Remember the 1990s, when Newt Gingrich, Dan Burton and co. managed to create a steady stream of outrage by playing up every Clinton administration "scandal," no matter how minor? Or how about the last years of the Bush administration, when Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) seemed to function as a one-man investigative machine, making sure that no Bush administration wrong-doing went unexamined?
Read More →
Today that role is being played by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the ranking Republican on the House Oversight committee. But despite the steady stream of made-to-order conspiracy theories coming from Fox News and the Tea Party crowd, it's a much harder job. That's largely because Issa's party is in the minority, so he doesn't have the power to compel testimony or subpoena documents. And it's perhaps also because, though the Obama administration is far from squeaky clean, Issa just hasn't had the kind of material to work with that his predecessors did.