Obama and the Kingdom of the Concrete Skull
My friend Jane Woodworth looked over her newspaper, put down her coffee mug, and said , " Imagine being so down and out that you have to deter people from talking about the economy with the news that you are an accessory to murder." Nothing better summed up a week where the economy continued its tumble, the presidential approval rate continued its downward slide, and the President invoked executive privilege with respect to the government gun running operation which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people including our own border agent, Brian Terry, and perhaps an ICE agent of ours as well.
There was only one thing left for the failing president to do. Make a claim of executive privilege, make it late in the game, after months of his Attorney General Eric Holder's dissembling before Congress under oath, after repeated retractions of Holder statements which were proven false, a claim so weak that all it did was distract attention from the financial news and suggest to even the dimmest wit that the president himself was an accessory to murder. (Every respectable legal observer has announced the claim cannot be sustained. See, this, this and this.)
While Jane picked up the tab, my friend Surfer Doc handed me this brilliant piece by Matthew Continetti in the Washington Free Beacon, and the mystery of the preposterous presidential move was solved in my mind. You see, as soon as Jim Messina was named Obama's campaign manager he headed out to Hollywood where, as everyone knows the rich stars live. Very rich stars who one imagines have their fingers firmly on the pulse of what the ordinary voters believe and want: Stuff like free contraception, no actual energy just imaginary green stuff, open borders, gay marriage and warmer relations with leftist dictators. One of Messina's top advisers from then on was Steven Spielberg and darn if this campaign -- indeed the remaining days of this presidency -- wasn't a brilliant screen play in the making: Obama and the Kingdom of the Concrete Skull.
To start with the plan was to psych out the Republican nominee -- whoever he was -- by building up a giant staff operating out of Chicago and to loudly boast that he planned to build up a billion dollar war chest. (Messina shared this "you have no chance" strategy with Rich Trumka, who unfortunately found it didn't work for him in Wisconsin no matter how many busloads of make believe Wisconsin residents he rounded up on election day in Chicago and bussed north.)
It didn't seem effective for Obama either, when despite The New York fashionistas' and Hollywood's best efforts, the fund raising fell far short of the goal. The giant staff in Chicago proved an enormous python that is eating up more than the fundraisers can herd into its maw, even given the Administration's well-documented pay to play style. Meanwhile the Obamas' constant flights from coast to coast begging for money to feed the beast are more frequent than the regular United Airlines flights from DC to San Francisco and Los Angeles. In fly-over country, the unemployed amuse themselves making bets on which plane will fly over more often each day -- Air Force One or Air Force Two. It also seems they are making very rude gestures whichever of the two planes are overhead.
Secondly, the very things the coastal contributors said the people wanted, they actually didn't care that much about. Those little people really just wanted jobs; wanted to keep their homes; wanted to be able to afford food, clothing and education and energy; wanted a thriving economy, in short. That's how simple-minded and narrow they are. This the Hollywood geniuses couldn't help with. Neither could the fashionistas who head up and flog for the schmata business. Neither, in fact, could the President's most ardent supporters at the rapidly failing MSNBC, New York Times and Washington Post.
How bad was this vision of what the re-election campaign should look like?
Even Democratic officials are running away from Obama. Michelle Malkin writes:
By The Daily.com's count, at least seven Democratic officials will skip Obama-palooza: New York Democratic Reps. Bill Owens and Kathy Hochul; Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Mark Critz; three endangered Democratic politicians from West Virginia, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin, and Rep. Nick Rahall; and Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson.
The Democratic boycotters have dinged Obama on everything from his election-year illegal alien amnesty power grab to his failed jobs programs to his destructive war on coal. While "Forward!" may be the official Obama campaign slogan, "Back Away!" is quickly becoming the dissenting Democrats' rallying cry.
It's not just fly-over country that's hurting. Black voters, Obama's most ardent supporters, are suffering the most from his economic policies -- even in New York Walter Russell Mead:
The New York Times is reporting that more than half of all black New Yorkers are now unemployed, and that they remain unemployed for a year on average after losing their jobs. Meanwhile, the number of "discouraged workers"-people who give up looking for work after a long period of unemployment-has risen to 40,000 among blacks, much higher than it stood at the beginning of the recession and nearly twice the rate for whites.
Numerous businesses have reported payroll increases, and important professional industries like law and accounting are beginning to recover. Blacks, however, have been largely left out of this recovery-including college-educated blacks, who in many cases have been forced to settle for jobs well below their qualifications.
The screen play plot is so full of holes that even the little people are noticing. What is it about the scheme to let thousands of guns walk across to the border to drug cartels that involves the executive? It is not any discussions with the Mexican government and, therefore, there can be no national security claim. The facts are clear -- no Mexican officials were informed of this hare-brained scheme, (The President himself, before his first run for office was critical of executive privilege claims not made on a national security basis.)
As the week drew to a close, CBS's Sheryl Attkisson, a media hero for her work which alone of all the thousands of Journalists covering national affairs, kept exposing this scandal, reported even more damaging information for Holder -- who certainly is about to go under the Obama bus -- and the President:
Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation "Fast and Furious" to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the "big fish." But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called "gunwalking," and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
ATF officials didn't intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called "Demand Letter 3". That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or "long guns." Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.
If this account is true, we have an Administration which ran an illegal operation designed to further regulate and therefore diminish American citizens' constitutional right to bear arms ; when the scheme resulted in the death of 200 Mexicans and at least one and possibly two U.S. agents, it lied repeatedly under oath about it; and the White House was involved in the efforts illegally to cover it up.
As the great Iowahawk tweeted, it's "Watergate with toe tags."