Myth making is an industry within politics. In our age of smorgasboard news,....just choose what you like....myth making has exploded. Americans can no longer agree on one narrative of what just happened yesterday. Our politics, if not our entire culture, has accepted post-modernism: there is no real truth.
Back in the Bill Clinton days....before the internet and Fox News exploded as primary sources of information, much of it false....myth making was all the rage. If you took the words of conservative and Village media as truth, then you believed that Hillary Clinton was a murderer, or a lesbian...or both. And that President Clinton was most likely still running drugs down in Arkansas and Tennessee. Those were the salad days of what I refer to as wingnuttery.
Today, unfortunately, myth making and a post modern approach to politics has matured into the ghastly, disformed creature we call our modern political discourse.
One particular ongoing story today illustrates what I'm getting at. Operation Fast and Furious.
As you may know, Darrel Issa (R-CA), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, and richest man in the House.....has decided to go after President Obama through the ATF program Fast and Furious. Issa, and other wild-eyed Republicans, think that they have some impeachable material to use against President Obama after Obama wins a second term. If it all leads to the impeachment of a second-in-a-row Democratic president, then, all the better. Those who doubt what I'm saying may want to look at this article entitled, "Fast and Furious" Just Might Be President Obama's Watergate, from this past September in Forbes.
Issa accuses the Obama administration of.....
...acting recklessly by losing track of almost 2,000 guns on the Southwest border in a botched ATF operation called Fast and Furious. Two of those weapons were recovered near the body of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
Here is how the richest representative in the House characterizes the role Obama's Justice Department played in Fast and Furious.
"The Department of Justice's conduct in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious has been nothing short of shameful," said Chairman Issa. "From its initial denials that nothing improper occurred, to efforts to silence whistleblowers who wanted to tell Congress what really happened, to its continuing refusal to discuss or share documents related to this cover-up, the Justice Department has fought tooth and nail to hide the full truth about what occurred and what senior officials knew."
The Reverend's response to this Issa myth making was to explain that Fast and Furious is not unique...and that during President George W. Bush's tenure....an almost identical program was being run by ATF and the U.S. Border Patrol. Conservative commenters scoffed.
In order to squelch yet another myth before it fully forms into a wingnut legend.....read this...
The Justice Department sent nearly 500 pages of documents to Republican lawmakers Thursday that suggest the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may have used questionable tactics and lost track of American-made weapons in a gun trafficking investigation on the Mexican border as early as 2006.
The newly released email messages and briefing papers suggest there may be similarities between the Obama operation "Fast and Furious" and an earlier effort during the Bush administration to target the flow of guns into Mexico. The papers include several communications between ATF supervisors and Justice Department prosecutors in Arizona who were trying to build a case against "a very powerful, aggressive and violent" Mexican drug cartel in an earlier operation dubbed "Wide Receiver."
A senior Obama administration Justice Department official who briefed reporters on the documents said the papers show law enforcement officers in the Bush years could have filed criminal conspiracy and false statements charges against lower level figures in the gun trafficking operation, but they decided to watch and wait until they could move higher up the chain of command.
"We want the... manufacturing and distribution pieces also – we want it all," an ATF official wrote in March 2006.
In December, Issa denied that Bush's Operation Wide Receiver had any similarity with Obama's Fast and Furious....
“The difference in the previous administration is there was coordination with the Mexican government,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said at a hearing in December. “They made a real effort under Wide Receiver to pass off a small amount of weapons and track them.”
...new documents DOJ disclosed to congressional investigators on Thursday indicate that ATF officials didn’t even consider looping Mexican authorities in on their operation until several months after the investigation began and ATF had already lost track of weapons that likely ended up in Mexico.
Republicans and many conservatives actually think that if Obama does something equal or similar to what a previous Republican president has done....that it's different somehow, I guess, because Obama is a Democrat. But that is the stuff of mythology....and blind partisanship.
Insisting that a Justice Department ATF program under a Republican president warrants no comment or consideration.....and at the same time insisting that the same program under a Democratic president is worthy of impeachment....is the stuff of American conservative political mythology.
It's a little like those huge deficits Republicans didn't notice during the Bush years, isn't it?
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