Issa: Whole lotta probing will be going on

The GOP takeover of the House holds the nightmare scenario for Democrats of putting Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) in charge of the House Oversight Committee. Issa spent the last two years attempting to get subpoena power for a range of inquiries into activities in the Obama administration, including the firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin, and to get a much closer look at the Friends of Angelo program at Countrywide Mortgage that appeared to offer sweetheart loan packages to leading Democrats in position to help Angelo Mozilo with regulators and legislation. Issa told Chris Wallace that the latter scandal would be of particular interest to the committee in the next session, but that there will be plenty of other probes conducted as well:

This won’t stun anyone who’s paid attention to Issa’s efforts to get transparency from an administration with more czars than the Romanovs. However, Issa will have to make sure that his investigations don’t outpace the House GOP’s performance on issues, especially on the economy. If his probes produce blockbuster media coverage while economic policy and spending cuts stall in the House, voters could get the impression that the Republicans are more interested in gotcha efforts than in addressing jobs and economic growth — the same problem that Democrats created for themselves by spending months on a health-care bill few really wanted while jobs and the economy stagnated.

Issa needs to press forward, of course, but John Boehner needs to show that the GOP majority can multitask.