The Beltway’s interest in the role of sequestration cuts leading to canceled White House tours reached farcical heights last week, in large part because congressional Republicans are afraid the scrapped tourist opportunities will make them look bad.
But leave it to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to go completely over the top.
For those who can’t watch clips online, Issa released an attack video this morning, presumably paid for with our tax dollars, whining once more about the White House tours. The message of the attack itself is rather odd – Issa apparently believes the cancelation of tours will give the president more leisure time, though that really doesn’t make any sense – and comes across as rather desperate, even by House GOP standards.
But what’s especially amazing about this case is Issa’s bizarre priorities. For reasons I can’t understand, the far-right Republican is fascinated by White House tours, but seems entirely indifferent to the meaningful effects of sequestration in his own congressional district.
A Democratic source this morning alerted me this morning to several recent headlines from the area Issa ostensibly represents:
* A rally was held in San Diego last week to “demonstrate the impact of sequestration on low income seniors.” An administrator at a local facility said, “[B]ack in D.C. what they’re talking about are cuts from White House tours and the president’s golf game but in the meantime real seniors who are hungry are not going to have food.”
* A major employer in San Diego announced a series of layoffs, effecting 185 workers, which became necessary “as a result of the cuts being brought about in the federal budget because of sequestration.”
* The sequester is set to shutter an air-control traffic tower in San Diego, which local officials believe will “jeopardize aerial firefighting in a region prone to wildfire.”
All of this is happening in Darrell Issa’s own hometown, and he’s focusing his attention on White House tours? I can’t remember the last time I saw a congressman so indifferent to the effects of a policy on his own community.