Since there is no Solyndra "controversy," political observers have been left to speculate as to why congressional Republicans have pretended to take this seriously. The widely-held assumption has been that the GOP is simply playing a little political game, in the hopes of embarrassing the president ahead of the 2012 election.
This week, a prominent House Republican effectively admitted this assumption is correct.
[T]he House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held the four-gazillionth hearing on Solyndra and the DOE's clean-energy loan-guarantee program, during which lawmakers spent their time repeatedly badgering DOE Secretary Steven Chu to give himself a letter grade. Yes, really.
At this point, everyone knows that there's not going to be any wrongdoing uncovered. After over a year of investigations, many thousands of pages of documents, testimony from dozens of people, a half-dozen hearing, there's ... nothing.
The investigation has long since become about hurting Obama's election chances and discrediting clean energy. It's a political disagreement masquerading as a show trial.... [E]veryone knows this, including the journalists who cover it, but you're not really supposed to say so out loud.
But Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, apparently forgot the rules, and admitted the politics surrounding the GOP probe.
"Our staff will continue to dig into it and see," Jordan said. "But what I hope happens is we stop doing these kind of things … this whole cronyism approach to the marketplace. Ultimately, we'll stop it on Election Day, hopefully. And bringing attention to these things helps the voters and citizens of the country make the kind of decision that I hope helps them as they evaluate who they are going to vote for in November."
In other words, Republicans haven't uncovered a "scandal"; they've uncovered a game to play. For those who figured out months ago that this was a manufactured outrage, Jim Jordan just confirmed it.