Never apologize to anyone if you didn’t do anything wrong. Parents often make the mistake of forcing their children to apologize for something their child never did in order to keep the peace. It never works. If you have to go through life apologizing to people who have no regard for your integrity, then you are a slave to other people.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa apologized to Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. Here’s how the story was reported:
“This evening, Chairman Issa telephoned me and apologized for his conduct, and I accepted his apology,” Cummings said in a statement late Thursday night. Cummings, D-Md., is the top Democrat on the committee.
“My sincere hope is that as we move forward, we will respect the opinions of all members of the committee, we will proceed in a deliberate and considered manner to obtain the facts, we will refrain from making accusations that have no basis in fact, and we will seek resolution rather than unnecessary conflict.”
Why did Rep. Darrell Issa apologize when he didn’t do anything wrong? What do you think will happen when Rep. Cummings or someone like him pulls the same stunt at a future hearing on something that has grave implications for Democrats? The Republicans will bend the rules to accommodate the infraction and the Democrats will get the last word.
Rep. Cummings knew exactly what he was doing. The Democrats had this planned from the start knowing that a black man would get the most attention by the media and the criminal actions of the IRS, and Ms. Lehner’s part in them would become a non-issue. This is exactly what happened as a USA Today article shows:
“The microphone incident overshadowed the GOP’s attempt to investigate the IRS’s scrutiny of Tea Party groups by recalling former IRS official Lois Lerner to testify at the committee. Lerner once again invoked her Fifth Amendment rights not to incriminate herself and declined to answer 10 questions Issa posed to her about her role in holding up applications for tax exempt status by political groups.”
Here’s the key phrase: “The microphone incident overshadowed the GOP’s attempt to investigate. . .” Cummings’ last-second attempt to make a statement disguised as a question and Darrell Issa’s legitimate action to close the hearing was designed to take attention away from the criminal actions of the IRS and the part Lois Lehner played in specifically targeting Tea Party groups.
Mission accomplished. All we heard from the media was Issa and Cummings incident and not the IRS breaking the law under Lehner’s leadership. She knows who told her to sink the Tea Party.
The whole thing was staged, and Rep. Darrell Issa didn’t do anything wrong. He had nothing to apologize for.
Would Issa be vilified in the media if he did not apologize? Most certainly. So what else is new? But I bet you that the Democrats would think twice about doing the same thing again. But now they know how easy it is to get the Republicans off track. Send a black man or a woman out to derail a hearing and let the media run with it.
Soon after the vilification took place, Rep. Issa should have stood up before a camera and said something like the following:
“This hearing was about Lois Lehner and the part she played in the actions of the IRS and to target Tea Party organizations prior to the last election. She was asked questions to which she invoked her Fifth Amendment right, a right she is entitled to, except for the fact that she waived that right in her first testimony before a congressional hearing in June of 2013 by stating the following: ‘I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.’ Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina pointed out that ‘With the advice of counsel sitting right behind her, she testified to nine different factual assertions. The case law is clear. That is not the way the Fifth Amendment works.’
“We could have cited her for contempt back then, but gave her another chance to testify. She once again tried to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights to which she had already relinquished.
“Rep. Cummings had ample time to make a statement in the time allotted before the question period. He failed to do so. He attempted to disguise his statement by calling for a question.
“If an apology is warranted, it should come from Rep. Cummings for violating the committee rules that apply to both parties. It seems that the Democrats, following the leads of President Obama and Attorney General Holder, believe they are above the law. They aren’t, and neither is Rep. Cummings.”