Yesterday, former senior adviser to President Obama, David Plouffe, took to the tweeting machine in order to chastise Darrell Issa, the Obama-hating chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:
Forget for a moment the “arsonist/insurance swindler” reference. The “loose ethically” link was to an article on The Hill reporting on Issa’s outrageous but revealing comments on Sunday about Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney.
In case you missed it, Issa called Carney a “paid liar” who is “still making up things” about the IRS non-scandal. Issa also made it clear that, as a good Tea Party conservative, he is following the rules of Republican logic in the Era of the Scary Negro: first reach a conclusion and then find the premises. Here is the context of his statement about Carney:
…the administration is still — their paid liar, their spokesperson…he’s still making up things about what happened and calling this a local rogue. There’s no indication — the reason that Lois Lerner tried to take the Fifth is not because there is a rogue in Cincinnati, it’s because this is a problem that was coordinated, in all likelihood, right out of Washington headquarters and we’re getting to proving it…
Yes. The conclusion comes before the evidence and it is this kind of reasoning that is governing all of the so-called scandals going on, scandals created by GOP extremists and propagated by a willing and illiberal press.
But Issa wasn’t just aiming at Jay Carney or practicing the art of Republican reasoning regarding the IRS drama. He had some arrows in his quiver of shame for Attorney General Eric Holder, yet another Scary Negro. Issa said Holder was lying “by most people’s standards” and then said, “Don’t use perjury lightly” as he was, well, using perjury lightly. He helpfully added,
Perjury is a criminal charge that has to be proven.
Yes, that’s right. Perjury is a specific crime that requires evidence and courts and all that icky proof stuff. It’s much easier just to call someone a liar or to call ill-advised screening techniques used by IRS employees a “scandal” because one doesn’t need evidence for those things, only the charges and accusations, which the press, hot on a juicy scandal story, will report again and again.
As an example of how this stuff gets reported, Mika Brzezinski opened a segment this morning on Morning Joe with this intro,
After weeks of scandal and controversy…
See? All you have to do is generate controversy and talk incessantly about scandal and, voilà, you’ve got yourself “scandal and controversy” that will be reported as such.
This morning former Obama press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said that the notion Darrell Issa was in charge of government oversight is becoming a joke in Washington, D.C. I wish that were true. But it isn’t. As long as Issa sits in that chairman’s chair, as long as CNN or CBS or ABC or NBC report on his antics as if they were serious investigations, then he is no joke. He is deliberately attacking the legitimacy of the Obama government in particular, as well as the federal government in general, and he is contributing to the dysfunction—no, paralysis—in Washington.
And with all the problems out there in the country, from chronic unemployment to falling bridges, a paralyzed government is no joke.
Candy Crowley asked Issa whether Eric Holder should resign and Issa smiled and said,
That’s up to the President.
The last thing Darrell Issa wants is for Eric Holder to resign. As long as Holder stays in office, Issa will stay in the headlines and on the Sunday talk circuit. And he will thus enhance his career as a folk hero to right-wing fanatics who hate Democrats, especially that pigmented Democrat in the White’s House and his pigmented Attorney General.
Finally, back to David Plouffe’s reference to Darrell Issa as being a “suspected arsonist/insurance swindler.” Politico reported on Plouffe’s comments with this nice little summary of the matter:
Issa is a successful businessman whose is [sic] the nation’s largest manufacturer of anti-theft devices in vehicles. Though he and his brother were charged with stealing a car in the 1970s, prosecutors later dropped charges, and Issa said he was a victim in the incident, according to a New Yorker profile of Issa from 2011. After a suspicious fire at his business’s factory, the company’s former owner said he suspected Issa set the fire for insurance, but a cause of the fire was never determined and no charges were filed, according to the profile.
Talk about your scandal and controversy. Now, normally I would give Mr. Issa the benefit of the doubt here and say that while it is true that someone suspected him of being an arsonist and insurance swindler, no one ever actually proved he was.
But as a tribute to Republican logic, as a paean to the kind of stuff that Issa has been doing since he became chairman of that House oversight committee, I will go one better than David Plouffe and say that Darrell Issa is an arsonist and an insurance swindler simply because a) someone accused him of these crimes and b) there is, therefore, a controversy about it, which means there is a scandal.
All of which means that this arsonist and swindler should resign immediately.