The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Explaining ‘Fast & Furious’ to the Founding Fathers


The final Morning Jolt of the week is full of reaction to the Obamacare decision, but it also includes this examination of how we got where we are in the investigation of Fast & Furious:

Oh, and Eric Holder’s in Contempt of Congress

Oh, and one other thought in the vein of the usefulness, and even necessity of ‘fear of the electorate’ . . .

Suppose you obtain a time machine, and look for some advice at the Constitutional Convention . . .

You: Hey, Founding Fathers, how do we make sure the nation’s law enforcement agencies don’t get involved, in, say, shipping massive amounts of guns — er, think of big muskets — to gangsters across the border? Suppose it was really terrible, like, one of those muskets being used to kill an American keeping a watchful eye on the border.

Founding Fathers: My goodness, you worry about such epic foolishness and folly in the future leadership of this nation! Well, under the Judiciary Act, the government shall have an Attorney General, and he could investigate and get to the bottom of it and hold the perpetrators accountable.

You: Okay, yeah, that’s not going to work. See, picture what probably seems like a crazy scenario to you guys, but imagine that this future Attorney General either doesn’t care or he was in on it or he just wants the issue to go away.

Founding Fathers: What a dishonorable toad! Surely if he picked such a reprehensible course of action, the president would act upon his authority to fire him and appoint a replacement who would ensure accountability.

You: Yeah, about that . . . let’s go out on a limb and say we end up with a president who has no interest in doing that.

Founding Fathers: Surely, there would be some sort of internal review of that agency, some inspector general who could get to the bottom of it.

You: Let’s assume that the Department of Justice’s Inspector General promises to investigate and then doesn’t say anything for sixteen months and we’re starting to suspect that when the whole thing comes out after the election, it’ll be a whitewash.

Founding Fathers: Congress would have oversight authority. Surely, they could get to the bottom of it and hold all the perpetrators accountable.

You: Yeah, well, that’s turning out pretty hit-and-miss, and quite dependent upon whistle-blowers.

Founding Fathers: How could that be? Congress will have subpoena power! They’ll be able to make the Attorney General turn over all the relevant documents!

You: Yeah, about that . . . the Attorney General’s not cooperating.

Founding Fathers: Well, he had better cooperate, unless he wants to he found in contempt of Congress!

You: Already done. Not really any sign he cares.

Founding Fathers: Son, how the heck did you end up being governed by this crew? What, did you elect the Barbary Pirates?

Tags: Eric Holder , Fast and Furious


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