21 June 2012

Save your powder.

The smoke still hasn't cleared from the latest showdown over the Fast and the Furious issue. Congressman Issa, who's no stranger to illegal activity, who from the outset vowed to investigate the Obama Administration even before any wrongdoing had been suspected, is making as much hay as he can out of a failed idiotic Department of Justice attempt to snare violent criminals. The program began under the Bush Administration, but it was Obama's AG, Eric Holder, who presided over the program when it all went south. Thousands of guns went missing, and even though they were supposed to go missing, they were supposed to be tracked...whoops. I suppose one should read all directions before starting.

As a result, Mexican cartels ended up with many of the guns, a border agent was killed, and who knows how many Mexicans have lost their lives at the wrong end of one of the DoJ guns. I'm of the opinion that the cartels will be killing with or without DoJ guns, but there's no reason to make it any easier for them.

Of course the right wing nutsphere believes the true intent of the program -- begun under Bush, mind you (which by the way is not meant to "blame Bush," but rather to skewer the assumptions of the gun nuts) -- was to devise an excuse for taking away Americans' guns. It's a straw these nutjobs need to cling to, since the Obama Administration has taken absolutely no action to restrict gun ownership Of course, remembering that these gun nuts are the same people who advocate for "cop-killer" bullets, even the mention of the word "gun" sends them skittering off to a gun shop to restock before big bad Obama shuts all the gun sellers down. If I were a gun shop owner, I would be pouring all my political contributions into Obama's coffers, praying for a re-election so the NRA can keep scaring the bejeesus out of the rubes.

Anyway, Issa's fishing expedition has yielded at least some squirming on the part of Holder and Obama, who seriously should be taken to task for running their executive branch like a watered-down version of the Bush Imperial Presidency. Yesterday, Obama had to invoke executive privilege in what I can only see as a strategic move, since the DoJ has already turned over 7K+ pages of documents. In other words, it's all politicking, and while the initial reaction from the right wing was elation because "executive privilege must mean he's complicit and hiding something," what they'll probably find out is that much like Bush/Cheney's six -- that's right, six -- and Clinton's 14 -- yes, 14 -- uses of executive privilege, this use -- Obama's first if you're keeping score -- likely won't have any long-lasting effects.

What's different, though, is that Issa immediately went forward with a panel vote holding Holder in contempt. That's essentially like going all in before the first card has been flipped. Maybe he has a hunch. Maybe he thinks, where there's smoke, there's fire (a situation he is intimately familiar with), and he's going to catch Holder and Obama plotting the takeover of the country via Mexican drug cartels and a secret drug to turn Christians into Muslims and take away our guns.

Sadly for the right, the episode reveals more about incompetence and poor planning than it does about conspiracy. Incompetence is never good, though, but the problem for the right is that Obama is quickly spinning his practical blunder into a political trap for the Republicans in Congress, who even before this latest episode could be painted as having little interest in helping the country and all too much interest in "seeing this President fail" (Limbaugh, who gives most of them their base) and "making Obama a one-term President" (Senator McConnell, who must have the dumbest constituents in the world, because not one word of his makes any sense). Obama will play these fools like the ill-tuned instruments they are.

And in the end, Fast and Furious won't mean a thing legally, because the American voters will see the choice in the fall as between a moderate Democrat (please, right wing, stop acting like Obama has done anything Leftist...you show your ignorance) and an out of touch son of privilege in Romney. The campaign stops and speeches will overshadow any Congressional hearing (unless Issa's long shot comes through and Obama actually does have a smoking gun sitting in the top right drawer of his desk in the Oval Office), and if you've been paying attention comparing Obama and Romney on the campaign trail is like comparing Humphrey Bogart to Adam Sandler. And guess what: Mitt ain't playing Bogey.

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