He has gone from Obama’s tech-savvy wunderkind to just another administration attack dog, but to seal that transformation, Obama adviser David Plouffe used long-discredited attacks to smear Representative Darrell Issa.
Issa, the Chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has emerged as one of the President’s chief opponents in the Housei. Issa has been in charge of many of the investigations into Obama’s scandals, such as Fast & Furious and the IRS scandal.
During the Sunday, June 2 broadcast of CNN’s State of the Union, Representative Issa said that White House spokesman Jay Carney is just a “paid liar.” This set Plouffe off into “Joe Pesci” mode, as Politico termed it.
On Twitter, Plouffe, Obama’s former master of election campaign technology, brought up some very old and false accusations to smear Issa:
Strong words from Mr Grand Theft Auto and suspected arsonist/insurance swindler. And loose ethically today.thehill.com/video/house/30…
— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) June 2, 2013
But both of these Issa-related stories were proven false.
In his first allusion, Plouffe referred to a 1972 incident where a 19-year-old Darrell Issa was taken into custody by police under suspicions of grand theft auto. But Issa was let go immediately when police discovered that it was his brother that they were looking for. No charges were filed, because Darrell Issa did nothing wrong.
The “arson” charge Plouffe made is also false.
In 1982, Issa had bought a business named Quantum Enterprises and Steel Stopper International. A month after he bought the business, and after he had upped his building insurance policy, the structure burned to the ground. Issa was at his home seven miles away when the fire broke out. A fire department and police investigation declared that the inferno started as an electrical fire and found no connection between Issa and the fire. No charges were ever filed.
In the case of the fire, the only accusation that ever emerged was from a disgruntled former employee that had a grudge against Issa and who claimed Issa had set the fire on purpose.
The facts are clear: Plouffe threw decades-old lies against Darrell Issa on the assumption that many would not know the truth.
According to Politico, even many of Plouffe’s supporters think this was a bad move.
“I love Plouffe for doing it, but this may end up causing us more trouble in the long run,” said one longtime Obama aide interviewed by POLITICO.
As Ed Morrissey said, if Plouffe had to dig back four decades to find old, discredited charges with which to attack Issa, it is an indication of team Obama’s desperation.