Issa: Congress should be more like HBO's 'Real Time with Bill Maher'

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has a novel idea about how to improve Congress: Make it more like liberal political satirist Bill Maher's show, "Real Time" on HBO.

"I think 'Real Time's' debate is the kind of well-reasoned discussion that we're missing in Congress," Issa told ITK this week.

This despite Maher's support for marijuana legalization, his endorsement of President Obama over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and his liberal use of the f-word on the air.

"Whatever you think of Maher, his show is a group of smart, well-informed people who go a little deeper on the issues than just sound bytes," said Issa, who is an occasional guest on the show. "Congress should be more like that."

Issa said he hopes to go back on Maher's live show when it starts up again in September. In the meantime, however, another TV show is keeping him in the pop culture spotlight.

ITK recently ran a "Separated at Birth" item comparing Issa to actor Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper on AMC's "Mad Men." The lawmaker told ITK the item was picked up by his hometown paper, and the comparisons haven't stopped.

"People tell me I look like Don Draper a lot," Issa groaned, "but that's not who I'd really like to be compared to.

"Like any man of Lebanese descent, I wish people would say that I look like Omar Sharif, a very young Omar Sharif."

As for how best to flatter the ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee? "Tell me I must be Omar Sharif's grandson. No, wait, his great-grandson!"