Issa released an attack video this morning, presumably paid for with our tax dollars, whining once more about the White House tours. The message of the attack itself is rather odd -- Issa apparently believes the cancelation of tours will give the president more leisure time, though that really doesn't make any sense -- and comes across as rather desperate, even by House GOP standards.The "White House tours" line was an omnipresent one when I attended CPAC last week. It's not just Issa, but a whole assortment of Republicans and, of course, the conservative base that is positive the tour cancellations were done to try to make them look bad to their constituents. The other half of the time was spent pooh-poohing the supposed effects from sequestration at all; according to the many of the speakers, the total effects from sequestration would seem to be the cancelation of White House tours and absolutely nothing else. And they're livid over it. Donald Trump offered to pay for the resumption of the tours (note that he did not, for example, offer to help pay for restoring the axed college scholarships for the children of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, because those kids can get bent); similar offers have been made by other prominent blowhards, e.g. Sean Hannity.
But what's especially amazing about this case is Issa's bizarre priorities. For reasons I can't understand, the far-right Republican is fascinated by White House tours, but seems entirely indifferent to the meaningful effects of sequestration in his own congressional district.
We've also got sequestration causing closures in national parks, Head Start programs, housing assistance for the poor, tuition assistance programs for soldiers, and—just in Issa's congressional district alone, layoffs and airport closures. That was the whole point, after all; sequestration was designed as an across-the-board percentage cut with no exceptions or nuance or room for judgment as to whether or not the cut things were going to cause even greater problems down the line. It was designed to be bad.
The Republicans, though, have continued to prove themselves budget-illiterate throughout this. They just had a whole convention in which all parties were quite certain that the cuts would be unnoticeable. Their national politicians are fuming at the few specific cuts they have noticed, convinced that they couldn't possibly be budget-related, but were instead done as just to spite them, personally. Like everything else Issa's dealt with, he starts with the presumption of conspiracy, and then just goes with it. Yeah, they're that dumb, or crooked. (I can't speak for Issa, but as for the base? Definitely dumb.)
I'm sure there's plenty of places in government that we could cut money from. For example, it looks like Issa could stand to have his budget slashed quite a bit, if he's got the staff busy producing political advertisements against a president who isn't going to be running again anyway. If the House Oversight Committee wasn't busy making attack videos on the taxpayer dime, maybe there'd be some money we could free up there for some nice White House tours.
Something you can do right now: Sign the petition telling the Republican National Committee to stop whining about these tours and start giving a damn about everything else that the sequester is affecting. If we can't educate them, maybe we can at least humiliate them into caring about their own constituents.