"Stand Back!" That’s what you hear when you approach a car equipped with a Viper car alarm, the car security system Darrell Issa’s electronics company developed in the 1980s.
It’s also the House Oversight Committee chairman’s prevailing message for the Obama administration.
This week alone, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) urged President Obama to defund and end a deportation-relief program for young people and issued a unilateral subpoena to the Federal Elections Commission over the IRS allegedly targeting conservative groups. He took the same tack against Attorney General Eric Holder for alleged administrative misconduct this time last year.
Investigating overreach is the Oversight chairman’s job. But Issa has drawn the ire of Democratic leaders for fighting overwhelmingly partisan battles; from the exhaustive trials on the 2012 Benghazi attack, now in their 13th-or-so iteration, to a 2012 hearing on birth control regulation from which Issa excluded reproductive rights advocate Sandra Fluke for “not having the right credentials.” In the latter case, DC delegate Eleanor Holmes compared the hearing to “the kind you expect in an autocratic regime.”
One profile by a former Oversight Committee staffer suggests Issa’s chairmanship isn’t just stubborn—it suffers from basic procedural ineptitude. Issa is a demagogue, and while his protestations about the Obama administration are hard-lined, they don’t necessarily threaten the status quo, and they certainly don’t suggest pragmatic alternatives.
So Issa can keep pointing his finger—but when it comes to issues like immigration reform and reproductive rights, he’d be better off checking the pulse of a generation that voted overwhelmingly for the current President.
Andy is a graphics editor and cartoonist at Fusion.