D.C. hits a new low

Rep. Darrell Issa said Friday he could run for House speaker.
Rep. Darrell Issa said Friday he could run for House speaker. Associated Press file

Here’s all you need to know about how low our nation’s capital has sunk:

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield – who, whatever his faults, is a nice guy – was forced out of the race for House speaker.

And another Californian, Rep. Darrell Issa – who is anything but nice – thinks he could be just perfect for the post, second in line to the presidency.

In an appearance Friday on MSNBC, the combative San Diego County Republican said he’s potentially a candidate. He praised the hard-core conservatives who hold the balance of power. And he didn’t miss a chance to throw some elbows at Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who is running.

While calling him a “good guy,” Issa said Chaffetz has accomplished little and is too willing to go along to get along. “We very definitely need to pick our fights carefully, but we need somebody who is willing to do those fights,” Issa said.

Issa, who is also among the wealthiest members of Congress with a net worth of $350 million or so, failed miserably in his last leadership bid in 2006, when he ran for the No. 5 post for House Republicans.

Since then, he has raised his profile as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, but not in a good way. As we’ve said, he ran that committee more to score political points against President Barack Obama and other Democrats than to uncover the truth. For instance, he persisted in claiming that al-Qaida was behind the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya – all evidence to the contrary.

Ironically, McCarthy saying that the Benghazi hearings were designed to hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid – some rare honesty in Washington – was part of his undoing.

Speaking of which, it was disgraceful how quickly so many tried to take credit for tubing McCarthy, even if they had little to do with it. Then there were the members of the House Freedom Caucus, who actually did the deed, but then went on TV and praised McCarthy.

So there you have it – nastiness and lies.

If members of Congress have any doubt why Americans dislike them so much (14 percent approval in September, near the all-time low), they need only look at how they behaved this week.