Slow and dull: Panel sends Holder contempt forward

The Witches of Washington. You’d think a load of them were found on the Capitol steps. That is because a giant witch hunt is in high gear as a congressional committee voted along party lines a short while ago to order to the full House a contempt charge against the attorney general.

The whole charge, pushed by zealous Republican Rep. Daniel Issa of California, stems from a botched arms investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious. It certainly isn’t the first time the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives flubbed a probe. But this one happened on AG Eric Holder’s — read Obama’s — watch.

If the congressional panel was to actually engage in seeking something from the “Reform” portion of its name, I might be a bit more inclined to give the House inquiry a break. But it’s all about the president — always has, always been.

When the Republicans took charge of the House with the Democrats maintaining the narrowest of majorities in the Senate, the writing was on the wall. The House was going to investigate, investigate, investigate. It was destiny. Just as in law, which is from where many of the clueless — a.k.a. lawmakers — are derived, congressional types want to get a meaty cause. They then study it as if it was a being from Mars. Then they beat that cause with a stick in the general public, or in the Republican’s case, Fox News. Then, some blowhard demagogue wrests away the case as his own and becomes the crusading congressman with all the bearing of a Batman but, thankfully, without a tight-fitting body suit.

Of course, the possible contempt charge has hinged all along on the president’s use of executive privilege — a qualified privilege in which the executive branch can claim the power to resist certain subpoenas and other major pains in the ass which the legislative and judicial branches might see fit to throw the president’s way. Okay, long sentence there, sorry. But hopefully you score the quintessence.

This is Obama’s first rodeo when it comes to executive privilege but such an assertion is hardly unheard of in our history. Here’s a tote board of presidents using the big EP during the last 40 or so years:

President George W. Bush: 6

President Bill Clinton: 14

President George H.W. Bush: 1

President Ronald Reagan: 3

President Jimmy Carter: 1

President Gerald Ford: 1

President Richard Nixon: 6

President Lyndon Johnson: 0

President John F. Kennedy: 2

The full House may vote on this contempt charge next week unless a deal is struck. Then, who knows? It might go to court and remain unresolved until after the election. This political theater by Issa and his cronies could have been avoided. But why would they do that? Anything, any method, anyway to hurt the President. Does the GOP care the world around them goes to Hell? Hell No, that’s what they want. I swear the Republicans should have chose the jackass as its symbol.

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.