[Update II: I have a companion post up about why I’m not voting for Obama either.]
I’ve got to admit it. The Convention knocked me off of my game. For a brief few days, I was being wooed by the scripted politi-fest of the Republican National Convention. I ended up listening to Paul Ryan’s speech live on the radio (on NPR, no less!) after a long day at work, and for some reason, I really resonated with it.
I started thinking, “Hey, I know they are jerks, and immature, and arrogant, and reactionary, and obstructionist, but I could maybe sort of think about thinking about thinking about voting for these guys!” (Clint Eastwood notwithstanding.)
But then a few things happened. First, this 8-minute dismantling of the Republican National Convention (and the GOP generally) by Jon Stewart. Brilliant. (If these Hulu clips ever expire, you can find the clips at the Daily Show website at the alternative links below.)
Earlier this week, the House Oversight committee voted to recommend (more here)that Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured) be held in contempt for not turning over documents pertaining to a botched (and idiotic) mission that led to a U.S. Border Patrol agent being killed by U.S.-supplied guns. The contempt vote fell on strict party lines. Next week, the House will take up that vote.
The documents speak to how the Department of Justice (and the White House, it seems) discussed how to communicate this matter to Congress. I think the assumption/concern/fear is that Holder (or perhaps Obama) instructed (or was instructed) to lie to Congress about any knowledge of the mission.
To protect Holder, Obama (in unprecedented fashion) asserted executive privilege over the documents on behalf of the Attorney General.
It is very, very clear, in my (and others‘) estimation, that this is politically-motivated. I have no doubt that if there were a Republican in office, none of this would be happening. Heck, they had two terms of a President wielding precisely these same powers and pulling these same tricks without them nary saying a word. (In fact, most all of our Americans dying in Afghanistan are being killed with weapons that were given to them by the Americans years ago to try and fight the Russians. Oh irony.)