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Friday, April 1, 2011

Obama, Issa, and Nixon

According to AP, Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has criticized the Department of Homeland Security for its policy on Freedom of Information Act reqeusts. "Issa said the agency's now-rescinded policy of requiring political reviews in requests for records from reporters, watchdog groups and even members of Congress `reeks of a Nixonian enemies list, and this committee will not tolerate it."

Mr. Issa previously compared the 44th president to the 37th. On March 13, 2010, The Hill reported:

For weeks, Issa has been suggesting the White House may have broken a law by allegedly offering Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) an administration job in exchange for dropping his primary challenge against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.). (Setsak made that claim during a radio interview last month, but hasn't elaborated since then.)

Issa, the ranking member of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, said in a recent interview with Fox News's Neil Cavuto that the White House isn't answering his questions.

"And this is sort of Nixonian, actually, more than Clintonian," he said, rejecting Cavuto's analogy to President Clinton. "If it was done, it was probably at a level well below the president. It was probably done by, quote, 'some of the president's men.' "

On another occasion, however, Mr. Issa suggested that the incumbent is not Nixonian enough. From a column he published on March 10, 2010:

If Barack Obama seeks to be heralded for his approach to national security, Richard Nixon provides a better guide than does Jimmy Carter, whose policies in this area many are likening to Obama’s. A failure to understand the purpose of American military power and to deploy it wisely is precisely what provided the basis for Carter’s disastrously anemic response to the Iranian hostage crisis, for instance. Moreover, a na├»ve worldview was the primary reason that Carter misunderstood the real threat in the Middle East. Richard Nixon, on the other hand, correctly identified the threat as a movement of “Moslem fundamentalist revolutionaries egged on by Khomeini and Qaddafi.”