Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fast and Furious - Executive Privilege

Yesterday I jotted down my thoughts on Fast and Furious just prior to it becoming the dominant story of the day as President Obama used Executive Privilege as a get out of jail free card for Attorney General Eric Holder. Since then there has been much said about the President's action and what it really means.

I have three thoughts I'd like to toss out there.

1. People seem to want to make this an either / or situation. Either this is a legitimate use of Executive Power or the President and Holder are trying to hide something nefarious. I suggest a possible third path or explanation - this exercising of Executive Privilege may simply be another example of simple incompetence. Holder and Obama may just not understand the principle of Executive Privilege and this article by John Hinderaker seems to support the frivolous nature of the claim. Of course I don't rule out the option that the Administration is both trying to hide something AND incompetent.

2. Karl Rove on Fox News floated the idea that the Obama Administration knows this isn't good news for them but that they need a shiny object to keep people distracted from focusing on the economy for a few weeks and Fast and Furious was the least evil of the options available to them. This was a WOW! statement for me. The Democrats have tried Bain Capital, high school bullying, Romney's record as Governor, Mormonism, even an Executive Fiat version of illegal immigrant amnesty and now they are out of shiny objects? Wow - Obama's own people must think things are not just bad but awful if this is the case and Fast and Furious would be the LEAST damaging distraction.

3. Small quibble but anyone who says this is just "election year politics" should be reminded that this started a year and a half ago and AG Holder could have ended it at any time by just providing the information requested. He's the one that delayed things so it is now coming to a head 5 months before the election. The simple question of "who authorized Fast and Furious?" has not been answered. Until that question is answered this will continue to be an issue.