Congressman Holds Testosterone-Heavy Hearings

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Issa panel on birth control: notice anything missing?
  • Issa panel on birth control: notice anything missing?

Lots of Clevelanders move to the west coast. Most don’t appear to be suffering from heat-induced delirium. But Cleveland-born congressman Darrell Issa, a Cleveland Heights High School dropout who moved to Southern California in 1985, has become known for his showboating in support of positions some might consider a tad extreme.

For instance, as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he spent today holding hearings he claimed were about “right to practice their religion free from the fear of persecution or harassment from their government,” but which were really about the freedom of employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraception. He called the hearings “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?,” which suggests maybe he didn’t going in with an open mind and an earnest desire to solicit a wide range of opinions.

A quick glance over the list of panelists confirms that suspicion. Almost every one represents Catholic or Christian evangelical institution. And you might notice something else about the morning’s panel — one sex pontificating on something that impacts mostly on the other sex. The afternoon panel did include two women, both representing evangelical Christian colleges.

Apparently, Issa wasn’t on the debate team at Cleveland Heights High, where he would have learned that a discussion of a controversial issue should include varying opinions. — Anastasia Pantsios

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