Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA 49) answered questions today on popular internet forum, Reddit. Posting in the form of “I Am A”, the congressman invited users, also known as Redditors, to ask him anything (AMA). The network is known for being quirky, if not downright controversial, and as such, Redditors did not hold back. As of noon Wednesday, the post had more than 1,400 upvotes and 600 comments.
Rep. Issa’s full Ask Me Anything thread can be found here on Reddit.
Questions posed to the Republican Chairman of the House Oversight and Goverment Reform Committee ranged from serious to goofy. Many asked about his controversial hearings held in February on religious freedom and healthcare reform’s contraception coverage requirement. Others, inquired about his opinions on CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men”. User submitted, “If you were a writer for Battlestar Galactica, what would you have changed?” remains unanswered.
Issa did, however, respond to a user on the subject of Wikileaks:
I support free speech at all levels almost to the absolute extreme. But I think Wikileaks was over the line…they didn’t live up to the responsibility of being true whistleblowers. What Wikileaks did served no legitimate purpose towards stopping government abuses and ended up putting people’s live in jeopardy. Thanks for asking.
User fluidkarma asked, “Why has nobody been held accountable for Operation Fast & Furious, where the DOJ sent thousands of military rifles to cartels in Mexico to demonize the 2nd Amendment?”
REP. ISSA: Thanks for asking about this incredibly important national issue. We’re holding Justice & AG Holder accountable for this felony-stupid government mistake. The bad judgement calls and coverups we’ve exposed so far are simply not what Americans deserve and this government is supposed to do to protect its citizens. Murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s family have a right to accountability and answers from Holder and the Obama Administration…we are not going to stop until Americans get the whole truth.
We have built a dedicated microsite to our investigation…you can get up to speed here: http://issues.oversight.house.gov/fastandfurious/
Issa also answered a question addressing the lack of tech savvy among his peers in Congress:
Why are many of my colleagues tech illiterate? First, they don’t do I Am A’s. But seriously, few people in Congress have private-sector tech experience like my friends Blake Farenthold & Jared Polis. They never got their hands dirty innovating and even really personally using technology. But there are, in fact, members who didn’t work in tech pre-Congress (Jason Chaffetz and Zoe Lofgren come to mind) who do get it, championing policies that support tech/innovation…particularly protecting the Internet.
As far as educating Congress, what you all dropped on Congress on January 18 was incredibly edifying for them, forcing them to take a hard look at what they know, think they know and don’t know about tech. Keeping up the heat, and getting involved in open government projects like we’re doing crowdsourcing legislation at KeepTheWebOPEN.com, is your best bet.
Optimash_Prime inquired: “Will you continue to be a redditor after completing your AMA?”
REP. ISSA: So far the experience has been good. I hope to be able to do another one of these in the future. Be sure to tell your friends to join the next one.
To which, user funniblu responded, “be sure to tell YOUR friends to join the next one.”
Is there anyone in particular you would like to see participate in a Reddit AMA? What do you think about political and public figures using the platform to connect with users?