Obviously, almost all other political news pales in comparison to the huge news announced last night. But a quick closing note on the NRA Convention…
None of the speeches were surprising to those familiar with the speakers; Newt Gingrich’s was long, interesting, and laden with history; Rick Santorum was passionate and surprisingly religious considering the venue; John Bolton was wonky and well-reasoned; and Herman Cain left the crowd most fired up. Politico said Mitt Romney’s video message fell flat; I would note that none of the video messages generated any notably enthusiastic response other than Michele Bachmann. Considering that the appearance of Bachmann’s face was what triggered the applause, I suspect that reflects that the crowd likes Bachmann herself and what she does more than anything in particular that she said.
The NRA called for Eric Holder’s resignation over the gun-walking scandal, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed guns to be purchased by suspected Mexican drug cartel associates and taken over the border. Thousands of guns were purchased and used in violent acts in Mexico, and one firearm was used to murder a U.S. Border Patrol official. Attorney General Eric Holder said he was unaware of the operation and the Department of Justice had initially denied that it had ever permitted guns to cross the border in this manner.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre scoffed, “He’s the highest law enforcement officer in our land. He’s in charge, and he didn’t know? Then who’s minding the store over at the Justice Department? If Holder didn’t know, then Holder’s gotta go.” It’s a great line, but we know Obama will ignore it.
The bigger question will be whether we start seeing members of Congress echoing this demand. The line from ATF and the DOJ for the moment is that their ongoing internal investigation precludes them from cooperating with Congressional investigations, an excuse that is outraging GOP lawmakers.