Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has softened his assertion that Barack Obama is the "one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times," but the incoming head of the powerful House Oversight Committee has still lined up a long list of investigations targeting the White House and the Democrats, according to Politico. How worried should the Democrats be about Issa's subpoena power in the 112th Congress? (Watch an MSNBC discussion about Issa's investigations)

Issa came on too strong: Issa's problem is that he actually has to act on his "demonizing talk radio" rhetoric now, says Joe Gandelman in The Moderate Voice. And if his evidence-free charge of White House corruption is any sign, he's more interested in whipping up partisan anger than making a coherent case. "This doesn't bode well for the coming year," especially for Republicans. If Issa keeps up this "boy who cried wolf" act, just wait for the "backlash."
"Issa starts off new year with talk show style demonizing rhetoric"

But, so far, he's being too soft: Democrats have been braced for "their worst nightmare," says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. But for all Issa's tough talk about rooting out Obama administration "corruption and incompetence," Issa's initial targets seem surprisingly "modest." Even if he's just starting with "issues where he can get bipartisan consensus" as a way to build momentum, "Issa should consider expanding his definition of 'corruption' a little wider."
"Issa builds list of investigations"

Obama had better lawyer up: Issa and the GOP leadership are leaving a lot of partisan red meat on the table, and that should make the Democrats nervous, says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. Today's House Republicans are "more disciplined and sober than was the Newt Gingrich majority" in 1994, and if they "keep their eye on the ball," they'll give Democrats something much more menacing than hyper-partisan, "nonsensical" witch hunts: "Real oversight."
"Will GOP chairmen conduct meaningful oversight?"