Some unsolicited advice for Darrell Issa


Hey Darrell, what’s up?

Congratulations on your big day yesterday. Well played sir, well played indeed. I just want to make sure you boys don’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Your side did that before when you tried to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job. You got carried away and it blew up in your faces.

Remember the connection between goals, strategy and tactics. (I tried to tell this to the OWSers but they didn’t listen. See how that turned out?) Keep focused on your goal – to defeat Barack Obama. Your strategy is simple – cause maximum political damage to Barack Obama between now and November 6th. In the process you do not want to damage yourselves.

Nobody is gonna get impeached over this. At most you’ll get a resignation or two, but you’re probably better off without any. You WANT Eric Holder to stay there as Attorney General. If he resigns the media will declare that the scandal is over.

Fast and Furious is about incompetence. Someone in the Obama administration came up with a bird-brain scheme to sell guns to Mexican drug gangs. The scheme went full-frontal FUBAR, thousands of guns went south of the border and a bunch of people died, including U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. After the fuck-up came the cover-up.

The tactic to employ here is the one you’re using – use your Congressional oversight power to drag this scandal out into the light of day. Rub the administration’s collective nose in it. But in this case less is more. Let the facts speak for themselves.

This will take some internal discipline. Your side needs to avoid grandstanding and speechifying. You want to be talking about “justice for Brian Terry” and “accountability.” Keep mentioning “thousands of guns” and “Mexican drug gangs.” Keep asking “What is the Obama administration hiding?” but don’t speculate on the answer – let the voters do that.

This is an ugly scandal. The Lewinsky scandal was salacious gossip but nobody died. This one ended in multiple murders. Keep it simple and don’t get in your own way. The media won’t help you the way they did with Monica and Bill. Don’t get distracted by what the Democrats do or say. Just keep pushing the facts out there and skip the constitutional showdowns.

Keep your eyes on the prize.


This entry was posted in 2012 Elections, Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Eric Holder, Fast and Furious, Politics, Republican Party and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Some unsolicited advice for Darrell Issa

  1. They should hire you as their strategist!
    Agree- the goal is to keep the scandal front and center from now until November. Without coming across as sanctimonious, partisan inquisitors looking for victims for the rack.
    When do they go on their summer recess and how do they keep it out there while they are “at home, listening to their constituents”?

    • Lulu says:

      The very funny reactions of Republican Congress-critters exclaiming that they never dreamed this reached into the White House until the prezzy invoked executive privilege are a hoot to watch. Claiming that they never even considered that the prez or his closest advisers would be involved in something that resulted in the MURDER of a federal agent and hundreds of Mexican nationals is a clever way to accuse and insinuate all kinds of nasty stuff. It is well done.

    • leslie says:

      I agree.. You should send this to all the GOP members of Congress. Maybe some of them will even read it. They should. It is what needs to be done.
      There was nothing on CNN (mobile) this morning. FoxNews(mobile) covered it. I don’t even look at the others.

  2. driguana says:

    Excellent piece, excellent advice. You did, however, forget to mention the “Bushdidit” part, and how Issa might respond to that. Read this interesting piece this morning….
    http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/progressives-blame-president-bush-for.html

    • myiq2xu says:

      Wikipedia:

      2009–2011: Operation Fast and Furious

      On October 26, 2009, a teleconference was held at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. to discuss U.S. strategy for combating Mexican drug cartels. Participating in the meeting were Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Robert Mueller and the top federal prosecutors in the Southwestern border states. They decided on a strategy to identify and eliminate entire arms trafficking networks rather than low-level buyers.[3][28][29] Those at the meeting did not suggest using the “gunwalking” tactic, but ATF supervisors would soon use it in an attempt to achieve the desired goals.[30] The effort, beginning in November, would come to be called Operation Fast and Furious for the successful film franchise, because some of the suspects under investigation operated out of an auto repair store and street raced.[3]

      The strategy of targeting high-level individuals, which was already ATF policy, would be implemented by Bill Newell, special agent in charge of ATF’s Phoenix field division. In order to accomplish it, the office decided to use “gunwalking” as laid out in a January 2010 briefing paper. This was said to be allowed under ATF regulations and given legal backing by U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis K. Burke. It was additionally approved and funded by a Justice Department task force.[3] However, long-standing DOJ and ATF policy has required arms shipments to be intercepted.[4][5]

      In November 2009, the Phoenix office’s Group VII, which would be the lead investigative group in Fast and Furious, began to follow a prolific gun trafficker. He had bought 34 firearms in 24 days, and he and his associates bought 212 more in the next month. The case soon grew to over two dozen straw purchasers, the most prolific of which would ultimately buy more than 600 weapons.[3][5][31]

      The tactic of letting guns walk, rather than interdicting them and arresting the buyers, led to controversy within the ATF.[5][32] As the case continued, several members of Group VII, including John Dodson and Olindo Casa, became increasingly upset at the tactic of allowing guns to walk. Their standard Project Gunrunner training was to follow the straw purchasers to the hand-off to the cartel buyers, then arrest both parties and seize the guns. They watched guns being bought illegally and stashed on a daily basis, while their supervisors, including David Voth and Hope MacAllister, prevented the agents from intervening.[3]

      Obama took office in January 2009

    • leslie says:

      I didn’t read the article . . . yet. but last night on Fox (Hannity -ugh!) a Dem spokesperson (don’t know who) blamed Bush completely.
      But, but, but… Bush started it.

      Sounded just like a 6 year old.

  3. DeniseVB says:

    The May numbers are in and our Preezy has a spending problem with his campaign too. Spent more than they took in. Most of his travel is paid for by combining fundraisers with official events. Juicy article, names celebs at Clooney event.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-20/obama-spends-more-than-he-raises-as-aides-see-romney-advantage.html

  4. cj says:

    Good advice. Tread lightly and make Obama look small & petty when the media tries to paint *him* as the victim in this investigation.

  5. myiq2xu says:

    Althouse:

    Alito has the opinion in Knox v. SEIU, which is about requiring state workers to pay for the union’s political speech. The union lost in a 7-2 decision. There is a free-speech right to opt out.

  6. Lola-at-Large says:

    Don’t forget WHICH GUNS they were letting walk. There were not .38 caliber revolvers, but big long guns, and handguns that could piece armor. Specifically they were letting walk AK 47 types (the least offensive type) BARRETT .50 calibers, and FN Five-sevens (the handgun that can pierce armor).

    Of these, the Barret is the most egregious. Here’s a picture of the bullet it uses:

    It’s the bullet on the right that is just over 5 inches long. It can pierce armor and tanks, and can be shot with accuracy from over a mile away so that the target will never hear it coming. It is a war gun. Full stop.

    My husband helped me figure out these details today and they add a chilling new frame to the purpose of “Fast & Furious.” 2020 of these types of guns walked. Less than 700 have been recovered.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      For comparison, the bullet on the left is of the style our soldiers use in the M-16s. The middle bullet is the kind one would use to shoot deer (.30-06).

    • LandOLincoln says:

      IIRC from my shooting days those aren’t bullets, those are cartridges. The bullet is the pointy thing at the top; the bottom section–the shell casing–holds the powder charge.

  7. myiq2xu says:

    No Obamacare ruling today

    • leslie says:

      Do you think they are planning to make the announcement at the very last moment so t hey can run home and avoid the fallout?

  8. myiq2xu says:

    “One of the advantages in this race,” Stevens said, “is that the Obama people don’t respect Mitt Romney. And that’s how the Republicans were with Bill Clinton, and it always hurt us. I can’t tell you how many meetings I sat in in 1992 where it was like, ‘are you kidding me? Bill Clinton is gonna beat George Bush? Do you know what the GDP of Arkansas is?'” The Romney family bus, parked nearby, cut on its engine with a throaty roar. “And then he went out and kicked our butts.” We shook hands and Stevens departed with a smile.

    Read More http://www.gq.com/news-politics/blogs/death-race/2012/06/is-obama-a-terrible-candidate-stuart-stevens.html#ixzz1yRGqeqIz

    • That’s also what happened in WI, the dems did not respect Walker as a worthy opponent in either races he’s been involved in. They didn’t see him as having the ability to be well-prepared for debates (as he was), or be able to stay on message; he also waged an effective campaign across the state (in outlying areas). Instead they just saw him as the Koch bros lapdog. A big mistake IMO. It’s also the big mistake the dems keep making about the repubs and the Tea Party. Just make them see like whacko elitists and discount their message, instead of addressing it. Now Obama is being forced to address a repub’s message.

    • Pips says:

      Even not knowing much about Romney and not being particularly impressed with what I’ve seen I still find him more human, less wooden than Kerry. And I don’t find picking Kerry as Romney’s stand-in, in ‘rehearsal’ debates with Obama, an obvious choice.

      Washington Examiner gives more reasons as to why it’s a bad bet:

      Kerry possesses all the political weaknesses that Obama hopes to exploit in Romney, without any of the strengths that make Romney so dangerous as a presidential candidate this year.
      […]
      Obama’s record as president will be on trial this year far more than Romney’s. Is Kerry, one of the most liberal members of the Senate, well-suited to attack Obama the way Romney will hit him in the fall? Does he understand the conservative (and independent) protests of Obama’s policies that most threaten his reelection?
      […]
      By selecting Kerry as a sparring partner, Obama chose the version of Mitt Romney that he hopes to face this general election — the one who loses.

      (My emphasis.)

  9. WMCB says:

    I agree that the R’s shouldn’t be delving into the “why” of Fast and Furious. Let the public and the non- traditional media do that.

    When this story first broke, I poo-pooed the idea of it being a deliberate attempt to create a “gun crisis” in order to set the stage for and justify stricter gun legislation. Now? I’m not so sure . The more details that came out, the more damning it is. If you read Pavlich’s (very well documented) book, and read the documents released, listen to the gun shop recordings, it becomes difficult to see what the purpose could have been, if not that.

    This program was very different than the one under Bush. You can hear it in the unease of the gun shop owners – who had cooperated all along with Bush’s version. After it began changing, they were the first to get very suspicious. They questioned the new protocols, and were told STFU. It is thanks to these helpful, concerned, law-abiding gun shop owners (as well as the ATF whistle-blowers) that the program came to light. Because some of them, despite being told to disregard keeping names and gun serial numbers (as they had done under Bush) began to keep their own private records of what guns were sold to whom on what dates. They KNEW something hinky was now going on, and were uneasy as hell with it.

    • WMCB says:

      It’s true that the safest and best political course for Issa is to stay away from the speculating ” why?”. But I don’t have to.

      And the more I look at this, I cannot for the life of me figure out how the hell it was supposed to work if it was a crime fighting operation.

      1) Force gun shop owners to sell to known cartel members

      2) not only make no effort to track, but actively discourage any tracking.

      3) also completely cut Mexican law enforcement on the other end out of the loop.

      4) ????????????

      If anyone can offer me another feasible explanation of what the purpose of this program was, or how it was supposed to work, I’m all ears.

      • It could be just as simple as it was a major FU for the Obama admin. They took over a program started under Bush, modified it, and when evidence of it failing occurred, they began a huge endeavor to cover it up. It’s even more damning because Obama convinced progs that he’d be the most transparent prez evah.

        Just this explanation is enough to p’o people. Think of the effect on Latinos in the US — Obama knowingly engaged in a prog that resulted in the death of over 300 Mexicans, and an ICE agent of Hispanic descent.

        • WMCB says:

          I’ll buy that only if you can give me some plausible law enforcement reason for the modifications to the program.

          What possible reason could there be to deliberately stop the tracking of the guns? Because they did not “oops” FAIL to track them, they made a conscious and affirmative decision NOT to do so.

          Please explain to me a scenario under which that decision makes any sense, or has some goal in mind other than simply arming the cartels. What “failed”? What was the objective that it failed to accomplish?

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      There’s evidence already of the gun control thing. I missed it the first time around and found it yesterday: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57338546-10391695/documents-atf-used-fast-and-furious-to-make-the-case-for-gun-regulations/

      • WMCB says:

        Holy fuck. That is damning. It’s the old prog rope-a-dope. Lets create/exacerbate a problem then step forward with our handy solution!

    • WMCB says:

      SHV on Hillaryis44 did bringnup another scenario. There’s a theory that it was deliberate arming of one cartel, in order to counteract another cartel that was becoming too powerful. That’s the only alternative explanation so far that comes close to fitting the facts. That one is a possibility. Which would make this along the lines of Iran/Contra.

      One thing is certain. “It was a law enforcement/sting that was botched and went awry” does not fit the facts in any way shape or form.

    • Karma says:

      Maddow last night was all in with desperate mocking of that exact scenario. That Obama sold guns in order to create chaos and regulate guns. But when you look at the facts that’s exactly the conclusion you are left with.

      She was trying to state that since Obama hasn’t moved on gun laws and clearly any thoughts that he would move on them with this program is a crazy FoxNews conspiracy.

      http://leanforward.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/20/12326260-holder-contempt-votes-outlandish-origins?lite

      • WMCB says:

        Bet she had no alternative explanation for why they made an affirmative decision to STOP tracking them, though.

        DO NOT TRACK THESE GUNS is not a “botch”, it’s a plan. Tell me
        what that plan was then, Rachel. I’m all ears.

      • Karma says:

        Oh and she ties the conspiracy to some blogger who said to break Dem windows back during the health care bill. Which I missed last night channel surfing into the segment.

        She was more desperate than I thought….it took 9 min of build up with the conspiracy blogger. Wow.

  10. WMCB says:

    It is entirely possible that it was both. Arm one cartel as a counter-balance tomthe other, then handily blame it on stupid redneck gun shop owners.

    I frankly wouldn’t put anything past the Obama crew. And one thing that HAS puzzled me in all this is the lack of real outcry on the part of Mexico. Why are they not screaming bloody murder?

  11. Karma says:

    Pelosi is now claiming that the contempt vote is part of Republican’s attempts at voter suppression.

    The woman who helped suppress the votes of millions of Dem voters.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2018490255_apusfastandfuriouspelosi.html

  12. HELENK says:

    I sent a link to this post to Darrell Issa. why not give him something to think about

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