The Right Opinion
Playing the Race Card to Obscure Murder
The contempt vote against Eric Holder succeeds -- and the left is desperate to distract from its bloody scandal.
Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to provide subpoenaed documents to the Congressional Committee investigating the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal. Mr. Holder thus becomes the first sitting cabinet member to be held in contempt. Seventeen Democrats joined 238 Republicans in voting aye, 65 Democrats and two Republicans voted nay, and one member voted present. One hundred Democrats refused to vote and left the chamber in protest, including Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The walkout follows days of accusations by the American left that the contempt vote has racial underpinnings.
Racial arsonist Al Sharpton led the way. In a column for the Huffington Post, he accused House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of engaging in a "political witch hunt" during which Attorney General Holder was "spoken to and mistreated as if he were a child, and reminded that despite his esteemed position, he can and would be profiled," wrote Sharpton. "AG Holder was in essence 'stopped & frisked' without probable cause, and after he cooperated, he was made an example of. What Issa just showed us is that no matter what our stature in this world, someone can easily try to 'put us in our place.'"
Mr. Sharpton then reiterated the lie that "Fast and Furious was created under the Bush Administration." We now know it's a lie because the Justice Department itself was forced to retract Eric Holder's sworn testimony that Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey had been briefed about the program. The DOJ claimed Mr. Holder "inadvertently" made the charge. This marked the second retraction made by the DOJ, the first being a Feb. 4, 2011, letter to Congress inaccurately stating that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- which ran Fast and Furious -- "makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico."
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also injected race into the issue. "They're going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states," Pelosi told reporters during her press briefing on June 22nd. "This is no accident, it is no coincidence. It is a plan on the part of Republicans." Apparently that "plan" was in place long before the DOJ attempted to overturn photo voter ID laws passed in states such as South Carolina and Texas. Those particular "voter suppression initiatives" were upheld by a 6-3 Supreme Court ruling in 2008, when the Court held that photo-ID requirements were both constitutional and necessary to protect "the integrity and reliability of the electoral process," according to liberal Justice John Paul Stevens.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews also insisted that citing Mr. Holder for contempt had a racial undercurrent. After noting that the 2010 election giving Republicans control of the House gave them their "real prize" of "subpoena power," Matthews wondered out loud if going after Mr. Holder was "sort of stop-and-frisk at the highest level? Go after the attorney general, get him to empty his pockets, stand in the spotlight as long as they can and see if anything happens?"
And then there is Mr. Holder himself. In an interview with the New York Times last December, the Attorney General claimed the "more extreme segment" of his numerous critics were really after the president and that he served as a viable substitute. "This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him," he said, "both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we're both African-American." Mr. Holder further contended that his being drawn into the Fast and Furious investigation was "payback" for the way former Bush administration AGs John Ashcroft and Alberto R. Gonzales were treated by their critics. "They want to go after some high-level official in the administration," Mr. Holder said. It is worth remembering that less than one month after he began serving as Attorney General Holder also called American "a nation of cowards" regarding racial matters.
All of this calculated odiousness regarding race is designed to obscure reality. More than 2000 guns were "walked" into Mexico, unbeknownst to the Mexican government. Several of them ended up in the hands of drug cartel members. Documents obtained by CBS News reveal that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using Fast and Furious to argue for more gun restrictions. Despite DOJ claims of cooperation, less than ten percent of the documents related to the scandal have been turned over to the Committee. Wiretap applications obtained by the Committee reveal that high level DOJ officials were involved in the scandal. Mr. Holder was sent a series of memos detailing the gunwalking tactics, but he claimed he never read any of them. Mr. Holder has failed to comply with several Committee subpoenas. Two claims made by DOJ have been "retracted," which is legalese for lying. Every effort to get at the truth has been stonewalled, first by the Attorney General, and now by president Obama himself, who issued an executive order to keep a lid on the worst government scandal since Watergate.
Racism? Tell that to the parents of slain border agent Brian Terry. They are suing the DOJ and the (ATF) for $25 million. Is it racist to want to know who is ultimately responsible for their son's death? How about the Mexican civilians? Since most of them are non-white, why isn't the effort to suppress information regarding their murders -- numbering in the hundreds -- considered racist?
Darrell Issa and company want to discover the most basic elements of any cover-up: who knew what, and when did they know it? Those who would coat that effort with a patina of racism, even as they ignore the carnage Fast and Furious has produced -- and those in the media who would aid and abet such demagoguery -- are beyond reprehensible. Quite simply, these are American leftists who prefer protecting the careers of one or more high-level government officials, over bringing some kind of closure -- as in justice -- to hundreds of families whose lives have been shattered by bureaucratic malfeasance at best, and outright criminality at worst. And they're willing to play the race card to do it. Shame on every one of them.