Darrel Issa's going to be a lot of fun with subpoena power, isn't he? Here's the latest "scandal" he's pimping:
Darrell Issa is out with a report this morning claiming that the Obama Administration has engaged in an unprecedented amount of illegal propaganda. Tracy, be sure to wear something conservative for your hearings and Grand Jury appearances.
The charge is almost undoubtedly true: As the report drily catalogues, virtually every 20th Century administration, particularly in wartime, skirted the limits on propaganda. The first administration fully in the new media age produces a far, far larger volume of media than any of its predecessors, and Issa argues that some of it crosses the line.
One puzzling footnote: Issa's report includes the claim, floated on the right but never substantiated, that Justice Department blogger Tracy Russo posted anonymous comments to conservative blogs. If she did, that could qualify as propaganda. (Though perhaps its single least effectual form. Anonymous blog comments!)
What's most impressive about Issa is how he's managed to piggyback on vague public knowledge of huge scandals in the Bush administration and apply them to Democrats. (Sestak, this one.)
Basically, he's going to go after propaganda, including anonymous blog posts, when this wasn't even considered worthy of further investigation. I'm sure he knows that people are vaguely aware of this and other scandals like the Armstrong Williams case, but don't know the details. So he'll apply that awareness to this new "scandal" and everyone will say "it's about time they got to the bottom of this!" It's good politics for them --- for a while. He'll keep the Democrats constantly on defense and the media entertained with trivia.
But it has its limits, even in good times. Right now, I don't know how well this will play. But it might play very well. Isn't it a truism that during the Depression everyone wanted light entertainment to take their mind off their troubles?