Human Events Blog

Fast and Furious: Democrat Boren Refuses to Say He Supports Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder now faces demands for his resignation from 120 members of the House, three senators, and two sitting governors.  Matt Boyle of the Daily Caller reports on what could prove to be a watershed moment today, as the first House Democrat, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, declined to support Holder.  All that could be extracted from his spokesperson was a terse “no comment.”

Boren might be tiring of Holder’s ridiculous excuses for failing to provide lawfully subpoenaed documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, the infamous “gun walking” operation that killed at least 300 Mexicans, plus at least two American law enforcement agents.  Holder always claims he’d love to hand over that mountain of documentation, but sadly there’s a perpetual “internal investigation” at the Justice Department eternally in progress – it has now been running considerably longer than the inquiry into JFK’s assassination.

Boren signed on to a letter demanding the end of Holder’s stonewall tactics almost a year ago.  It didn’t get him anywhere:

Boren was one of 31 Democrats who signed a letter to President Barack Obama on June 3, 2011, asking him to direct the Justice Department and Holder to provide all information and documents related to Fast and Furious to congressional investigators.

Obama and Holder have apparently ignored the request from Boren and his colleagues, and are still withholding more than 70,000 pages of lawfully subpoenaed documents from House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa and Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. Holder has, however, provided the documents to the DOJ’s internal Office of the Inspector General.

The other 30 Democrats who signed that letter did not immediately respond to TheDC’s requests for comment.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about whether she continues to have confidence in Holder. It’s unclear if she does.

President Obama could put an end to all this by ordering Holder to release the information, but he’s busy with important presidential tasks, such as making personal phone calls to liberal activists to ensure they’re surviving their encounters with mean words, and filling out his March Madness basketball brackets.  Yes, he’s seriously making a big deal about that.  His re-election campaign is inviting supporters to participate in a contest where they’ll compare their basketball picks to the President’s.  A contribution to the Obama 2012 campaign of at least $3 is necessary to play.

The Obama-Holder strategy has been to sit tight, confident that the mainstream press (outside of certain indefatigable CBS News reporters) will never build a major story around the Fast and Furious scandal, so public interest would dissipate over time.  In fact, the Fast and Furious saga is an important example of the “trial by media” concept, which paints the press as the final judges and jury for abuses of power, no matter what the law actually says.  If the media doesn’t keep public interest high, a favored Administration can simply run out the clock, until anyone who still wants to hold high officials responsible for their misdeeds is told they’re “living in the past” and obsessing over “old news.”

Along these lines, Holder has defied Congressional oversight, sneered contemptuously at the threat of contempt of Congress citations, and provided laughable testimony that would have fueled a thousand Saturday Night Live skits, if he were a Republican.  A very credible case can be made that Holder committed perjury, which is something the media takes very seriously when Republicans are accused of it. 

The Administration has always figured none of this will matter, as long as the media grants them a blanket pardon.  Some key figures in the Republican leadership appear to agree.  The Hill ran a story over the weekend about how Tea Party groups in the home districts of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are “turning up the heat,” and demanding they speak up on the Fast and Furious scandal.    Remarkably enough, Boehner’s first major public comments on the scandal came only a few weeks ago, at a Feb. 16 press conference.

If Fast and Furious was a Republican scandal, the Democrat leadership would be filling the airwaves with angry demands for resignations, and they wouldn’t stop with the Attorney General.  They would encounter no shortage of sympathetic reporters, whose interviews would be filled with questions like, “In your opinion, is this the worst scandal in American history?” and “Is it really possible the President didn’t know about this?”  Softball questions about the scandal would have been lobbed at every Democrat presidential debate.

Instead, even the most outrageous aspects of the Fast and Furious cover-up are greeted with yawns by a credulous press, and Holder was seen as standing a pretty good chance of sliding past the November elections, at which point the whole affair will be declared forever moot, of concern only to obsessed paranoids… and the families of the dead.  Much now depends on whether the last of the “conservative Democrats” view their duty to the American people above their duty to the Party, and rouse themselves to offer more than embarrassed silence on the question of Eric Holder’s fitness for office.

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