Krauthammer: Fast & Furious Could Hurt Republicans

Posted: Jun 21, 2012 8:23 AM

Far be it from me to call Dr. K's typically sterling analysis into question, but what to make of this admonition?


"The final effect could be one that could hurt Republicans, because as you've already heard from the talking points of Democrats in Congress, this will be characterized as another case of overreaching, obstructionism, blind opposition to the administration, and a distraction from real economic could, in fact, hurt the Republicans among some of the electorate."

I dissent, at least to the extent that "some of the electorate" means any significant percentage of independent voters.  Krauthammer correctly identifies what Democrats have been saying about this imbroglio, of course, but who would be receptive to that spin aside from partisan liberals?  Indeed, most voters are just now discovering that Fast & Furious even exists because the media has finally been dragged into (barely) reporting on it after a lengthy self-imposed gag order.  The public will not be pleased with what they learn.  Obama owns this mess, especially now that he's intervened to provide political cover for Holder via yesterday's invocation of executive privilege.  Elements within his administration conceived of, carried out, and -- it appears -- covered up this reckless operation.  Democrats are the ones stonewalling, distorting, and obstructing accountability.  This isn't some esoteric "process" flap, like the US Attorney firings during the Bush years (and over which Democrats went ballistic).  This isn't a cronyism scandal like Solyndra, where gobs of taxpayer dollars were squandered to enrich the White House's ideological allies and political benefactors.  No, in this case, there are actual dead human beings.  Hundreds of them -- one of whom wore the uniform of our border enforcement agency.  These are needless, senseless deaths, and nobody has been held accountable.  Democrats are screeching indignantly about "fishing expeditions" because they realize several big fish are lurking just beneath the boat, and they'd prefer not to discover just how big.

Furthermore, can Democrats credibly argue that Republicans are attempting to distract from the economy, when that ploy plainly benefits the White House?   The GOP, not its opponents, has every incentive to keep the relentless economic drumbeat pounding from now until November.  They're expending political capital on Fast & Furious because it's the right thing to do; because Brian Terry's family is entitled to a thorough investigation.  Plus, Republicans have already passed more than 30 jobs bills that Senate Democrats are sitting on.  Are Boehner & Co. supposed to keep churning out instantly-obstructed legislation and ignore a bloody scandal just to stay always and forever "on message"?  Lastly, this drama has been playing out in the House Oversight body, the task of which is to...oversee.  It's not as if Chairman Issa's committee would be working assiduously on economic issues if it weren't fixated on this investigation.  Its very purpose is to help ensure transparency, accountability and good government, and to serve as a check against the executive branch -- something that Democrats were rather keen on until recently.

In sum, Issa's group is doing its job: Fighting corruption and (deadly) incompetence.  Within this narrower case, it's committed to identifying the bad actors whose abominable decisions lead to this horrific spree of killing and maiming.  If Democrats have a problem with that, let's allow them to explain their rationale to Mr. and Mrs. Terry and the rest of the American people.  There's a reason why the Left has relied on lies, false equivalencies, deliberate opacity and faux umbrage throughout this investigation.  They know that the facts will not smile upon this administration.  Now is not the time for Republicans to relent.  They've got their opponents on the ropes, the truth on their side, and the emotional narrative to prevail in the court of public opinion.