Witches don’t exist. Corrupt politicians do exist. Therefore it is not a witch hunt when Rep. Issa, Chairmen of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, attempts to reign in corruption by investigating Rep. Cummings’ involvement in colluding with the IRS to target conservatives, specifically “True the Vote”. The irony of course is that the IRS engaged in an actual witch hunt, since no wrongdoing existed in the conservative groups which were intimidated with extra scrutiny, intrusive questions, and audits of their personal finances and unrelated businesses.
Rep. Cummings has repeatedly tried to get Issa to drop the investigation into the IRS’s improper behavior towards conservative groups who had done nothing wrong. The letters sent to “True the Vote” by the IRS, and by Rep. Cummings were unprecedented, and asked for information that was unrelated to non-profit status for the organization, which seeks to cut down on voter fraud.
“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” Issa said. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”
Detractors have compared Rep. Issa to Senator McCarthy in the latter’s attempt to root out Russian spies which had infiltrated the CIA and media in the United States. If they knew history better, they would realize that Senator McCarthy was in fact trying to rid the U.S. government of actual Soviet spies who had infiltrated almost every level of government and media. Far from a witch hunt, McCarthy was concerned about the impact spies from a rival nation and “evil empire” were having on American national security and media. He became a target of those he sought to expose, and the spies’ success can be seen to this day in the widespread belief that McCarthy was targeting innocent people who just happened to identify as Communist. His targets were not chosen for communist sympathies, but for collusion with the Soviet government in stealing state secrets (such as how to build an atomic bomb) and disseminating false information in the U.S. media while being paid by the CIA.
So in the sense of being a maligned American hero, Rep. Issa and Senator McCarthy are indeed similar. While trying to get to the bottom of the gun running operation “Fast and Furious” (which led to the deaths of multiple Americans including a Border Patrol Agent as well as hundreds of Mexican civilians) carried out by the ATF, Media Matters colluded with the Department of Justice to defame Rep. Issa. Issa was attempting to find out who knew about and approved the disastrous operation, but was being blocked by Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder was eventually held in contempt of congress for his failure to produce subpoenaed documents related to “Fast and Furious”, which Obama eventually asserted executive privilege over in order to keep the documents out of Issa’s and the House Oversight Committee’s hands.
So while Rep. Issa attempts to address corruption in government, and reform questionable (at best) practices, don’t be surprised if his reputation meets the same fate as Senator McCarthy’s. This is the America that we live in, where it is far harder and personally damaging to reign in corruption than to lie to the faces of Americans, target political opponents, and then feign being a victim. Issa and his allies in Congress are accused of obstruction for not blindly signing onto legislation without debating it or reading it, while the true obstructers falsely posture as protectors of the American people. And the sheep still vote for the wolves to devour them.