Steyn and Hewitt on President Obama's and AG Holder's rank dishonesty:
HH: It turns out, as I said to Sean Hannity last night, this is an administration that discloses what should be kept secret, and which keeps secret that which should be disclosed, Mark. Are you surprised?Read the rest. As we've tried to explain to our kids, our system of government is ultimately predicated on honorable men and women working within it and an engaged, honorable citizenry holding them accountable. But when the people don't live up to that standard, and power-lust and venality reach critical mass among our minders, this is what we get. Take Obama spokestool Jay Carney, for example. Joel Gehrke reports:
MS: No, I’m not. I’m surprised by the timing, in that he seems to have done it as a kind of tie-in for your book, for which your publisher should be suitably grateful. But I’m not surprised. I think there is a kind of blithe contempt that Obama, and Eric Holder in particular, have for the checks and balances. And by the way, I don’t attach a lot of significance to the sort of niceties of checks and balances, but I would say that as a general rule in free societies, the restraints on power are as much social as anything. They depend on those in power observing a kind of etiquette and deference to codes and conventions. And if you hold, basically, the entire history of the United States until you took power in contempt, which is what Eric Holder and Barack Obama do, I believe, then they don’t have that deference and discretion towards the codes and conventions, and the result is what we’ve seen in the last few days.
First, Carney couldn’t say if the documents that Obama is refusing to let Congress see actually involve the White House corresponding with the Justice Department about the false claim that law enforcement did not allow any guns to be smuggled into Mexico. “I don’t have a way to characterize the documents in question here,” Carney said.PjM makes a salient point:
Next, Carney was forced to back off his attempt to pin Fast and Furious on the Bush Administration. “It originated in a field office during the previous administration. It was ended under this administration, by this Attorney General,” Carney said. ABC’s Jake Tapper quickly observed that “The operation began in fall 2009.” [. . .]
As Carney continued to field questions, he appeared to forget the family name of border patrol agent Brian Terry, who was death ignited the investigation after he was killed by drug smugglers armed with weapons obtained through Operation Fast and Furious.
“We have provided Congress every document that pertains to the operation itself that is at issue here when you talk about the family that you referred to,” Carney said. When Tapper provided him the name, he repeated it — “the Terry family.”
And when Carney said that Obama’s decision to assert executive privilege over documents subpoenaed by Congress was “entirely about principle,” reporters openly laughed.
Whoops. The sad fact remains that most of the losers laughing will still vote for The Most Transparent Administration Evah.That Carney doesn't know Terry's name is terrible but telling.
Perhaps the White House thinks the president can just say the words "executive privilege" and head out for another full day of pandering and campaigning. But it's a bit more complicated than that. Via the Daily Caller: Grassley: WH must provide Congress with a ‘privilege log’ for Fast and Furious documents Obama’s hiding:
On Thursday, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley ripped President Barack Obama for his assertion of the executive privilege to keep hiding Operation Fast and Furious documents from Congress. Grassley said the White House must provide a “privilege log” detailing what documents Obama is exercising his power over, and what his legal argument for doing so is.My emphasis there. Read the rest. Showdown coming, I hope.
“The White House has already produced documents in Fast and Furious involving communications between White House staff and personnel from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, so it’s ironic that this claim comes up only now,” Grassley said. “Either way, the White House must produce a privilege log to make clear which documents they are asserting executive privilege to protect.”
Grassley also questioned why Attorney General Eric Holder was less than forthcoming, during a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, when asked if the president would assert the privilege.
“Just last week, when the attorney general was in front of this committee, I asked him twice if the president could claim executive privilege to protect a certain internal Justice Department email that has been withheld,” Grassley said. “Given the explicit opportunity, the attorney general did not indicate he would be asking the president to assert executive privilege over such documents.” [. . .]
Even though the White House is legally required to produce a privilege, it’s unclear if Obama’s administration will. White House spokesman Eric Schultz would not answer when asked if the administration would.
By the way, are there any dots Mark Steyn can't connect? Back to his chat with Hugh Hewitt (with product links added by me):
HH: Mark Steyn, I have been perfecting the art of product placement. Most people think of that as the movies, but there’s actually audio product placement, and it involves somehow working a reference to the new book, The Brief Against Obama, into an interview, which is sometimes hard. Like tomorrow, I’m going to interview Balou at Disneyland, and that’s going to be hard to do.Five minutes later:
HH: Speaking of great, structural sloughs of despond, I landed in Phoenix today from New York, and who do I see in the crosswalk on the way to the rental car but Jonah Goldberg, who was in Vegas with me on Friday night, wearing the same coat, I might add. I think he lost the nest egg.Touché. Take it away, Balou:
HH: And I thought to myself, Mark, there’s this tribe of wandering pundits out there who go from vista to vista and proclaim that Obama’s gotta go, and explain what’s happened. But I’m wondering, does anyone actually listen to commentary? Or is this cake baked? Is this argument over already? Everyone knows what they’re going to do in November?
MS: Well, look. You know, realistically, you’re doing more good with your big interview with Balou at Disneyland, and trying to persuade him that one of the Bare Necessities is a copy of your book.
HH: (laughing) That’s how I do it.
MS: I think many people are like Balou in that movie, lying on their back, gently sailing down the river, and watching the world go by. And they don’t realize that actually coming up at the end of that river is a huge waterfall that they’re going to plunge over unless they actually get out of the river and take this stuff seriously. But yeah, it’s true. It’s difficult, it’s difficult to break through the noise. This guy’s numbers ought to be way worse than they are. He did this to us. Whether or not it’s his fault, it’s his responsibility. He did this.
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