If you’re unfamiliar with “Fast and Furious,” and I don’t mean the movies — congratulations. You’ve managed to sit out perhaps the most underwhelming “scandal” ever invented by the right. (Up to now I’ve refused to pay any attention to it.)
More underwhelming, even, than Whitewater, you say? Yes. It’s that bad.
“Fast and Furious” has, up to recently, been a pet cause of the far right, pushed ad nauseum by right wing talk radio and Fox News. Along with Solyndra, right wing media have obsessed over it, hoping eventually to force it into the media mainstream, the better to dirty up what has up to now been a squeaky clean Obama administration. With Darrell Issa heading the House government reform committee, and with his gavel, commanding the attention of the Beltway media, the right finally has succeeded. And with a highly partisan vote on holding A.G. Eric Holder in contempt of Congress — a fate that should have been meted out to Alberto Gonzales over torture, but for the cowardice of Democrats in Congress — they’ve gotten the media’s attention, big time.
I’ll leave the details of “Fast and Furious”; a permutation of a “gun walking” program that actually began in the George W. Bush administration, to you to delve into here.
The latest in the case is that Issa, I’m sure to his great distress, has found nothing linking the White House to the “Fast and Furious” or a supposed “cover-up.”
But while the right won’t get to drag Barack Obama into this faux scandal, Republicans are very likely to keep it going, because of this: “Fast and Furious” is the gun lobby’s cudgel, and they are happy to use it against Republicans, too. Why? Because the “Fast and Furious” meme belongs to the NRA. There’s no evidence that the advocates of this supposed scandal particularly care about the death of this border patrol officer, or about “gun walking” as a concept (after all, their guy, Dubya, started it) or about who drug cartels shoot up in Mexico. They care about preventing any form of gun control from being advocated in the United States. And they think “Fast and Furious” was a nefarious attempt to stop the flow of guns (where that flow goes, they really don’t care.)
Tea party activists, gun-rights fanatics, and others on the right have recently stepped up their calls for President Obama to fire Attorney General Eric Holder over his handling of the Operation Fast and Furious gun scandal. They’ve persuaded 52 members of Congress, a couple of senators, and many GOP presidential candidates to call for his ouster. Mitt Romney joined the chorus over the weekend, telling reporters in New Hampshire, “Either Mr. Holder himself should resign or the president should ask for his resignation or remove him…It’s unacceptable for him to continue in that position, given the fact that he has misled Congress and entirely botched the investigation of the Fast and Furious program.” …… With the help of the National Rifle Association, Fast and Furious has become one of the right’s latest conspiracy theories. It goes something like this: Fast and Furious was actually a scheme by Holder to promote gun control. The NRA claims that Holder allowed American gun dealers to sell AK-47s and other powerful assault rifles so that they would be used to kill people in the Mexican drug war, thereby creating the political will for more restrictions on gun ownership in the United States.
“It’s the only thing that makes any sense,” LaPierre said. “Over a period of two or three years they were running thousands and thousands of guns to the most evil people on earth. At the same time they were yelling ’90 per cent… of the guns the Mexican drug cartels are using come from the United States.’