Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Hunt For October Surprise

If you want to know what the GOP agenda is for 2012, this week was an excellent barometer: the effort to turn Bush-created executive branch programs into impeachable Obama offenses is the only thing congressional Republicans now have left on their dance card.

Following a recent promise by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) “to do a better job of holding [President Obama] accountable,” the White House was in the GOP’s crosshairs this week on two highly controversial issues: Solyndra and Operation Fast and Furious.

Two-dozen House Republicans pressed Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday to invalidate a 2011 Energy Department restructuring agreement that ensured private investors who agreed to inject more capitol into failed solar firm Solyndra would be repaid ahead of the taxpayer if the company collapsed.

The day before, a bevy of GOP lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee grilled Holder for four hours over his role in the botched gun tracking operation Fast and Furious, which oversaw the sale of nearly 2,000 guns to known and suspected straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels in the southwest and may have contributed to the murder of a federal agent.

The hearings this week come in the aftermath of a speech Boehner delivered to the Republican think tank, the Ripon Society, in which the top House Republican said his majority needs to hold a tougher line when it comes to oversight of the White House.

“He’s clearly trying to make this about everything other than his own records, so he’s going to beat up on the Congress and do a lot of other things,” said Boehner last week ahead of Obama’s State of the Union address.

The reason why neither investigation has gotten anywhere after nearly a dozen hearings total over the last 12 months is that both programs that created these "fiascos" were Bush-era holdoversThree separate "gunwalker" operations were implemented in the Bush DEA/ATF and dozens of alternative energy companies got investments under the Bush Energy Department (including Solyndra) and yes, some of them went under.  These same Republicans did nothing then.

But when these things happen under a Democrat, he's a "thug", a "tyrant", a "criminal".  Holding as many hearings about these two subjects is literally the only thing the House GOP actually plans to do for the rest of the year.  It's not like the economy is still shaky and people are suffering.  Nope, time to go after the President.

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