Buckle up. The Republicans are back, and gavel-wielding Darrell Issa, dangerous idiot extraordinaire, is about to lead the House down into the valley of the damned:
Rep. Darrell Issa is aiming to launch investigations on everything from WikiLeaks to Fannie Mae to corruption in Afghanistan in the first few months of what promises to be a high-profile chairmanship of the top oversight committee in Congress.
According to an outline of hearing topics obtained by POLITICO, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is also planning to investigate how regulation affects job creation, the roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the foreclosure crisis, recalls at the Food and Drug Administration and the failure of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to agree on the causes of the market meltdown.
Yes, that's right, Issa is threatening to investigate pretty much everything. Full of partisan hyperbole and what appears to be a complete disregard of history (and reality), he has called Obama "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times," later clarifying himself by broadening that attack to the Obama administration generally. (Because, as you know, Obama covered up a third-rate break-in at a D.C. office building, sold arms to Iran and redirected the funds to Latin American fascists, and lied his way into a disaster of a war in the heart of the Middle East.)
In response to that comment, the Post's Ruth Marcus wrote that "[i]f Issa believes this, he is deranged. If he doesn't and is saying it anyway, he is dangerous." (Via Benen.) I would suggest that he is both deranged and dangerous, all wrapped up in right-wing ideology, very much the quintessential House Republican. Benen has more:
To justify his allegations of corruption, Issa told CNN yesterday, "In saying that this is one of the most corrupt administrations, which is what I meant to say there, when you hand out $1 trillion in TARP just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect."
As is too often the case, Issa is deeply confused. First, the TARP bailout was a Bush administration proposal supported by the Republican leadership in both chambers. The Obama administration made sure American taxpayers were paid back, and lowered TARP's price tag to almost zero. If Issa sees this as evidence of "corruption," someone should have bought him a dictionary for Christmas.
Second, the stimulus wasn't $1 trillion -- I wish it had been -- and there was nothing corrupt about it. Similarly, arguing that health care reform has a "corrupting effect" doesn't make any sense if the effect of the law features no corruption.
Of course, Issa doesn't understand the meaning of corruption. To him, apparently, anything with which he disagrees is "corrupt." And he's not just "deeply confused," he's completely stupid, getting even the simple facts wrong.
But this is what the Republicans are about -- and what they will prove to be about in the House. Instead of governing, or helping to govern, they will be investigating and obstructing, doing everything in their power to prevent the president and congressional Democrats, who of course still have a majority in the Senate, from governing. I realize that the concept of the "loyal opposition" is more parliamentary than presidential, but this sort of Republican partisanism is disloyalty to the extreme -- disloyalty to the American people.
So why do I say, Bring it on?
Because I'm more than happy to let the Republicans expose themselves for what they are, a party of extreme right-wing politics, extreme partisanism, and absolute obstructionism, a party that is completely out of control, a party that, spurred on by Issa's gavel, wants to drag the country down into the gutter.
And because the American people, and particularly all those much-ballyhooed independents, are supposedly against this sort of thing. Because they want Washington to get to work, and to work for them. Because they don't much care for such partisanism, for such bickering, for such paralysis.
Because the American people need to know what the Republicans are all about.
You've heard that the GOP is the Party of No, or even the Party of Hell No. But it's more than that. It's a party that, having lost in 2006 and 2008, simply cannot accept the will of the American people, the outcomes of American democracy. It's a sore-loser party, a party of bitterness and resentment, a party of anger and vengeance, a party of cynicism and hypocrisy, a party completely divorced from reality, a party out for itself at the expense of all else, including the needs of the American people at this time of ongoing economic difficulty.
So, yes, Darrell Issa, bring it on! Show us just how deranged you and your party really are.
Cross-posted from The Reaction