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(Note: For most people, this analogy will be Reasoning 101, or perhaps Remedial Reasoning 1A. Maybe you can use it in giving your low-information friends an analogy they can use.)

Little Janie wants to grow up to be a detective, or maybe a Constitutional lawyer, or maybe a drag racer. Janie's mom buys her a puzzle. It's an unusual one: there's no picture on the box showing her what the puzzle is supposed to be. Moreover, all the pieces aren't in the box. She's going to have to go out in the neighborhood and find the rest of the pieces, based on the instructions that come with the puzzle and more instructions she will find on the way. Janie isn't quite sure where the whole thing is going, but she's up for the challenge. She starts by putting the pieces that she has together in what seems to be a logical and sensible manner. She makes mistakes, and has to go back and undo some false starts and incorrect proceedings, but in general she's making progress. Janie's mom loves watching her daughter hunched over the puzzle, tongue tucked between her lips, brow furrowed in concentration. When it's time to go hunting for the rest of the pieces, Janie has a good idea of where to go. As the puzzle progresses, she isn't sure what it's going to depict. A bright summer day in the park? Maybe, but what are all these narrow, metal-looking swatches of gray and black? Maybe a dinosaur skeleton in the park? Perhaps, but aren't bones white or yellowish? Maybe a metal skeleton? She isn't sure, but as the puzzle comes together, Janie knows what it depicts. It's a photo of the Eiffel Tower taken on a bright, sunny day with trees and flowers in full bloom. Yay!

Little Darrell gets the same puzzle from his mom. Unlike Janie, he knows what he wants: he wants to grow up to be a self-entitled asshole. He looks at the box with its blank white cover, glances at the instruction booklet without reading it, and declares, "This is a giraffe!" His mom knows better than to argue with him. Darrell likes giraffes and knows all he needs to know about them from watching a Discovery Channel show when he was four. Giraffes are cool. Darrell likes giraffes. Therefore this puzzle is a giraffe. Darrell starts by jamming pieces together to make them come together as a giraffe, more or less. He hammers pieces together that don't seem to fit, because if those pieces can be made to fit together, they can add to the giraffe. Pieces with a lot of green or gray get thrown across the room, since everyone knows giraffes aren't green or gray. Darrell goes stalking through the neighborhood for the remaining pieces, ignoring the instructions and screaming at people he thinks might be hiding the missing pieces from him. He makes a nursery school class cry when he bursts in the door, ransacks the classroom looking for pieces that aren't there, and accuses the kids of lying to him about the pieces. When the teacher attempts to correct his behavior, he shrieks, "You're a paid liar!" and runs out of the room after knocking down the globe and turning over desks. When he finishes, he has a melange of banged-together and taped-together pieces that don't really look like anything. He waves it in the air, screaming, "Giraffe! It's a giraffe!" His mom agrees with him, saying, "It's a lovely giraffe, Darrell, just like you said." She knows that if she doesn't agree with him, he'll try to burn the house down again and tell the firefighters that she set the house afire. She's already been questioned once by the cops, and doesn't need to go through that hassle again.

What Darrell Issa is doing -- with Benghazi, with the IRS "scandal," with anything he can get his mitts on -- is making a construct of "evidence" based on a foregone conclusion. His desired outcome is to see Obama marched out of the White House in leg irons while he and his fellow Republicans throw fecal missiles and wave their bare buttocks at him. Everything must paint a picture of Obama's guilt. Questions about the IRS investigating teabagger organizations? Obama ordered it, and he's gonna prove it so the Republicans can impeach his ass. Benghazi? Obama either directed the attack, or failing that, directed a huge cover-up of the response to the attack, and Issa's gonna prove it so the Republicans can impeach his ass. Darrell wants his impeachment giraffe, and he will have it, if he has to upend everything in Washington to have it.

I'll conclude with the words of one of our finest social and political thinkers on the subject of Darrell Issa:

There is no smoking gun. If there was, Issa would be brandishing it like a five year-old boy who just figured out that his dick gets hard. So, instead, it's just easier for Issa to call others liars and pretend that his lies aren't lies.
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