Issa rejects one silly meme, embraces another


Last week, after the White House asserted executive privilege on some Justice Department documents related to the so-called “Fast and Furious” controversy, Republican leaders quickly pushed the argument that it meant the White House was directly involved in the operation. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) even argued that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has secret documents that prove it.

Yesterday, Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, ruined the GOP’s fun and made Chambliss look rather foolish – there’s no evidence, he said, connecting the White House to the Fast and Furious operation.

But while Issa was willing to reject one silly meme yesterday, he was also willing to embrace another.

The California Republican appeared on three Sunday shows, but ABC’s Jake Tapper was the only to ask whether Issa actually believes the conspiracy theory that Fast and Furious was an elaborate scheme cooked up to create a political demand for gun control laws. For those who can’t watch clips online, the congressman said:

“First of all, this was so flawed that you can’t believe they expected to actually get criminal prosecutions as a result of it. So the level of flaw, if that’s a word, here is huge. But here’s the real answer as to gun control. We have e-mail from people involved in this that are talking about using what they’re finding here to support the – basically assault weapons ban or greater reporting. So chicken or egg? We don’t know which came first; we probably never will.”

In other words, yes, Issa thinks the conspiracy theory is legit. He clearly tempered his thoughts on the matter – at the NRA convention in April, Issa was far more explicit – but the fact remains that the chairman of the House Oversight Committee actually takes this wild-eyed nonsense seriously.