It seems the Republican party's newest Head Hatchet Man, one Darrell Issa, is no stranger to thuggery. Originally, I was going to describe, in detail, all these mind-boggling...ah, let's call them episodes in Issa's past and not-so-distant past. But after a bit of research, I quickly realized that sort of raconteurship would turn my blog post into something resembling a doctoral thesis. So let me just throw a few of them on the table, with links, and let readers come to their own conclusions about the man who wants to impeach President Obama while also repealing healthcare reform, "shrinking government", quashing every single good thing--every move in the right (as in, somewhat left) direction that the Dems were miraculously able to get done despite the obstructionism of Issa and his GOP cohorts--and generally set the bar even higher when it comes to being a Grade-A Classic ReThug.
I'd heard about the car-theft thing only recently. The arson, the weapons charges, the Duke Cunningham stuff, and so on and so on, well, to be honest, dear reader, I find myself a little in awe of someone so clearly bereft of even a shred of human conscience, so utterly devoid of self-awareness, and so packed-to-the-eyeballs with hypocrisy it's a wonder he can view himself in the vanity mirror when he does his morning muscle-flexings.
From (appropriately) Crooks and Liars:
In 2003, the former car thief turned car alarm magnate Issa led the effort to recall California Governor Gray Davis. (Davis was undone by the energy crisis which crippled the Golden State thanks in large part to market manipulation by Enron.) But part two of the Issa plan - to capture the Governor's office himself - abruptly ran aground when Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to get in the race.
On August 7, 2003, Issa shocked supporters and announced he would not continue his candidacy, comically claiming:
"It had nothing to do with Schwarzenegger's decision."
Issa at times wept uncontrollably as he made his premature withdrawal. His teary laments of "God Almighty" may have had something to do with the $1 million he invested to unseat Davis. This video shows Issa's pathetic performance as he concluded his gubernatorial ambitions had been terminated. The water works start around the 7:30 mark above.)
Okay, so Issa, along with his brother, engaged in felony auto theft and fraud--not once, but apparently three times--then bragged about forming an auto alarm company because, as he joked, "My brother was a car thief"; then, he bankrolled the California recall effort so he could run for the governorship himself and then withdrew in tears when Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped up and, er, terminated his aspirations. What else?
From Perrspectives' Top 10 Darrell Issa Hall of Shame Moments (go read the whole thing, seriously):
5. Issa Drives the Firing of U.S. Attorney Carol Lam
As it turns out, Congressman Issa was also a key player in another major Bush administration scandal, the political purge of U.S. attorneys.
Carol Lam, who successfully prosecuted disgraced San Diego Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, was one of the 8 U.S. prosecutors forced out by Alberto Gonzales' Justice Department. But it was Issa who helped create the façade that supposedly lax immigration enforcement by Lam's office was behind her dismissal.
It was Issa, after all, who released an anonymously written 41 page Border Patrol report which claimed "that Lam was giving less attention to human smugglers than she should." As the Voice of San Diego reported in March 2007:Six days after the Associated Press story broke, Issa's office sent a letter to Lam, in which the congressman called the memo "an embarrassment to your office."
Monica Goodling, a Justice Department spokeswoman, sent the letter to Kyle Sampson, Gonzales' chief of staff who resigned in the attorney firing scandal's wake, and two other high-ranking officials.
"FYI," she wrote, "the assault continues."
Lam was eventually sacked, as TPM Muckraker concluded, "despite the fact that no one from the Justice Department ever confronted Carol Lam over her performance on immigration prosecutions."
And from San Jose's Mercury News:
Two years after the San Jose charges, Issa came under suspicion again
when the Ohio factory housing his fledgling auto-alarm business went
up in flames.
Issa had wrested control of the small, struggling electronics company
from two brothers in Cleveland.
A few months later, the business was destroyed in a Labor Day weekend
Arson investigators hired by the state concluded that ``this was not
an accidental fire.''
Suspicion focused on Issa, who had recently more than quadrupled the
building insurance from about $100,000 to $460,000, was inside the
building several times over the weekend and had taken a key computer
from the business a few days earlier.
The president of the business at the time, Joe Adkins, told
investigators that he thought that Issa had set the blaze.
Adkins was one of the people from whom Issa had seized control of the
company, and Issa has described him as being disgruntled.
Wednesday, Adkins stood by his statement in a telephone interview.
``Let's put it this way: There was an awful lot of very far-reaching
coincidences,'' he said.
At the time, Adkins said, one of Issa's brothers also aroused
As they were cleaning up the building, Adkins said, some employees
noticed that the brother's hair was burned off one arm.
About those weapons charges:
Issa was arrested twice for weapons charges, once in Ohio and once in Michigan. While Issa was in Ohio, he was given the job of firing a high level executive, Jack Frantz. Frantz recalls that Issa came into his office carrying a box. Issa opened the box and showed Frantz the gun. Frantz knew he was being fired and felt that was Issa's method of intimidating him. Frantz relayed the story to the Los Angeles Times and in response, Issa told the reporter, "No shots were ever fired." He further stated that he doesn't even remember whether he had a gun that day. The bookkeeper backed up Frantz's story, telling the LA Times that day was frightening. In the Michigan case, Issa received probation and paid a fine. Please see: http://politicalcorrection.org/factcheck/201006010007
So please tell me, someone, anyone: how does such a manifestly sociopathic thug rise to power in the United States Congress?
I mean, sure, there are plenty of crooks and liars scurrying about those halls, but wow, this kind of over-the-top, baldfaced criminal behavior from a man around whose neck hangs a past so blatantly checkered, Michelle Malkin might well accuse him of wearing a terrorist scarf? It strikes me as something that even the Bush family would shun as far too grubby and gangsta for their tastes--Bar would never want to besmirch her beautiful mind contemplating such behavior going on within her husband and sons' party. No, better to contract it out to the underlings and go boating or something.
I think I just answered my own question there.