Earlier today, history we can be proud of was made when the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitution. It was also a historic day, for less honorable reasons. For the first time in the history of the United States, the House of Representatives voted on whether to hold the Attorney-General in contempt of congress.
In protest of the witch hunt that this is many members of the Democratic Party left the floor.
The vote was 255-67 in favor of the Contempt motion, with one member, a Democrat voting present.
Of the members of congress who remained, it is quite clear that sanity did not prevail in this vote for 17 members of the Democratic Party joined with the Republicans, save 1, to hold the Attorney General in Contempt of Congress.
Ultimately, this was a symbolic vote, in the name of mollifying the ideologically extreme Tea Party branch of the Republican Party. It will not be prosecuted since it will be up to the Department of Justice to prosecute this case. The reality is it would be a mockery of justice to prosecute the Attorney General. Even John Boehner knows it, but doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the extremists within his party. That is the only explanation that makes sense when he chose to hold this vote on the same day that the Supreme Court ruled that the AFC is constitutional. He was hoping the media would be so focused on the ruling that they wouldn’t be paying attention to that persecution behind the curtain.
There are a few dirty secrets about fast and furious. First of all, its only a scandal in the minds of the most ideologically driven members of the right wing. There is no way to spin this. It isn’t merely “spin” or an opinion. It is a lie.
Let’s begin with the facts about “Fast and Furious” according to someone who bothered to investigate, rather than engage in the metaphorical lynching Sarah Jones wrote about.
According to Katherine Eban, of Fortune:
“A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.”
For all the accusations that somehow the Obama Administration approved fast and furious in an effort to repeal the second amendment, there is one small problem. There was no such tactic.
“Quite simply, there’s a fundamental misconception at the heart of the Fast and Furious scandal. Nobody disputes that suspected straw purchasers under surveillance by the ATF repeatedly bought guns that eventually fell into criminal hands. Issa and others charge that the ATF intentionally allowed guns to walk as an operational tactic. But five law-enforcement agents directly involved in Fast and Furious tell Fortune that the ATF had no such tactic. They insist they never purposefully allowed guns to be illegally trafficked. Just the opposite: They say they seized weapons whenever they could but were hamstrung by prosecutors and weak laws, which stymied them at every turn.”
The only gun walking operation, ostensibly to take away the second amendment is in Darrell Issa’s head. The ATF never intended for arms to fall in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, as Issa suggests. In fact, they tried to stop it from happening, but prosecutors were unwilling to indict the list of suspects the ATF provided.
“The agents faced numerous obstacles in what they dubbed the Fast and Furious case. (They named it after the street-racing movie because the suspects drag raced cars together.) Their greatest difficulty by far, however, was convincing prosecutors that they had sufficient grounds to seize guns and arrest straw purchasers. By June 2010 the agents had sent the U.S. Attorney’s office a list of 31 suspects they wanted to arrest, with 46 pages outlining their illegal acts. But for the next seven months prosecutors did not indict a single suspect.”
Let’s not forget, that despite the lack of merit of their complaint, the Attorney General appeared before Issa’s committee several times. The Attorney General disclosed documents that could be released without compromising the law. Let’s not forget that in the name of investigating this figment of Issa’s imagination; he wasn’t interested in hearing from the ATF since doing so would show this contempt charge for the sham that it is. We should also remember that the program to prevent weapons from falling in the hands of Mexican drug cartels was initiated under President Bush and it was a program that Issa supported – when it was under HIS party’s president. This sham of investigation was never about the truth. If it was, Issa’s committee would have sought testimony from Bush’s Attorney-General, Michael Mukasey.
It’s under this backdrop that today’s vote occurred. Let’s also remember that the timing of this vote says something. While eyes and ears are focused on the Supreme Court’s rulng that the AFC is constitutional, House Leader Boehner chose this day to hold the vote. This is akin to the Friday afternoon roll out.
In short, the House Leader doesn’t buy this craziness either. He recognizes it for the sham and embarrassment that it is.