Issa’s Last Hearing

If there is anything in particular to celebrate about the coming of the next Congress, it’s this: Darrell Issa’s chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has reached its term limit.

The constitutionally irresponsible California moneybags went out with another abomination, of course: yesterday’s grilling of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, the key to the latest Issa-assisted conservative conspiracy theory holding that Obamacare was a crafty ruse designed to sneak socialism past a credulous public (yeah, that’s why the actual provisions of the law are vastly more popular than the whole). WaPo’s Dana Milbank provides a (dis)taste of the spectacle:

It was the last scheduled hearing under Issa’s chairmanship and an appropriately zany coda to a tumultuous tenure. Outside the Rayburn House Office Building, a tea party group was selling T-shirts with Gruber’s photo and the words “I’m with stupid.” When Cummings noted the new oil painting of Issa on the wall behind them and referred to the “hanging of your portrait,” Issa interrupted with an R-rated response: “Thank you for saying I was hung.”

This may explain why Issa, who hit his term limit as chairman of the high-profile panel, has been assigned to legislative Siberia: chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee’s intellectual property subcommittee.

Rest in obscurity, Darrell.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.