Rep. Darrell Issa is the chairman of the House oversight committee, and also an alleged repeat car thief. He's spent most of the past few years seeking evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the Obama White House. And Rep. Elijah Cummings has just about had enough of his shit.
At a C-SPAN-televised committee hearing Wednesday in which Issa (R-Calif.) tried to squeeze IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner for answers on a godawful boring alleged scandal in which the agency supposedly targeted tea partier nonprofits for audits (or didn't), Issa turned the mic over to Cummings (D-Md.) for questions. Cummings said he had a question, but first launched into an attack on what he said was Issa's politically motivated witch hunt.
So Issa cut off his mic. And, as the video above shows, the shit hit the fan. The blow-by-blow from Politico:
...Issa turned off his microphone, instructing staff to "shut it down."
The silencing enraged Cummings, who started yelling that the minority should get its turn.
"And now you're turning me off," Cummings says, barely audible because his mic was off.
"You're all free to leave; we've adjourned," Issa said off-mic.
"I don't care. … I am the ranking member of the committee and I want to ask a question!" Cummings shot back. "I have listened to you for 15 minutes … let me say what I have to say."
When Cummings started speaking again, denouncing Issa for trying to tie the scandal to the White House when it broke even though there has been no evidence to support that claim, the microphone was turned off again.
When Issa refused to let Cummings talk, Democrats on the panel yelled "shame" at the dais.
"If you will sit down and allow me to ask a question," Cummings continued to yell off-mic as members filed out. "I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America. I am tired of this!"
Even for a committee known for political theater, the confrontation reached a new height.
Afterward, Issa complained that Cummings "was actually slandering me at the point that the microphone went off":
Cummings' response, essentially, was that he's getting too old for this shit:
Man, I can't wait till the next debt ceiling vote. These guys really get things done.