It's a set up for partisan witch hunts, and the Republicans are making full use of it now that they are in control of the House. When the Democrats were in charge, they wielded tough oversight, but I think they were fair, at least in comparison with Darrell Issa -- probably as mean an SOB as they have up there.
Issa recently made headlines claiming that Attorney General Eric Holder had lied in his committee testimony, and he is building a case to have the House vote on contempt charges against Holder. Yesterday, ranking minority member of the committee Elijah Cummings (D-MD) charged that
Issa has repeatedly launched unsubstantiated investigations that often prove to be false. The Department of Energy and Sec. Steven Chu are his special targets, with no fewer than 11 investigations into that department -- without a single proof of wrong-doing.Sec. Chu,a Nobel Prize winning physicist, has had to testify repeatedly before a hostile committee, and Issa has told him publicly that he should resign. But not one of the charges has been proved.
They have especially gone after the federal loan that Energy granted to Solyandra, a maker of solar panels that went bankrupt and defaulted on the loan. Issa has kept the investigation going, despite lack of a smoking gun or proof of anything improper. It is the Obama policy to use loan guarantees to help private companies develop alternate energy -- and some of them will fail, naturally. Some will succeed and further the progress to alternatives to fossil fuels.
Now, here's the smoking gun. And it's in the Republicans' pocket, not the Democrats. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has acknowledged that Republicans' probes into the program will continue, seeking to prove "cronyism" in awarding of loans, until Election Day. Then it will stop. Jordan said""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."
There you have it. I'm sure the Democrats have done similar things when they were in power. But Republicans are meaner, more persistent, and don't seem to care about good government unless it benefits them either in money or votes.