House Oversight Committee Holds Eric Holder In Contempt

The stage is set for a showdown between the Executive and Legislative Branches.

After a day long hearing that started off with a bang as the the Committee reacted to the Executive Branch’s assertion of Executive Privilege eight months after a subpoena was issued, the House Government Reform And Oversight Committee voted along party lines this afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt Of Congress:

A House panel voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt for failing to cooperate with a congressional inquiry into Operation “Fast and Furious,” hours after President Obama asserted executive privilege over related documents.

On a party-line decision, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 23 to 17 to hold Holder in contempt for failing to share documents related to the operation run out of the Phoenix division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives between 2009 and 2011, with the backing of the U.S. attorney in Phoenix. The move makes Holder the first member of Obama’s Cabinet held in contempt by a congressional committee.

The panel’s actions will be reported to the full House, where Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and GOP leaders have scheduled a floor vote for next week unless Holder hands over the documents before then. If passed by the House, the matter would then move to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald C. Machen Jr., who is an employee of the Justice Department.

After the vote, Holder called the vote a “divisive action” that “does nothing to make any of our law enforcement agents safer.”

“It’s an election-year tactic intended to distract attention — and, as a result — has deflected critical resources from fulfilling what remains my top priority at the Department of Justice: Protecting the American people,” Holder said.

Obama’s decision to withhold the documents — his first use of executive privilege in response to a congressional investigation — and the House panel’s vote quickly intensified a long-simmering feud between the White House and Republican lawmakers and set up a clash over the extent of presidential power that may take months to resolve.

Ahead of the vote, Holder said in a letter to Obama that sharing the Fast and Furious documents “would raise substantial separation of powers concerns and potentially create an imbalance in the relationship” between Congress and the White House.

Releasing the documents “would inhibit candor of such Executive Branch deliberations in the future and significantly impair the Executive Branch’s ability to respond independently and effectively to congressional oversight,” Holder wrote.

Adding to the administration’s defiance, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer accused Republicans Wednesday of orchestrating a “taxpayer-funded election-year fishing expedition.”

“Given the economic challenges facing the country,” Pfeiffer said in a statement, “we believe that House Republicans should work with the rest of Congress and the president to create more jobs, not more political theater.”

Executive privilege has been invoked throughout U.S. history by presidential administrations to preserve the confidentiality of information in the face of legislative inquiries. The privilege is qualified, not absolute, and can be overturned in courts. But disputes over access to information rarely reach the courts and are most often resolved through political negotiations, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Before the vote, oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Obama’s move “falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”

“If the Justice Department had delivered the documents they freely admitted they could have delivered, we wouldn’t be here today,” Issa said.

Aides said Issa learned of the president’s decision just minutes before the hearing began in an e-mail from Justice Department officials.

Congressional committees have held Executive Branch officials in criminal contempt of congress roughly a dozen times in the last 40 years. Usually, administration officials have cited executive privilege in refusing to share information, but eventually turn over requested documents before congressional committees reach the final stages of contempt proceedings, according to the CRS.

House Speaker Boehner has already said that he intends to proceed with a vote by the full House next week, so if this matter is going to be resolved it’s going to have to happen in relatively short order. Otherwise, assuming the House approves the Committee’s the contempt finding at which point the matter would be referred to the United States Attorney for the District Of Columbia, and if he doesn’t act then the House would then be free to authorize the Committee to file its own civil complaint in United States District Court, presumably with the assistance of Special Counsel which would represent Congress in the matter. Technically, the Contempt finding would also empower Congress to order the House Sergeant At Arms to arrest Holder and imprison him until he purges himself of the contempt, but the odds of that happening are pretty much nil. As noted above, the most common outcome in these types of cases is for the dispute between the Executive and Legislative Branches to end up being resolved in the end. Perhaps that will happen here, but given the way things have gone between the two branches for the last six years or so it’s also entirely likely that neither side will be willing to blink and we’ll be headed to Court.

The political reaction to all of this, and to the President’s assertion of Executive Privilege, is about what you’d expect it to be. The right is outraged over what they see as Administration stonewalling in a Congressional investigation of what was, at the very least, the most incompetently run law enforcement operation in recent American history. The left sees it as nothing more than a political witch hunt. In fact, just like conservatives never really seemed to think Iran-Contra was a big deal in the late 80s, I haven’t seen a single commentator on the left who is even willing to admit that Operation Fast And Furious, which resulted in thousands of guns purchased by the ATF crossing the border and disappearing in to Mexico where they have been used to kill unknown numbers of Mexicans and at least one Federal Agent, is even something worth investigating. That’s unfortunate, because it really shouldn’t matter who was President when this happened. Something went very wrong here, either because of the ATF was abjectly incompetent or because someone somewhere is corrupt. The American people, the family of Brian Terry, and the people of Mexico, deserve to know what happened here, and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Instead of being taken seriously, though, this is being treated as just another political battle, which means that it’s likely to happen again.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Crime, Law and the Courts, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    I genuinely don’t understand the politics of this. The whole thing strikes me as one enormous c-f.

  2. James Joyner says:

    @Dave Schuler: You’re operating under the presumption of rational actors. I think there’s a good chance we’ve just moved into the territory of the politics of the Id.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    @James Joyner:

    The phrase you used, “politics of the id”, usually refers to street theater, mass demonstrations and protests, things of that sort. I think it’s rather sad that both the Congress and the White House have reached this point.

  4. @James Joyner:

    Indeed. Add in the fact that its an election year and the prospect for this to turn into a full-on exercise in bloviating is all there. Which is unfortunate only because there are legitimate questions that should be answered in this case.

  5. @Dave Schuler:

    Could it be that this is yet another sign of the generally bad relationship between the White House and Congress, something that I would argue is due both to the attitude of Republicans on the Hill and the Administration’s (or the President’s) seeming inability to relate to legislators on a one-on-one basis?

    Sounds like a plausible theory

  6. Drew says:

    So far, This is the most rational thread I’ve seen in years. So I have to ask, from people who probably have more expertise and savvy in the players and the law, what the hell is going on?

    It doesn’t make sense. A full blown Constitutional battle over some covert op? This doesn’t smell of some plain vanilla political battle. I’m a businessman, not a Constitutional lawyer, or a Washington insider, etc. But in my world, when I’ve seen things like this, my instincts and experience say to me “I’m going to start asking pointed questions, and I don’t think it’s going to get anything but really stinky.”

  7. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I would argue is due both to the attitude of Republicans on the Hill and the Administration’s (or the President’s) seeming inability to relate to legislators on a one-on-one basis?

    I would say that there are a few Republicans in the House that Obama could relate to but there is nothing he could do to relate to the tea party and they are in control.

  8. @Ron Beasley:

    The fact that he was in office a year and a half before he had a meeting with the Senate Minority Leader is often cited as an indication of his lack of a good Congressional relations strategy.

  9. Dave Schuler says:

    I would add that President-Elect Obama appointed Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff on November 6, 2008. That could have been interpreted as throwing down the gauntlet or being tone deaf but not as extending an olive branch.

    The frequently-cited declamation by Mitch McConnell that his number one priority was defeating Barack Obama in 2012 took place in December 2010. I disagree vehemently with that way of looking at things and don’t think it contributed to amity between the Congress and the White House but the sequence of events does not suggest to me that it can be causal.

  10. rudderpedals says:

    I remember how Dan Burton wielded this committee as a bludgeon for all kinds of nutty conspiracies. Issa learned his lessons well.

    It’s fun to guess at what’s being withheld but it’s like the PPACA wait – we don’t know what’s there yet.

  11. Jeremy R says:

    ATF crossing the border and disappearing in to Mexico where they have been used to kill unknown numbers of Mexicans and at least one Federal Agent, is even something worth investigating.

    This sentence seems problematic. The first half doesn’t seem to really be saying anything and the second half is untrue. There’s a reason why reputable journalists never go further than to say something like:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57456848-503544/white-house-grants-executive-privilege-over-fast-and-furious-documents/?tag=stack

    As a result of the program, hundreds of guns showed up in Mexico and one was found at the scene where a U.S. border agent was killed. Issa and his counterpart in the Senate, Charles Grassley, R-Iowa., opened an investigation into the case more than a year ago.

    That’s because the bullet was too degraded to match to the two F&F related guns found near the scene, so it never was proven that either of the two, of all the guns recovered, was the gun that shot the bullet.

  12. Dazedandconfused says:

    Strawman alert!

    You may not have seen a single “commenter” say F & F is unworthy of investigation, but every one I’ve seen who has a clue has, they just think Issa is taking it way too far.

  13. jan says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “The fact that he was in office a year and a half before he had a meeting with the Senate Minority Leader is often cited as an indication of his lack of a good Congressional relations strategy. “

    I agree. Furthermore, President Obama has had rather distant relationships with everyone in Congress — more so with republicans, but, nevertheless, also with his dem compadres too. There have been scattered articles about his aloofness and isolation from other lawmakers. He tends to have a small group around him (Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett in particular) who are his advice people, lending him his counsel.

    Certainly there have been cutting comments from republican Congressmen, like McConnell’s being a ‘one-term president,’ or DeMint, who I think talked about the ACA being Obama’s ‘Waterloo.’ But, these are part and parcel of the abrasive game that goes on between opposing parties — it’s not like the dems haven’t had their share of poisoned arrows at Bush. But, no one is then blaming them for Bush’s inherent problems and failures.

    @Drew:

    “So far, This is the most rational thread I’ve seen in years”.

    Perhaps it’s because the usual posters who cheer Obama and jeer anyone who criticizes his leadership or policies have no where to go with this one — what’s happening here is just too blatently obtuse and non-helpful in arriving at the truth.

  14. al-Ameda says:

    The Administration should just back up the truck and dump all the requested documents on Issa’s desk, there is no benefit (other than inconveniencing Issa) to holding out. Start preparing for the Committee Hearings, which will run through the campaign season. There is no way out.

  15. Releasing the documents “would inhibit candor of such Executive Branch deliberations in the future and significantly impair the Executive Branch’s ability to respond independently and effectively to congressional oversight,” Holder wrote.

    You’re not supposed to be able to respond independently to oversight. That’s what the word “oversight” means!

  16. bk says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    The frequently-cited declamation by Mitch McConnell that his number one priority was defeating Barack Obama in 2012 took place in December 2010.

    Actually, I believe that took place a few months earlier. However, tt has been pretty well documented that on the night of Obama’s inauguration, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Jim DeMint, and several other Republican members of the House and Senate met and basically said the same thing.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    But, no one is then blaming them for Bush’s inherent problems and failures.

    Oh please, you and your ilk couldn’t bring yourselves to blame Bush for his inherent problems and failures until he was well out of the White House…

  18. Dazedandconfused says:

    @al-Ameda:

    They can’t. There are on-going investigations and Issa did not refute the claim that there are a lot of things that Holder is barred by law from revealing that was made today. Issa
    even mentioned that the statements from Breuer and Melson are only available to the committee himself. God knows what Voth has said, but its inconceivable that he hasn’t been asked to make a statement, because he was directly pointed to by all the whistle-blowing agents as the supervisor that gave them the “breaking eggs to make omelets” reply.

    On top of all that, the DEA has at least one mole in the Cartels. There may be more. They tend to redact everything whenever there are people who would die a horrible death if just one wrong, seemingly harmless detail is made public.

    It’s a really easy situation to paint Justice as obstructionist with.

  19. Drew says:

    I’m watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. I’ve been told she is smart and a serious person. I’m watching her discussing the F and F issue.

    Her only arguments are FOX news, FOX news, FOX news, and crazy Republicans. All encapsulated in smarmy anyone who disagrees is an idiot.

    This is pathetic. Truly, is this all the left has?

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @Drew:

    Her only arguments are FOX news, FOX news, FOX news, and crazy Republicans. All encapsulated in smarmy anyone who disagrees is an idiot.

    a recent poll, posted here on OTB, showed that 55% of Republicans believe that Obama was born outside this country, so why would you be surprised the Maddow focuses on the Republican media?

  21. Septimius says:

    @bk: Are you suggesting that Mitch McConnell and various other Republicans in Congress actually want to see Obama lose reelection? That’s outrageous!

  22. An Interested Party says:

    All encapsulated in smarmy anyone who disagrees is an idiot.

    This really shouldn’t bother Drew as he himself has used this same type of arguing…

  23. Drew says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Nice straw man.

    She did not once address the issues of the situation. She waved her hands constantly, called FOX viewers idiots, and claim any in dispute as a psychotic. My 14 year old daughter participates in a young level debate team. She would have blushed at this pathetic display.

    If this is what passes as legitimate debate today, it’s no wonder you guys are failing miserably in Obama, and why you are going to get slaughtered. Profound and unconstrained ignorance and dishonesty just doesn’t sell, even with 14 year olds.

  24. Drew says:

    @An Interested Party:

    But you are. And you know it.

  25. Drew says:

    The thread started out well, no doubt because it was dominated by the staff. It has degenerated, no doubt because of the leftist commenters with what can only be called bizarre views.

    So I bid you adiu. If Rachel Maddow is your shining star………good luck. To me, that sounds like betting on the Chicago Cubs. I understand the fascination, but really?

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jeremy R: That’s a red herring. Think of the principle behind “felony murder.” If you’re part of a gang that robs a bank and someone is killed, then every single member of the gang — even if you were the getaway driver and never entered the bank — is considered to have equal guilt in the murder.

    Likewise, there was at least one gun (possibly two guns) from Fast and Furious at the scene of Agent Brian Terry’s murder, and it was/they were fired. At that point, it’s simply a matter of luck/random chance which gun fired; each gun is equally “guilty” of his murder.

  27. jan says:

    Another twist to Holder and F & F: After making the assertion that Attorney General Michael Mukasey knew of gunwalking during the George W. Bush administration, Holder has now withdrawn that claim after Sen. Grassley asked him to produce proof of this allegation.
    .
    It strikes me that Holder is inclined to throw any claim up against the wall, in hopes it will stick by his words alone. The only way to mitigate Holder’s gall is to call him on his loose-lips lies.

    The obfuscation, and what looks like a cover-up, are adding insult to injury to this whole mess.

  28. Scott O. says:

    I lived through the 90s. When Republicans cry scandal my default assumption is that they’re trying to score political points.

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @Drew:

    She waved her hands constantly, called FOX viewers idiots, and claim any in dispute as a psychotic.

    So, where was she wrong?

  30. al-Ameda says:

    @Drew:

    So I bid you adiu. If Rachel Maddow is your shining star………good luck. To me, that sounds like betting on the Chicago Cubs. I understand the fascination, but really?

    Such a Drama Queen.

    No Drew, Darrell Issa is my shining star.

  31. A good paragraph from Ezra Klein:

    Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at New York University’s business school, argues in a new book, “The Righteous Mind,” that to understand human beings, and their politics, you need to understand that we are descended from ancestors who would not have survived if they hadn’t been very good at belonging to groups. He writes that “our minds contain a variety of mental mechanisms that make us adept at promoting our group’s interests, in competition with other groups. We are not saints, but we are sometimes good team players.”

    Certainly both the “born in USA” issue and the “Fast and Furious” story highlight that.

    The people who stand out will be the ones who can manage to say something NOT expected by their tribe.

    (I continue to think though, that it’s good mental preparation to think oneself “independent.” In fact, it might even be part of the cure.)

  32. An Interested Party says:

    But you are. And you know it.

    Oh my, now you are a mind reader too? There really is no end to your greatness…

  33. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Scott O.: I lived through the 90s. When Republicans cry scandal my default assumption is that they’re trying to score political points.

    That’s just cynicism. And while it’s sad, it’s understandable.

    However, if you STILL see Fast and Furious that way, your “default assumption” is now your “default unshakeable belief,” and you’re in wr territory for stupid.

  34. Scott O. says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Aren’t you supposed to be over at the “55% Of Republicans Believe Obama Was Born In A Foreign Country?” post telling us liberals are the ones keeping the birther nonsense going?

  35. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    Likewise, there was at least one gun (possibly two guns) from Fast and Furious at the scene of Agent Brian Terry’s murder, and it was/they were fired. At that point, it’s simply a matter of luck/random chance which gun fired; each gun is equally “guilty” of his murder.

    How do you know that the gun which killed him was recovered? How do you know that the guns that were recovered were ever fired? On that day, or at any time?

    Do you have any grasp of the difference between a fact and an assumption?

  36. Jay_Dubbs says:

    Wow, great commentary from people who don’t really understand litigation. Maybe this is Nixon 2.0, but probably not.

    There is a generally assumption that the privilege claim means that there is something to hide. Wrong!.

    As a litigator who asserts some sort of privilege almost every day, there are so many reasons, including you are just tired of your opponents ridiculous requests or to distract them from the real areas of concern.

    Be careful of the trap. I’ve set it before and it is fun to watch it go off.

  37. Jay_Dubbs says:

    And also, although I believed this to be implied, because the Privilege actually applies!

  38. Andrew E. says:

    @Drew: admit it, Dave- you just watched two minutes of Maddow, threw your hands in air yelling “crazy! crazy!”, patted yourself on the back and then walked away. If you want to talk about what she has to say- like an adult- come on back and talk.

    Here’s Rachael Maddow’s take on what was going on today:

  39. Andrew E. says:
  40. Andrew E. says:

    and of course I don’t know why I called Drew Dave.

    Ah, proofreading before posting- why have you forsaken me?

  41. Jeremy R says:

    As an aside, this seems to show that Issa’s faction and the base won the argument with House GOP leadership as back in May they were putting the breaks on his contempt train, suggesting his evidence was too thin to proceed and that the whole exercise just before an election would be politically unwise. I guess the supposed adults in the room threw up their hands and folded:

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/Freshman-Republicans-Push-Leaders-for-Contempt-Resolution-on-Eric-Holder-214637-1.html?pos=hln

    Although sympathetic to Issa’s demands, leadership is wary of forcing the issue at this point with the Obama administration, and sources familiar with the situation said Boehner and his team are sensitive to any appearance that they are launching a partisan witch hunt or might be adversely affecting ongoing criminal investigations.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76135.html

    Some within House GOP leadership circles would like Issa to abandon his plan for a committee and floor vote, which was sparked by a 64-page memo last week, which laid out the case for contempt.

    They fear negative political fallout from citing the U.S. attorney general with contempt of Congress in an election year.

    Yet despite the detailed committee memo and more than a year of hearings, GOP leaders still don’t think the case is “rock solid,” according to an aide.

    The three top House Republicans are worried about both the legal and political implications of the move, especially six months before what is already expected to be a razor-close election.

  42. Jeremy R says:

    Today we will see Issa’s next critically important use of his oversight powers:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/15/rep_issa_to_air_bishops_complaints/singleton/

    Republican Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will convene a hearing tomorrow, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”

    The lead witness is the Most Rev. William E. Lori, Roman Catholic bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty. Judging from Lori and the rest of the witness list, it’s obvious that Issa has posed what he considers to be a rhetorical question and lined up nine like-minded rhetoricians to answer it anyway. None of the religious groups supportive of the Obama administration will be heard from.

    Sure, he stacks every witness list only with folks who will faithfully repeat his partisan narratives, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take his investigations seriously, does it? (/sarc)

  43. Jeremy R says:

    Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Vote:

    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/June/12-ag-776.html

    “Simply put, any claims that the Justice Department has been unresponsive to requests for information are untrue. From the beginning, Chairman Issa and certain members of the Committee have made unsubstantiated allegations first, then scrambled for facts to try to justify them later. That might make for good political theater, but it does little to uncover the truth or address the problems associated with this operation and prior ones dating back to the previous Administration.

    “I have spent most of my career in law enforcement and worked closely with brave agents who put their lives on the line every day. I know the sacrifices they make, so as soon as allegations of gunwalking came to my attention – and well before Chairman Issa expressed any interest in this issue — I ordered the practice stopped. I made necessary personnel changes in the Department’s leadership and instituted policy changes to ensure better oversight of significant investigations. And, I directed the Department’s Inspector General to open a comprehensive investigation. That investigation is ongoing, and the American people and Congress can count on it to produce a tough, independent review of the facts.

    “When Chairman Issa later began his own investigation, I made it clear that the Department would cooperate with all appropriate oversight requests, while still adhering to our legal obligations to protect information involving ongoing law enforcement investigations, legally-protected grand jury material and other sensitive information whose disclosure would endanger the American people or our agents investigating open cases.

    Unlike Issa’s partisan spectacles, the Inspector General’s investigation will be what actually comprehensively and credibly gets to the bottom of the gunwalking F-ups. I’d imagine they’re focusing heavily on the Phoenix, Arizona ATF field division that was actually at the center of it, instead of getting completely sidetracked chasing conspiracies and white whales.

  44. Jeremy R says:

    @Jeremy R:

    Oops, that article is months old, my bad. I’m guessing that was previewing the recent Issa hearing attacking the contraception mandate.

  45. jukeboxgrad says:

    The three top House Republicans are worried about both the legal and political implications of the move, especially six months before what is already expected to be a razor-close election.

    Yup. Sounds familiar. Flashback to 1998:

    a few other Republicans fear they’ll pay a price for the cheap thrill of a partisan impeachment vote.

    But the GOP still can’t resist a “cheap thrill.” They have that problem worse than ever. These people don’t learn from their mistakes.

  46. superdestroyer says:

    If the Democrats vote 100% in the House against Contempt of Congress, then the Democrats will just signaling their belief that the Republicans will never win the White House again and the Democrats in Congress believe that in the long term the White House will always be controlled by Democrats.

  47. Rob in CT says:

    @Scott O.:

    That’s definitely where I started. And I still believe that Issa is acting in bad faith (you gotta love the conspiracy theory that the whole F&F thing was cooked up as an excuse to push gun control. This is so loony as to make 9/11 troofers look sane).

    However, given that there looks to have been a serious screwup here, I’m ok with the partisan witchhunt. And I’m in the “back up a truck with all the docs and dump them on Issa” camp. Add to that “be prepared to fight fire with fire.” Don’t cower.

  48. Rob in CT says:

    @superdestroyer:

    For the love of Pete, learn to say something new.

  49. Moosebreath says:

    superdestroyer,

    “If the Democrats vote 100% in the House against Contempt of Congress, then the Democrats will just signaling their belief that the Republicans will never win the White House again and the Democrats in Congress believe that in the long term the White House will always be controlled by Democrats.”

    Because when only 3 Republicans in the House voted for contempt in the US attorney firing scandal (and most walked off the floor instead of voting) they were doing similar signalling?

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Rob in CT:

    That’s definitely where I started. And I still believe that Issa is acting in bad faith

    Believing that Issa is acting in bad faith is always a good place to start.

    In 2003, Issa personally contributed $2 million to the effort to recall Democratic Governor Gray Davis of California. Not only did he do it for the standard hyper-partisan reasons, he also presumed by virtue of his role in overthrowing the governor, that the he would be the next governor of California. The GOP drafted Schwartzenegger and Issa was not amused.

  51. Drew says:

    Call me crazy, but I would have though that arguments about the facts, historical precedence, or the applicability of the law would have been the topic here. Oh, that’s right, it WAS when the staff was trading comments.

    Then the liberal trolls came in. Game over. Kindergarten stuff. That’s why I limit my time here these days. The commentariat is just a bunch of high school cheerleaders. Like I said, sure wish I had the knee pad concession.

  52. Rob in CT says:

    Actually, it was all going well (according to your stated desires, anyway), until two things happened:

    1) Jan showed up; and
    2) You went off on a rant about Maddow and “the Left.”

    There was pushback, and you flounced. As usual.

  53. wr says:

    @Drew: “. Like I said, sure wish I had the knee pad concession.”

    Seems odd that a man who could be spending his time buying and selling giant corporations wastes it here typing out the same insulting cliches over and over and over again. I guess the Master of the Universe business ain’t all that great these days…

  54. al-Ameda says:

    @Drew:

    Then the liberal trolls came in. Game over. Kindergarten stuff. That’s why I limit my time here these days. The commentariat is just a bunch of high school cheerleaders. Like I said, sure wish I had the knee pad concession.

    Translation: “When a Republican president claims Executive Privilege, there is usually a strong underlying justification for it; when a Democratic president does it, it’s probably to shield criminal activities.”

    I’m of the opinion that Holder should produce the requested documents, and I believe that Darrell Issa is not the least bit interested in anything but bringing down the president.

    Okay, you can get off your knees now..

  55. anjin-san says:

    Then the liberal trolls came in. Game over. Kindergarten stuff.

    Ah, you are the adult in the room then. That probably explains your endless posts about “knee pads”. Pretty sophisticated stuff. No wonder you pat yourself on the back so often.