Just in time for Thanksgiving, Darrell Issa released his final report on Benghazi — after two years of claiming that there was a big White House conspiracy to kill brave Americans and then to cover it up for political gain. The report’s findings: nothing whatsoever. It didn’t come as a surprise. I’d been saying the same thing since almost the start of the supposed scandal. It was just Republicans — as usual — looking for anything to complain about because they have literally nothing to add to any policy discussion.
And now, just in time for Christmas, Darrell Issa released his final report on the IRS targeting of tax-exempt, supposed social welfare groups — after coming up on two years of claiming that there was a big White House conspiracy to abuse conservative groups. The report’s findings (pdf): nothing whatsoever. Was the White House sending commands to the IRS to attack Obama’s enemies? No. Was the IRS targeting conservative groups and not liberal groups? No. Of course, we knew this back at the beginning. Michael Hiltzik explains it, Issa’s Big Dud: No White House Connection to IRS “Scandal”:
This is how Darrell Issa works. He makes loads of allegations very loudly as he makes the rounds to all the conservative media outlets. Then, he releases a report that says, “There is no evidence to back up anything I’ve been saying.” And since no one important is paying attention when he releases his reports, he wins. He’s been able to poison the political environment and make the Democrats look bad. No one is able to say quite what happened regarding Benghazi or IRS, but they will know that something happened and that the Democrats must have been up to something.
So let’s be clear: the only Benghazi scandal was that Republicans used the deaths of four Americans to push their own agenda and blacken the reputation of the United States government. And the only IRS scandal was that Republicans used a minor bureaucratic problem to push their own agenda and blacken the reputation of the United States government. In the process, the Republicans managed to force the IRS to grant 501(c)4 tax status to a number of conservative groups that absolutely should not have qualified.
Darrell Issa is the James O’Keefe of Congress. The question is what stunt he will come up with next. Sadly, the question is not whether the media will continue to fall for his tricks. We know the answer to that: yes. It doesn’t matter how much Issa manipulates the media and is shown to be completely wrong, they will come running when he calls. And when you wonder what has become of our democracy, all you need do is look around at all the “objective” journalists and see how they act as nothing but propagandists to anyone who claims to be telling “one side” of a story.