Many within the White House seem fearful about the intentions of Darrell Issa. As the incoming Chairman of the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform, Issa will have full power to open investigations into government operations and questionable programs. Media expert, Howard Kurtz, knows full well the power Issa will wield, and his article in the Daily Beast asks the question that is on the minds of many Democrats: Will Darrell Issa “go too far” as the incoming Chairman of the Committee of Oversight? A superb question, for the nation was given a clear example of excessive, mean-spirited, oftentimes petty use of oversight powers by Henry Waxman.
Democrats are wondering whether Issa will behave more responsibly and focus the committee’s attention on legitimate areas of concern and poorly performing government programs, rather than on punishing political adversaries for narrow political gains as did Henry Waxman. Having worked with both congressmen, I can say that Darrell Issa is an honest patriot that actually wants government to work more efficiently. Issa knows firsthand from the Waxman years the damage that can done by an irresponsible chairman.
Henry Waxman developed the playbook for many Democrat-led show trials during the Bush Administration. The pattern was always the same because it worked brilliantly and successfully trashed the reputations of many. The most common steps in the Waxman playbook are to leak information to the mainstream media, issue “invitations” to hearings based on the media coverage, refuse to meet with the government officials prior to the hearing, verbally attack family members of the witness, exclude the Minority members from meetings, hold hearings on a topic slightly different than what is cited in the “invitation’ so the witness isn’t fully prepared, have each Majority member spend the five minutes of Q&A making bombastic statements that use all but 30 seconds of the time allocated so that the witness is unable to completely rebut the accusations and, cite testimony and evidence as proof, which neither the witness nor the Minority committee members have had time or access to review. In short, Waxman perfected the modern day kangaroo court and served as its master of ceremonies.
Waxman didn’t care a fig about ferreting out poorly performing programs and wasteful spending. Indeed, many participants in his show trials tried, in vain, to provide Waxman with background data that he simply did not understand nor was interested in learning. Instead, Waxman’s focus was the propaganda value of the show trials he orchestrated.