Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, November 8, 2013 7:11 pm

So the GOP has decided it can win the 2014 midterms by impeaching Eric Holder over “Fast & Furious.” Really.

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns! — Lex @ 7:11 pm
Tags: , ,

I agree with Steve M. at No More Mr. Nice Blog: This ought to be really entertaining:

Please do this. Please do this. John Boehner, please add this to your list of things you allow the teabagger crazies to do so they won’t be mean to you. Heritage Action? Please bankroll a large number of House and Senate candidates who vow to make this their #1 priority (after repealing Obamacare, of course).

There’s a simple reason that people who watch TV channels other than Fox News haven’t become outraged at what happened in Fast and Furious. No, they don’t think it was a good idea. No, they’re not callous about the deaths of law enforcement personnel.

The reason non-Fox-obsessed Americans have shrugged this off is that we do all sorts of things in this country to fight crime, some of them reckless and foolhardy and ill-conceived. We do stop-and-frisks and high-speed chases and SWAT raids on homes that aren’t always the intended targets. We form drug squads that sometimes get bad guys off the streets and sometimes turn cops into dealers’ accomplices. Some people get hurt who shouldn’t, and some even die; some guilty people emerge unscathed.

But we tend to define the misdeeds as crimes only when we think there was actual malice. Impeaching Holder over Fast and Furious would be, for most people, an attempt to criminalize misjudgments. People who aren’t knee-jerk wingnuts don’t want to do that.

I know: Much of the right believes that Fast and Furious was a massive conspiracy to drum up support for gun control. Yes, House Republicans, please try to sell that line to the American public. The murders of twenty schoolchildren in Connecticut didn’t lead to new gun legislation at the federal level; how the hell was this supposed to accomplish that goal?

The right’s Fast and Furious obsession exposes two aspects of wingnut insanity: conspiracy-mindedness (Obama and Holder got law enforcement personnel killed as part of a devious scheme to take away citizens’ guns!) as well as delusions of grandeur (only outrage at Fast and Furious on the part of true conservative patriots prevented this massive gun grab!).

Please try to sell that narrative to the American public next year, right-wingers. While most Americans continue to struggle in a sluggish economy, please spend weeks if not months with Eric Holder in the dock. Oh, sure, you’ll motivate your own voter base — but that will just mean that gunnier-than-thou candidates will win GOP primaries and, in some cases, lose general elections. Meanwhile, the rest of the country will see what the Republican Party’s true priorities are.

Don’t get me wrong: I think Holder has been a generally awful attorney general. But he has mainly been awful because he has been a do-nothing (those huge numbers of convicted banksters not withstanding — wait, what?), and he has been a do-nothing because that’s what his boss has wanted him to be. Blaming Holder like that is to make the same mistake as blaming James Watt, back in the day, for what were really Ronald W. Reagan’s extract-it-all-the-environment-be-damned policies. Fast & Furious was a bonehead play, but it was 1) a bonehead play that originated during the Bush administration, and 2) although a mistake, was in no way intended to lead to confiscating the guns of law-abiding Americans, for crying out loud.

If the right wing really wants to make this their 2014 centerpiece, I predict that it will make ignoring Katrina and shutting down the government look like electrifying works of staggering genius.


  1. “Fast & Furious was a bonehead play, but it was 1) a bonehead play that originated during the Bush administration, ”

    BS.. You don’t know what you are talking about

    I am sure the GOP is thankful for your advice and give it the attention it deserves

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, November 8, 2013 8:08 pm @ 8:08 pm

  2. The GOP would be in much better shape if it had listened to me from time to time. It’s not like the Democrats have been running an uninterrupted string of moral and intellectual giants for office my entire adult life.

    Comment by Lex — Friday, November 8, 2013 9:16 pm @ 9:16 pm

  3. Let me spell it out for you slowly. The Bush did it too lie doesn’t hold water

    There are huge differences between Wide Receiver under Bush and Fast and Furious under Holder/Obama .

    Wide Receiver sought, with the knowledge and cooperation of the Mexican government, to track and interdict guns being smuggled south using a combination of RFID-tracking devices embedded in the shipments and overheard surveillance aircraft. Wide Receiver failed because of the limitations of the technology used, compounded by the ineptness of its installation and the unexpected resourcefulness of the cartel’s gun smugglers.

    As a result of the mistakes made in Wide Receiver, guns were lost: approximately 450 made it into Mexico. As a result, the botched operation launched in 2006 — and in this instance, actually botched — was shut down in 2007.

    Compare the mistakes of Wide Receiver to the operations launched under Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, which had the advantages of learning from the postmortem failures of Wide Receiver two years before.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, November 9, 2013 7:36 pm @ 7:36 pm

  4. Fred, even if the operations WERE substantially different, F&F still isn’t grounds for impeachment — which is why I so hope the GOP tries to do it anyway. I won’t say that I thought after the shutdown that House GOP credibility had actually hit zero — I figure its capacity for self-inflicted wounds is probably infinite — but impeaching Holder might well drive that credibility into negative numbers.

    One thing we agree on: He has been an awful AG. We just disagree on the reasons. :-)

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, November 9, 2013 8:35 pm @ 8:35 pm

  5. Lex they were dramatically and substatively different as I pointed out. It’s just that you played fast and loose with the facts attempting to suggest they were . Sp I called BS.

    Moving along…

    Did Holder Commit Perjury?

    ” So the issue is rather squarely posed: Holder testified that he had never “been involved in” or even “heard of” any “potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material.” And yet, he participated in “extensive deliberations,” “discussed” and approved of the filing of an application for a search warrant that specifically represented to the court that a reporter has “potential criminal liability in this matter.” It is hard to imagine a more direct contradiction. ”

    Well I guess Richard Cohen Was Right

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, November 10, 2013 9:08 pm @ 9:08 pm

  6. Fred, even if they were as different as you claim, the House GOP has shit the bed so badly that the country doesn’t believe a word out of their mouths anymore. I say again: If the GOP impeaches Holder over this, it will mean disaster at the polls, so I hope they do it.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, November 10, 2013 11:33 pm @ 11:33 pm

  7. And do you think the country ( not the LIVs ) will ever believe any thing BHO ever says again

    252 Examples of Obama’s Lies, Lawbreaking & Corruption,/a>

    “The following is a contribution from Dan from Squirrel Hill. The original title of the article is “Obama supporters will go hysterical over this well sourced list of 252 examples of his lying, lawbreaking, corruption, cronyism, etc.” it’s lengthy, but is a ‘one-stop shop’ for all the dirty details on the Obama presidency.”

    ‘Every President, every politician, and every human being tells lies and engages in acts of hypocrisy. But Barack Obama does these things to a far greater degree than anyone else that I have ever known of. His campaign promises were so much better sounding than anyone else’s – no lobbyists in his administration, waiting five days before signing all non-emergency bills so people would have time to read them, putting health care negotiations on C-SPAN, reading every bill line by line to make sure money isn’t being wasted, prosecution of Wall St. criminals, ending raids against medical marijuana in states where it’s legal, high levels of transparency. Obama’s promises of these wonderful things sounded inspiring and sincere. They sounded so much better than the promises of any other President. So when Obama broke these promises, it felt so much worse than when other Presidents broke their promises”

    And now, on with the list:


    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, November 11, 2013 6:15 pm @ 6:15 pm

  8. Yeah, well, Georgy Porgy kinda lowered the bar, there, didn’t he? Fred, I *told* you that when you let a guy get away with this shit, the next guy will come and do it worse. You didn’t believe me. See what happens when I warn you and you don’t believe me? :-)

    Comment by Lex — Monday, November 11, 2013 6:19 pm @ 6:19 pm

  9. ,We Wish To Register A Complaint

    ” And in this case, basic competence and foresight were tossed to the side. Obamacare is a bad law, badly crafted, hurriedly passed with the help of obnoxious admonitions about how we are supposed to vote it into law in order to find out what is in it. It was premised on a deliberate, calculated, repeatedly voiced falsehood; that if we liked our pre-existing health care plans, we could keep them, and that if we wanted to continue a relationship with our doctors and our hospitals, Obamacare would not interfere with that relationship in the slightest. And now that the flaws of the law are coming to light, now that the implementation has turned out to be a calamity, now that we find out that the bloody website won’t even work, and now that the deceptions are being exposed and millions are being made to suffer the consequences, we are being told that if we are one of the aggrieved, we should suck it up because (a) other people have it worse; and (b) Mr. Spock has started preaching.

    Maybe some people actually believe this . . . stuff, but since adequate measures were clearly not taken in order to ensure that Obamacare would work for as many people as possible, I’m not buying what they are selling. And what’s more, I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that there are a lot of people out there who are only pretending to be utilitarians about this entire calamity, and who would drop their faux-utilitarianism in one-one millionth of a nanosecond if it were their lives and fortunes being affected by a bad policy, and if the bad policy in question were being pushed by a president and a party they disapproved of. I an further willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that the real motivation of the faux-utilitarians is to shut people up, to keep them from complaining and dissenting, to shame them into accepting a deal that is plainly against their interests, a deal that hurts them right in the pocketbook and right when they need quality healthcare the most. After all, the more complaints and dissents there are, the greater the possibility that Obamacare may be either significantly amended or replaced, and the greater the chances that President Obama and all those who pushed for Obamacare may be made to look bad politically and suffer electorally as a consequence.

    And certain people just can’t have that. Remember: Dissent was only the highest form of patriotism when the previous guy was in the Oval Office.!!!!!!!

    In a republican democracy, we don’t suffer as a result of complaints and dissent. We thrive on them. We prosper thanks to well-meaning folks who point out flaws and demand fixes. We do better, act better and get better when someone blows the whistle on bad policy and dishonest politics. And if we are calling out a policy as poorly thought out and poorly executed, our complaints are not made any less legitimate merely because we might be motivated by self-interest. The presence of self-interest does not mean that we are the only ones who have a particular problem with a particular policy. And even if we are, if a particular policy could have been crafted to avoid a Spockian dilemma, but wasn’t, then that policy still deserves to be denounced.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, November 11, 2013 11:21 pm @ 11:21 pm

  10. Well, I’m sorry, but when you spend eight years defending C-Plus Augustus and his WAR CRIMES to the point of calling all his critics unpatriotic or even traitors, you pretty much forfeit the right to a place in any serious discussion.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, November 12, 2013 5:48 pm @ 5:48 pm

  11. Who TF did that ? Your bitter BDS is incurable. Witness 13 years of constant bashing him . You and Dan Rather .. FAIL. Short…we went into Iraq after a bipartisan congressional authorization to use force. I don’t forfeit shit . If you mean waterboarding SKM was a war crime , there is a divergence of opinion among serious intellectuals who would eat your lunch in a debate. Your respones are lame, shallow and irrational . What’s eating you ?.

    Blame Bush and Bush did it too, are not only getting tiresome but don’t square with history. Comparing GWB’s missteps to Obama’s lies , cronyism, rotten economic policy etc is like comparing .22 calibers to 16 inch guns on our battleships.

    I think you drink the kool aid but when no one is watching , spit it out.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, November 12, 2013 8:11 pm @ 8:11 pm

  12. It ain’t just waterboarding, it’s also fabricating evidence of a nuclear program to persuade Congress to authorize a unilateral invasion. But you go ahead and believe what you want to believe.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, November 12, 2013 10:14 pm @ 10:14 pm

  13. I wish to register another complaint

    The lawlessness of Obamacare

    Amazing. The Obama Administration has decided to temporarily “fix” the mess they’ve made–by simply withholding enforcement of the law they championed. That is to say, by allowing people to break the law. Again. I mean, that’s what happened with the Employer Mandate, also: it wasn’t “delayed,” as the news stories put it. What happened was that the Administration simply instructed administrative agencies not to enforce the law’s requirements.

    As Christina and I observe in an article coming in the next issue of Regulation, this sort of behavior indicates a profound failing with Obamacare: one that runs much deeper than the policy problems that have been the focus of recent debates. From its unconstitutional origin, to the rewrite that the Roberts Court put on the law, to the unconstitutional delegation of lawmaking power to unelected, independent bureaucrats, to the halting and unpredictable manner in which it is being enforced or not–depending on political pressure–Obamacare has been a sustained assault on the concept of the rule of law itself.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, November 14, 2013 12:54 pm @ 12:54 pm

  14. You know, after George Bush’s signing statements and his various attorney generals’ refusal to enforce FISA and ratified treaties speaking to war crimes and war criminals, you’ve really got no standing whatever to whine about this even if it were completely and demonstrably illegal, which it isn’t.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, November 14, 2013 1:16 pm @ 1:16 pm

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