Pressure on House Dems as NRA to score Holder contempt vote

posted at 8:41 am on June 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Allahpundit briefly mentioned this last night, but it’s worth a closer look — as it may be a bellwether of bad news to the Obama White House.  Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT), who faces a tough challenge in November from Republican Mia Love, has announced that he will vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt tomorrow, assuming that the Obama administration can’t cut a deal before the vote in the morning.  He’s the first Democrat to break ranks, but he may not be the last:

Rep. Jim Matheson will vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding documents pertaining to a failed Justice Department sting that let guns get into the hands of drug runners.

Matheson, D-Utah, announced his position Tuesday, joining House Republicans, such as Utah Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, who have railed against Holder’s reaction to the congressional probe into the Justice Department’s “Fast and Furious” operation. One of the lost guns was later used in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

“It just compounds the tragedy when both sides play politics instead of releasing the facts. The Terry family, the public and Congress deserve answers,” Matheson said. “Sadly, it seems that it will take holding the attorney general in contempt to communicate that evasiveness is unacceptable.”

This tends to undercut the argument that the contempt vote is nothing more than a partisan electoral fight.  Democrats, as the Salt Lake City Tribune notes, have claimed that Holder has been cooperative, releasing more than 7,000 pages of documentation.  Unfortunately for Democrats, the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed more than 130,000 pages of documents, which means that the DoJ has blocked more than 94% of the documents under subpoena.  Their last-ditch offer to avoid contempt was even more ridiculous, as John Hinderaker explains:

The Obama administration has asserted a frivolous claim of executive privilege with respect to an unknown number of DOJ documents. (The number is unknown because the administration refuses to provide a standard privilege log.) Now, Eric Holder wants to offer the House a “representative sample” of less than 30 pages of the wrongfully withheld documents, in exchange for which the House is asked to abandon the Fast and Furious investigation altogether! This is absurd, even by Holder standards. We don’t know how many documents the administration is wrongfully withholding, but let’s assume they comprise only 2,000 pages (an extraordinarily small number). So the administration wants to select 30 harmless pages out of the 2,000, and thereby assure the House that the 1,970 they didn’t select are also insignificant! Somehow, nearly every day during the Age of Obama, I find myself asking: how dumb do they think we are?

The question isn’t how dumb they think Republicans are, but how much longer they can convince House Democrats in tough races this November to keep peddling that nonsense.  Time already ran out for Obama and Holder in Utah’s 4th CD, and the NRA will make that clock tick even louder by scoring this as a vote on gun rights:

Now that the politically potent National Rifle Association is keeping score, some Democrats are expected to join House Republicans in supporting the contempt of Congress vote against Holder.

One of those Democrats, Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah, said, “Sadly, it seems that it will take holding the attorney general in contempt to communicate that evasiveness is unacceptable. It is a vote I will support.”

The gun owners association injected itself last week into the stalemate over Justice Department documents demanded by the House Oversight Committee. The NRA said it supports the contempt resolution and will keep a record of how members vote.

An NRA letter to House members contended that the Obama administration “actively sought information” from Operation Fast and Furious to support its program to require dealers to report multiple rifle sales.

The program, which began last August, imposed the requirement for sales of specifically identified long guns in four border states: Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico. A federal judge upheld the requirement.

Republicans don’t need Democratic votes to pass a resolution of contempt, but getting Democratic support will improve the politics of the effort immeasurably.  That will rip the fig leaf from the White House and Department of Justice and focus the attention on the 99% opacity coming from Obama and Holder on Operation Fast and Furious.


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– why would the NRA have a dog in the fight?

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

All the NRA has said is that they will be recording the votes……and will be advising their members who voted for or against.
Do you have a problem with an organization doing that?

Solaratov on June 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

The dead Mexicans…yes, that keeps coming up.
I’m sure you feel you are genuinely concerned.
Of course I can’t recall the F&F die-hards here or the NRA saying much when Mexican President Calderon, commenting on the ease with which gangs and cartels buy weapons in the US, offered this a few months back:

“The expiring of the assault weapons ban in the year 2004 coincided almost exactly with the beginning of the harshest — the harshest — period of violence we’ve ever seen,””

And the NRA battles groups and police unions who out of concern for the safety of their officers seek a modicum of reason in the gun control debate.
But now suddenly the tragic deaths of Mexicans and US law enforcement officer in the drug wars are being spun for political purposes.
Unreal.
But I bet you’d have a good ‘score’ with the NRA.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

He had to blame it on something other than his piss-poor leadership.

I can’t help what happens across the border, but when our own government is complicit, I don’t see having much choice but to seek answers. I know why drug cartels are killing people in Mexico. What doesn’t make sense is why our government would send them the guns to do it; unless they were trying to gin up support for more onerous gun control laws here. And Calderon simply plays along, because it gives him a scapegoat as well.

The big flaw in this tactic, and every gun control tactic, which leftist morons can’t seem to digest, is that the only people who will pay any attention to such laws are law abiding citizens. Criminals simply ignore them and continue to arm themselves to the teeth.

But, by all means, continue to sweep those lousy Mexicans under your ideological rug. Broken eggs for the omelet, as far as you’re concerned.

CurtZHP on June 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

libfreeordie on June 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Why do liberals like to see Mexicans get killed?

pain train on June 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Because a dead Mexican vote is more reliable.

(and because ‘liberals’ are racists)

Solaratov on June 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I suppose one could argue the conspiracy theory about the secret gun control plan Obama and Holder have been scheming.
And someone will.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I have provided the link to this CBS report for you several times before. This will be the last time I do so.

Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

All the NRA has said is that they will be recording the votes……and will be advising their members who voted for or against.
Do you have a problem with an organization doing that?

Solaratov on June 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Not at all.
Do you have a problem with it meaning anything?
Also, I’m not sure you are clear on what ‘scoring’ is here.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

If any/all congresscritters would have funcitoning sane brains, this w/b a unanimous vote.

It is NOT about F & F but about the sharing of branch power.

Only fools don’t see this.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Balance of Power. Period!!!

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I suppose one could argue the conspiracy theory about the secret gun control plan Obama and Holder have been scheming.
And someone will.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I have provided the link to this CBS report for you several times before. This will be the last time I do so.

Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Dear Flora Duh,

I think it is important that I explain the difference between Ignroance and Stupidity to you.

Ignorance differs from Stupidity in the fact that Ignorance can be overcome.

I think it is time you stop treating verbaluce as Ignorant.

jd

jaydee_007 on June 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM

High school civics should teach the division of the 3 branches of gov’t, and their powers, alas…

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Latinos, Obama doesn’t care about you, dead or alive. He just needs your votes, fools. Wake up!

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Do you have a problem with an organization doing that?

Solaratov on June 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Nope. Their ‘scoring’ is meh, the vote record is public, so yeah, shout about that all you want to.

However, that covers the real issue here.

IF Congress lets Holder off, they are effectively DEAD as a governing body. The WH runs the show from here on out.

THATS why everyone relates this to the ReichStag Fire.

The Oval Office holder can run whatever ops he wants, and stall and blather whatever he wants to cover it up. And no one will do a dam^ thing about it.

You watch, next up is a EO arming the TSA.

orbitalair on June 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM

I suppose one could argue the conspiracy theory about the secret gun control plan Obama and Holder have been scheming.
And someone will.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

It’s not exactly a conspiracy theory when there are ATF e-mails discussing how to use F&F to ram through tighter gun control measures including the kind of tracking of gun purchases that the ATF deliberately did not do with F&F. But hey, you’re a good filthy liberal- don’t let anything like a few hundred innocent Mexicans get in the way of your moral outrage that anybody in Congress would dare take on Eric Holder or your jug-eared god.

Happy Nomad on June 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

No need – I’ve seen and read this.
I don’t see it in any as supportive of the Obama/Holder gun control conspiracy.
The ‘Demand’ letters from ATF date back to 2000. And ATF considers them to be consistent with current law. Maybe there’s an argument to be made that they are not? And indeed there is stuff here that supports a charge of ineptitude at ATF.
To extrapolate from this what you do is just wildly speculative.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

It’s not exactly a conspiracy theory when there are ATF e-mails discussing how to use F&F to ram through tighter gun control measures including the kind of tracking of gun purchases that the ATF deliberately did not do with F&F. But hey, you’re a good filthy liberal- don’t let anything like a few hundred innocent Mexicans get in the way of your moral outrage that anybody in Congress would dare take on Eric Holder or your jug-eared god.

Happy Nomad on June 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

It is exactly that – a conspiracy theory.
Calling it that is not the same as saying there was no conspiracy.
Follow?
Maybe we can agree on that.
As to the rest of your comment, we are unlikely to find common ground.
(‘good filthy’ is an odd one – but original.)

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM

orbitalair on June 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM | Delete

You’re a light in the tunnel. If the leftist congresscritters had a brain, they’d all vote against Holder. It’s not about F & F, it’s about giving up their constitutional power. How stupid can they be?…no matter who is president or AG…

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 1:00 PM

I don’t see it in any as supportive of the Obama/Holder gun control conspiracy.
The ‘Demand’ letters from ATF date back to 2000. And ATF considers them to be consistent with current law. Maybe there’s an argument to be made that they are not? And indeed there is stuff here that supports a charge of ineptitude at ATF.
To extrapolate from this what you do is just wildly speculative.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Eric Holder 1995:

We’ve got to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

You tell us, what do you think Holder and Obama meant by these statements?

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 1:02 PM

That Holder quote…gawd.
In context it’s innocuous.
Now are you asking if I think Obama, Holder, Dems etc. would likely favor some gun control regs not currently on the books?
Yes, I think that’s likely. Pretty safe to assume they’d like to re-instate the assault weapons ban. Cops here want that too.
And Mexico also favors that, as they see that as a significant factor in the marked increase in violence in the drug wars down there since the 2004 repeal.
But that’s not the conversation many professing concern over the deaths of innocents seem to want to have.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Another one bites the dust.

a capella on June 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM

That Holder quote…gawd.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

That goalpost….getting heavy, ain’t it?

CurtZHP on June 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

But that’s not the conversation many professing concern over the deaths of innocents seem to want to have.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

You know what conversation I want to have and have been wanting to have since this story broke?

WHO authorized Operation Fast and Furious and will they be held accountable criminally for facilitating the MURDERS of 2 U.S. Law Enforcement Officers and hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens?

Too bad your side has been stonewalling on finding out the answer to that question for over a year and a half.

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Nope, this isn’t political grandstanding at all. Which is totally why the NRA cares.

libfreeordie on June 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Nope, the NRA just understands what we conservatives suspect…

That this administration committed treason to arm enemies of this country to pile up dead bodies in an attempt to make the argument for stronger gun control, restricting our 2nd Amendment Constitutional rights.

How about we call this administration’s actions DEADstanding. After all, they’re standing on the bodies of dead Mexicans/Americans to make a political point! And then illegally using Executive Privilege to cover up the smell of rotting carcasses.

dominigan on June 27, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Another one bites the dust.

a capella on June 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Barrow’s office circulated a statement Wednesday midday confirming reports the congressman would vote to hold AG Holder in contempt. It reads in full:

“For me, this investigation has been about justice for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and his family. While Republicans and Democrats argue over the scope of the people’s right to know what happened, the Attorney General has decided to withhold relevant documents. The only way to get to the bottom of what happened is for the Department of Justice to turn over the remaining documents, so that we can work together to ensure this tragedy never happens again.”

But that’s not the conversation many professing concern over the deaths of innocents seem to want to have.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Flora Duh on June 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Turdbaluce
I really hate to let you in on this but, when the assault weapons ban went into effect, the same guns were still being sold without bayonet lugs, pistol grips, flash reducers. THE SAME GUNS were still available at higher prices. High capacity clips were available AT HIGHER PRICES. Everything that was available was still available AT HIGHER PRICES ………..

angrymike on June 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Pressure on House Dems as NRA to score Holder contempt vote………..

……games, just positioning for re-election and games.

PappyD61 on June 27, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 1:00 PM

I wish I knew the way out with peace and prosperity for all who want it.

Alas I do not. I only know that the communists will not go freely, but must be forced by bayonet point to leave. Their minds will not be changed.

As someone said on AR15.com, when the azzholes who got us here look up and whisper ‘help’ … Ima shout back NO!.

Because another thing history teaches me, the commies will turn on the useful idiots once they feel secure in their power. They have to, its the only way to give relief to the few remaining workers.

orbitalair on June 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

How long until obama and his minions call Rep Matheson ‘senile’ and throw him under the bus :)….

jimver on June 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM

lol

Think intellectually dishonest partisan hacks like verbaluce or libfreeordie can give any evidence that they cared at all about the defamation Gerald Walpin suffered at the hands of 0bamessiah’s ‘righteous’ administration?

Think intellectually dishonest partisan hacks like verbaluce or libfreeordie can give any evidence that they have a similar inclination to fairly criticize Democrats who make personal attacks against Republicans as they do when they perceive Republicans are doing the same to Democrats?

See my questions there, verbaluce or libfreeordie? Do you understand how our foreknowledge that you will not make intellectually honest, good-faith efforts to answer them is why people like us justifiably dislike you so much, and why we call you “intellectually dishonest partisan hacks” in the first place? :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Nope, this isn’t political grandstanding at all. Which is totally why the NRA cares.

libfreeordie on June 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

I’d love to see you put an impersonal effort into showing how the Dems are not playing politics over F&F, and that it’s only the Repubs who are, you hack! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 27, 2012 at 2:10 PM

I suppose one could argue the conspiracy theory about the secret gun control plan Obama and Holder have been scheming.
And someone will.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Then Holder should hand the friggin’ docs over already and – newsflash – there will be NO conspiracy theory!!!

jimver on June 27, 2012 at 2:11 PM

test

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Been trying to post a link to the Katherine Eban article up at Fortune/CNN.
Either I’m not allowed to post links or don’t know how.
But well worth a read.

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Then Holder should hand the friggin’ docs over already and – newsflash – there will be NO conspiracy theory!!!

jimver on June 27, 2012 at 2:11 PM

You’re so mean to Holder, like a typical right-wingnut – why can’t you racist vote-suppressors ignore common sense and take him at word when he says he is holding back on releasing the docs out of principle, not because he’s afraid of incrimination?! -verbaluce

Bizarro No. 1 on June 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Another one bites the dust.

a capella on June 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM

The count is apparently something like 20+ Dems deciding to join the GOP in this “political witch hunt.”

Happy Nomad on June 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

libfreeordie on June 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Brainfree, they care because F&F was an attack on the 2nd Amendment.

msupertas on June 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

All the proof needed that this liberal is not objective and not worth ever paying attention to again.

Vince on June 27, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Sold!

msupertas on June 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Then Holder should hand the friggin’ docs over already and – newsflash – there will be NO conspiracy theory!!!

jimver on June 27, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Holder shouldn’t be handing over any documents. That would mean they haven’t properly secured him for the frog march out of the Justice Department in the mother of all perp walks. Let the authorities pick up the docs when they raid his office.

Happy Nomad on June 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM

CNN is not a credible source so HA blocks links to them.

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I’d like a cogent explanation just why I need a permit in order to exercise a constitutional right.

I’m sure someone can take up this challenge.

irongrampa on June 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM

So the State can get that revenue. Pure and simple.

msupertas on June 27, 2012 at 2:49 PM

CNN is not a credible source so HA blocks links to them.

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM

You are forgetting about “entertainment value” as a legitimate consideration for a link! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 27, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Latinos, Obama doesn’t care about you, dead or alive. He just needs your votes, fools. Wake up!

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Fast and Furious resulted in more dead Mexicans than dead Border Patrol agents. Voters who like Mexicans should be reminded of that fact.

Steve Z on June 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM

You are forgetting about “entertainment value” as a legitimate consideration for a link! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 27, 2012 at 2:57 PM

You read the article?

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 3:22 PM

You read the article?

verbaluce on June 27, 2012 at 3:22 PM

1) what gave you an indication that my answer might have had anything to do with a particular link?

2) are you so dense that you don’t realize I don’t take you seriously enough to want to treat you as anything other than a joke, because I believe you run away from any and all truths which make you uncomfortable even while you laughably continue to believe you’re some kind of principled, brave fighter i.e. I think you’re an obfuscating, delusional, chickensh!t hack whose sole positive contribution to HA is comic relief? :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 27, 2012 at 3:38 PM

OT but related to Holder: a Federal Judge in FL just smacked down his attempt to stop the State’s voter purge.

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2012 at 4:02 PM

We all know that judge must be a racist and/or a self-hating black!

Bizarro No. 1 on June 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2012 at 4:02 PM

We all know that judge must be a racist and/or a self-hating black!

Bizarro No. 1 on June 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Nope. It was an Activist Democrat Federal Judge appointed by Bill Clinton!

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM

You don’t seem to understand – no one opposes Holder and/or 0bamessiah w/o being motivated by racism and/or black self-hatred on some level!

Bizarro No. 1 on June 28, 2012 at 12:04 AM

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