You can tell what 2011 is going to be like already. The incoming House Oversight and Government Reform Rep. Darrell Issa on CNN tried to clarify remarks he made on mega-partisan talker Rush Limbaugh’s show and the result was language typical of the demonizing talk radio political culture — demonizing language that does not hold up under scrutiny:
The incoming House Oversight and Government Reform chairman on Sunday tried to clarify his recent remarks to Rush Limbaugh where he called President Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.”
Rep. Darrell Issa said he meant to say the Obama administration instead of the president.
WHHEW! And here I thought he would reveal himself to be one more partisan who helps independent voters who have a hard time detesting and demonizing someone simply because they have an R or D in front of their names stay independent voters.
But surely he can back that claim up. Wellllll:
“When you hand out $1 trillion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) 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,” Issa said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Although TARP – the program passed in 2008 intended to strengthen the financial sector by purchasing assets from financial institutions – was passed by Congress under the Bush administration, Issa said the unregulated funds were used by Obama like “presidential earmarks.”
But the California Republican also admitted Congress shares some of the blame.
So let me get this straight, Darrell:
This doesn’t bode well for the coming year.
It’s one more indication that politicians will say anything to whip up partisans and generate anger against their political opponents. And Issa is supposed to be doing investigations — where (presumably) more than just adjectives hurled at opponents will be needed to make the case.
If this is the kind of rhetoric he uses, look for a backlash against. It’s like the boy who cried wolf crying “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.”
Here’s the CNN segment:
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.