You Find Out Who Your Friends Are
Democrats voting for:
Jason Altmire (PA)
John Barrow (GA)
Dan Boren (OK)
Tom Boswell (IA)
Ben Chandler (KY)
Mark Critz (PA)
Joe Donnelly (IN)
Kathy Hochul (NY)
Ron Kind (WI)
Larry Kissell (NC)
Jim Matheson (UT)
Mike McIntyre (NC)
Bill Owens (NY)
Collin Peterson (MN)
Nick Rahall (WV)
Mike Ross (AR)
Tim Walz (MN)
On Thursday, June 28, 2012, sixteen Democratic Congressmen and one Congresswoman broke ranks to join Republicans in the vote for criminal contempt of Congress against sitting Attorney General Eric Holder. It is notable that two Republican Congressmen, Scott Rigell (VA) and Steve LaTourette (OH), though they joined in the vote for civil contempt, refused to vote against the Attorney General for criminal contempt.
It is widely speculated that the seventeen Democrats voted with an eye to their chance of ever again getting contributions from the NRA (which was scoring the vote) if they were not seen to stand against Attorney General Holder. I think the word that best describes their actions is venal, as in: “Willing to sell one’s influence; able to be purchased, as by a bribe” [or a hefty political contribution].
I respect the willingness of Congressmen Rigell and LaTourette to put their political careers in jeopardy. It is fair to say that Tea Party and other ultraconservative groups were also keeping tabs on these two mavericks, and it is not only the mills of the gods that grind exceeding small. Just ask former Republican members of Congress who fell afoul of purity tests or strayed too far from strict party lines.
The contempt vote was taken with the intention of embarrassing Mr. Holder and his boss, President Barack Obama. All the saber-rattling was done to impress the Republican base. It was as if they’d set fire to a house, then fanned the flames so they could proclaim wisely that, “Where there’s smoke … ”. Smoke, yes, and mirrors aplenty, and all of it a sham.
And the vote was held after Deputy Attorney General James Cole had advised Republican House Speaker John Boehner, in writing, that the Department of Justice would not prosecute a contempt of Congress charge. His letter says, in part:
“Across administrations of both political parties, the longstanding position of the Department of Justice has been and remains that we will not prosecute an Executive Branch official under the contempt of Congress statute for withholding subpoenaed documents pursuant to a presidential assertion of executive privilege.”
Bottom line, and why I’m up in arms about this, is that every single person involved in this farce knew that the charges were false and that they were voting for a lie and they did it anyway. Perhaps they could be charged with contempt for the American People!
Tags: Contempt of Congress, Eric Holder, Executive Privilege, John Boehner, John Cole, Politics, President Barack Obama, Smoke and Mirrors, Tea Party, Venal