My, what a difference a day makes! Just yesterday, we were sure that when Darrell Issa said he wouldn’t seek reelection to his congressional seat in California’s 49th district (that’s a lot of districts!), he meant he was retiring from Congress to go steal cars and do arson in the private sector, because he’s finally alienated even the fairly conservative people of San Diego. Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016, and Issa barely squeaked out a 1,600 vote win against Democrat and Marine Colonel Doug Applegate. So it seemed reasonable that Issa might be ready to hang up his spurs and his Scripto Aim-n-Flame BBQ lighter.
But maybe not! The Hill reports today that “multiple sources” say Issa may have his eye on a run in a neighboring district, at least if grifty campaign fund misusing Duncan “Rabbit Transit” Hunter leaves Congress.
Issa never actually said he was retiring, or even that he was leaving Congress — in fact, his announcement included some very canny “I’m not touching you” phrasing:
[W]ith the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District
“The wording of his statement — specifically referring to his district number a couple of times — makes some people believe he left things open to run for Hunter’s seat if he resigns,” one California GOP source told The Hill.
Adding to the rumormongering: Before redistricting in 2010, Issa represented parts of what became the 50th District, now represented by Hunter. Maybe he figures there are just enough Republicans there who don’t utterly loathe him that he’d have a better chance? The Hill says the 50th is more rightwing, and that Donald Trump actually beat Hillary Clinton by 15 points there. This does not, however, take into account the basic problem Issa would have to overcome: Being Darrell Goddamn Issa.
Issa wouldn’t comment on the rumors himself, and Hunter, who has had any number of little ol’ ethics problems, says he’s not planning to resign. But he did offer one peculiarly specific scenario in which he thought an Issa bid for the 50th district would make perfect sense:
“If I was to blow up in the air, then he would be running for it. If I was to blow up, then he would run for the seat,” Hunter told The Hill on Thursday, just off the House floor.
“If I blow up, yes. Why wouldn’t he run for my seat if I was to blow up in the air?”
Rep. Hunter, have you been watching Die Hard 2 too often? Don’t you listen to your president? People don’t just “blow up in the air” these days! Are you trying to tell us something? Have you spotted Darrell Issa lurking around the airport with a can of gas and a smirk?
What the hell is Darrell Issa doing? Do you know what he’s doing? Because we have no idea what he’s doing.
But we can guarantee one thing: If he loses in a whole ‘nother congressional district, we can predict with confidence he’ll demand an investigation into how Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton conspired to make it happen.
Now it is your OPEN THREAD! To celebrate, we bring you this very relevant Tom Waits song, what applies remarkably well to Darrell Issa: What’s He Building In There?