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.

Friday, July 6, 2012 9:15 pm

Our current national politics in a nutshell

I’ve got tons of homework to do  in a houseful of boxes, so take it away, Charlie Pierce:

It was about midway through the completely predictable impeachment of Bill Clinton when I decided that the most fundamentally obsolete question that could be asked concerning anything in American politics any more was, “They really couldn’t do that, could they?” This has held me in good stead ever since, especially while observing the behavior of conservative lawmakers. I watched the entire country turn against them in public revulsion during the prolonged Terri Schiavo fiasco and knew good and well that they were going to chase that “issue” right over the cliff. So, as this whole pursuit of Eric Holder has gathered speed, I had no doubt in my mind at all that, sooner or later, he was going to be the first cabinet official ever held in contempt of Congress, and that it didn’t matter that the cheapjack grifter Darrell Issa already has said he doesn’t think that any crimes were committed, or that the White House was in any way involved, or that Fortune magazine pretty much blew up the raison d’etre for the whole business over the weekend. I just assumed, based on long experience, that, once they opened the ball on Eric Holder, they weren’t going to stop until they got at least a piece of what they wanted. This isn’t because they’re reckless partisans. It’s because they’re f—ing vandals who have the votes. …

Out in front of the capitol, assistant Democratic leader Jim Clyburn had just finished saying, “This is not about oversight. This is about overkill. This is about this committee honoring its precedent of what happens no matter which Republican is chairing it. This is Dan Burton, who was going after Ron Brown because of stuff he made up. Now it’s Chairman Issa, going after Attorney General Holder over stuff he made up.”

You will note that Clyburn didn’t cite Bill Clinton, Burton’s major target back in the day, but the late Ron Brown, another African-American cabinet member. Clyburn’s meaning could not have been clearer.

Because Barack Obama got elected president, see, so we live in a postracial society and nothing is about race anymore.

Here at this end of the I-85/95 corridor, I had hoped Pat McCrory might be different. But his determination to continue working for a politically connected law firm — not as a lawyer, mind — for what seems like an awful lot of money for a nonlawyer job and without telling us what he’s doing for that money, stinks to high heaven. And the more I hear of him, the less likely I think he is to even try to stand up to the sociopaths in the legislature who couldn’t be bothered to compensate the people we illegally castrated not so horribly long ago (and that, of course, was not about race, either), let alone push policies that really will enhance the general welfare. Even if he isn’t a fundamentalist whackjob — and I realize this may come as a shock to some folks from outside North Carolina, but not all Republicans here are — he probably is going to support the decades-old campaign by the GOP to transfer and concentrate wealth upward. That’s brought us double-digit unemployment nationally, even more so here in the Old North State, and that shit has to stop.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: