Politico speculates about possible replacements for Darrell Issa, whose “adventure” as Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is term limited:
Issa’s term as the Obama administration’s chief inquisitor expires at the end of 2014, and unless leaders waive party rules, he won’t be eligible to keep running the committee.
Awww…it’s a sad.
No…really! Issa has been a real gift to the Democrats in his role as Chair of the Oversight Committee. It begins with the irony that a man who was charged twice with auto theft, and charged twice and convicted once of weapons charges is at the helm of the Oversight Committee. It sort of fits in with the Republican Projection Phenomenon of “we think you are doing something bad, because we know what we would do in your shoes.” In other words, pick the most corrupt, shadiest, morally bankrupt member to hunt for corruption, shadiness, and moral bankruptcy.
The fact is, Issa has been a disaster as Oversight Chair. He is undisciplined, politically unsavvy and, frankly, ineffective. He doesn’t seem to have a nose for investigations.
This is no more evident than in the “IRS Scandal”, where Issa made a fatal investigatory blunder. As a Partisan Issa would certainly want people to believe that Teabagger groups were being targeted. But, the Investigator Issa should have initially focused on reality first and used what he could later for the spin cycles.
Instead, Issa directed IRS Inspector General J. Russell George to investigate IRS targeting of only conservative and tea party groups. The results made for some weeks of good sound bites, but proved embarrassing and amateurish when the truth came out that the IRS was targeting all political-oriented groups. More importantly, it undermined Issa’s credibility to effectively conduct investigations.
So, this is one reason way we should hope that Issa gets a term limit waiver and remains Chair of the Oversight committee! But that probably won’t happen.
Among the prospective Chairs in Politico’s list is Washington state’s Doc Hasting (R-WA-4):
Call this Boehner ally and personal friend the wild card.
As current Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Hastings, like Issa, is term-limited [as Natural Resources Committee Chairman] at the close of this Congress.
He raised GOP eyebrows when he joined Oversight earlier this year — a rare move for someone who’s been in Congress for nearly two decades.
Republican rank and file call that “committee hopping,” and many on the panel wonder if he joined with an eye on the gavel.
Hastings’s office wouldn’t confirm or deny rumors that he‘ll throw his name in the pot. If he chooses to, he has more than Boehner’s friendship at his back: He has money.
I’ll just say this: if there is anyone in Congress that I perceive as more incompetent and ineffective in the role of Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, it’s “Doc” Hastings. A dumber Congressman you will not find.
Please…let it be so!