The Fast and Furious Circus

The circus that has surrounded House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s investigation into the Fast and Furious gun walking program is soon to enter the grand finale.  The House floor will vote today on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.  Now I am not going to sit here in judgement of  AG Holder or Rep. Issa.  Did Holder lie to Congress about what he knew?  Of course he lied but that wouldn’t be the first time an official lied during a Congressional hearing.  Is Issa pursuing Fast and Furious for political points?  Well of course this is Issa’s ultimate goal, and yet this wouldn’t constitute the first instance of a Congressman hounding someone for political purposes.

All fights like this in Washington miss the real root of the problem.  Instead of dealing with the very real and dangerous problem of Mexican cartels buying guns just across the border Congress is more concerned with seeing if Holder lied.  This is similar to the current leaks investigation.  No one seems to care that the President has a death panel to decide which “terrorist” to kill.  They care only that the media and public found out about it.  Any time that Fast and Furious is discussed in the media or in Congress it is only to denigrate AG Holder for not telling the truth, not on the fact that hundreds of guns cross the border and into the hands of the cartels.  There are no voices within the GOP railing about the ease with which cartels can legally purchase guns in the U.S. for transport to Mexico.  On the contrary, many Republicans view what the ATF does as counter to the rights of gun owners.  They cite ludicrous reports that cartels purchase arms in Guatemala not the US.  Ludicrous because no business minded cartel would go through all the trouble and money of transporting guns from their southern border up to the north where the fighting is when the US is spitting distance away.  Again all Republicans seem concerned with is embarrassing the administration.

Democrats play a part in this three ring circus as well.  Several Democrats in conservative leaning distracts are being leaned on by the NRA to vote in favor of contempt.  Afraid of losing their seats some Democrats will break party lines and vote in favor of contempt.  Further politicizing the scandal are those calling the attack on Holder racial.   The Congressional Black Caucus plans to walk out of the House during the vote.  While some sort of racial component might have something to do with going after Holder, although it seems like a bit of a stretch, the CBC are blindly defending Holder simply because of this race.  They fail to see the problem and fact that Holder probably did lie to Congress.  More importantly they are shifting the discussion away from arms trafficking.  Democrats in general have been too eager to support the administration on this.  As with all of the criminal things that the administration has done i.e. signature drone strikes, Democrats have somehow been able to justify this to themselves.  Many seem to think that Holder not telling the truth is somehow different because he is a Democrat and not a Republican.  And while some Dems have been bringing up the real issue of how these guns make it into Mexico their calls are fewer and fewer.  Instead they are just as caught up in the political food fight that their counterparts across the aisle are.  Coming out on top in the battle over who did or didn’t lie is more important.  They care as much about arms trafficking and the death of Border Agent Brian Terry as Republicans do, not at all.  In the end the arms trade that fuels the violence over the drug trade will continue with no change from Washington.

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