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The end of a directionless 'controversy'

<p>There was never actually a Solyndra &quot;controversy,&quot; per se.</p>
Obama with Solyndra workers in 2010.
Obama with Solyndra workers in 2010.

There was never actually a Solyndra "controversy," per se. The Obama administration was eager to boost the nation's burgeoning clean-energy sector, and Solyndra received federal loan guarantees, which ultimately couldn't prevent the company's demise. Some businesses thrived after receiving federal assistance; some didn't. It happens.

But Republicans nevertheless spent the last couple of years insisting that this is a major political scandal -- some even compared it to Watergate -- despite no evidence of wrongdoing. It was hard to avoid the conclusion that the GOP was simply playing a little political game, in the hopes of embarrassing the president ahead of the 2012 election.

And sure enough, now that the election is over, Environment & Energy Daily reports in a subscriber-only piece that Republicans no longer care about the story that never seemed all that interesting anyway.

After making the $535 million failed loan guarantee a top focus of its oversight efforts in the 112th Congress, it appears that the new year will be Solyndra-less for the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "We've done that. I don't know that there's more to dig up," committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said yesterday when asked if Solyndra would be back on the panel's agenda in the 113th Congress.

At a certain level, this is just common sense. Republicans have held multiple hearings, received countless documents, asked volumes of questions, and failed miserably to find even a hint of impropriety. Of course there's nothing more "to dig up"; the story has always been a dud.

The larger point, though, is to appreciate how transparent the partisan motivations have been all along.

Back in March, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said of the Solyndra probe, "Ultimately, we'll stop it on Election Day, hopefully. And bringing attention to these things helps the voters and citizens of the country make the kind of decision that I hope helps them as they evaluate who they are going to vote for in November."

In other words, Republicans cared about Solyndra only insofar as it played a role in their election strategy. With President Obama re-elected, they no longer see the point in keeping up the charade.

With yet another manufactured controversy fading away, and the GOP search for a legitimate Obama scandal still going strong, one can only speculate as to what they'll pretend to find outrageous next.