's architects, a few state and lower-level federal officials.
With his Benghazi inquiry, Issa has been unable to substantiate his claims that either the White House or Hillary Clinton were involved in any "cover-up" or "stand-down" and, in fact, Ambassador Stephens had himself, twice, declined additional security immediately prior to last September's attack.
Now, Representative Issa is saying that President Obama had instructed the I.R.S. to attack the Tea Party. To support his preposterous proposition, he leaked cherry-picked bits of out-of-context transcripts from closed-door hearings. When the full transcripts were released last week by the ranking Democrat, Issa's assertions were shown to be lies. The I.R.S. employee responsible for lumping the Tea Party requests together was a low-level Cincinnati worker trying to ensure that all these groups were treated equally and this plan was approved by his supervisor, a self-proclaimed "conservative Republican."
Yes, Al, there is a Santa Claus and every child who still believes Darrell Issa or Fox News will be forever showered with their golden gifts. While it's obvious that Representative Issa's absurd theatrical hearings, flagrantly false accusations, wasted congressional time, expense, and media showboating are nothing more than partisan politics gone wild, I totally agree with his contention that it is a highly serious crime against our republic for any government official to misuse the trust of his office to intentionally harm an opposing political party. That said, the House Oversight Committee's next investigation should open with the words: "Mr. Issa, what did you know and when did you know it?"