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Friday, 17 May 2013 08:22

The Perverse Mental Gyrations of Rep. Darrell Issa

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TeaPartyFINALDarrell Issa appears to be following his stated purpose of opening an investigation a week into sensitive White House matters. At this point it is difficult to determine just what it is he and others are after, except of course pursuing the obvious goal of discrediting the president and the administration. Examining the various talking points, however, takes some doing because they are so often enmeshed in arcane partisan positions. They can nevertheless create stumbling blocks to try the patience of even the most temperate leader.

But to be perfectly frank, Conservatives are far more adept at developing story lines than the other side of the aisle. No matter how they wrap their talking points the result is always the same  - - a partisan blood bath. As the IRS story has unfolded, it has provided chairman Issa with numerous opportunities to exploit right-wing ideology in the guise of "getting to the bottom" of some real or imagined transgression on the part of the administration. It is perhaps a weakness of this president and his team that they failed to pursue the Bush/Chaney stumbles with the intensity that was warranted. And we see now the folly of trying to "play nice" with political opponents for whom ethics and morality have lost all meaning, except as they play out in a destructive form of gamesmanship. Only the most perverse mental gyrations could suggest a comparison between the current "scandals" and Watergate. But we the people are being played for suckers again - - forced to draw conclusions from false premises and partisan rhetoric.

It should be obvious by now that, while it may not be proper to target any group for special attention when they apply for tax-free status, it is just as clear that Tea Party members do not exist simply to educate and provide guidance on constitutional matters. They are in fact as partisan as can be, and the fact that requests for tax-free status among Tea Party faithful increased by an inordinate amount after the recent presidential election was an indication of how the political winds were blowing.  It is probably the case that requests for tax-free status from whatever source should be scrutinized with extreme care. There can be no reason for any group that holds views and supports candidates other taxpayers do not to receive special consideration from the IRS.

When the dust settles over the landscape regarding the IRS, there are still the other issues Issa can sink his teeth into - - the AP dust-up and the deaths of our diplomats at Benghazi. There is no way he will allow either of these events to slip through his fingers, so there will undoubtedly be hours of testimony laced with interruptions and insults as if AG Holder, for example, were not entitled to the respect that attaches to his office. There are reasons for investigations into the affairs of state, but they should have direction and purpose and just as the IRS should be limited in its reach, so should congressional oversight be constrained so as not to become overreach.

With a third of House committees currently investigating the president and his second-term agenda, it seems little achievable legislative action that can be undertaken. There must be a better way to run a government; unfortunately, we haven’t unlocked that secret way forward yet.

(Photo: NYyankees51)