Fast, Furious, and Bi-Curious? Ron Hart on Eric Holder


Columnist Ron Hart comments on the Fast and Furious ATF operation and Attorney General Eric Holder's contempt of Congress charge:

Holder was convicted of both criminal and civil contempt of Congress, and Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to protect himself and Holder from scrutiny. The self-proclaimed "most transparent administration ever" does not want anyone asking questions. After the ruling, the Holder Justice Department said it would not prosecute him for withholding documents/evidence. Our government can waste precious time and resources prosecuting baseball players Roger Clemens (twice) and Barry Bonds for lying about something they may have done that could hurt only themselves. But it will not pursue to its logical conclusion a calculated government guns program that resulted in the deaths of two border guards and more than 200 Mexican citizens.

The "Fast and Furious" operation troubles me on two levels. First, our government willingly put thousands of guns into the hands of violent drug gangs – and could not predict the outcome. Second, and more troubling, our government named the operation after dated and dreadful Vin Diesel action movies.

And then there's this:

If GOP candidates are elected in November, they can go back to their type of attorneys general, like crooner and songwriter (with the soothing vocal stylings of the Oak Ridge Boys) John Ashcroft, who seek to codify their view of the Bible into law while calling al-Qaida "religious fanatics."

More here.

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  1. I'm completely willing to be wrong here, but I don't recall when Ashcroft was trying to codify his version of the bible into law. Can anybody help me out here?

    1. He wanted to drape a Greco-Roman nude statue that occupied his office building because of his strict Pentacostal beliefs.

      In the mind of the left, that is the moral equivalent of stoning teh gheyz to death.

      1. And it is certainly worse than getting thousands of Mexicans killed.

      2. Those would be extra-biblical pentecostal beliefs, so it still wouldnt be codifying the bible into law.

      3. I remember that episode, which I just found silly more than anything. Not exactly the same thing as instituting religions persecution.

        1. I think it must be Hart's lame effort at pointing to folly on both sides, because everyone knows that a gun-running program that has killed dozens is the same thing as wanting to cover a statue.

          1. It's not such a "lame effort" to those of us who, you know, have a memory. Well, at least not a selective memory.

            1. right....because an administration running a program that funnels guns into the hands of people willing to use them is exactly the same as an AG talking about whether something is good or not.

              1. Did I say it was exactly the same?

                1. to say Hart's effort is "not lame" implies that you see a connection. I am saying the two have nothing to do with each other.

                  1. What are we talking about then? You said it was " a lame attempt" to point at folly on both sides. I'm saying there is no shortage of folly in the career of Ashcroft. I don't see how anyone concerned with liberty can rush to the defense of the man who fought tooth and nail against any amendment of the PATRIOT Act.

                    1. When you're talking to someone and they insist TEAM RED is better than TEAM BLUE, what does that tell you, Heroic?

                    2. When you're talking to someone and they insist TEAM RED is better than TEAM BLUE, what does that tell you, Heroic?

                      Hit n' Runpublicans have nothing better to do on Fridays?

                      Either that or we're mistakenly having a discussion about the merits of Crystal Pepsi vs. Tab Clear.

                    3. curiously, no one mentioned either team till you. Not realizing that an actual operation that has left a lot of folks dead is worse than a hypothetical plan speaks for itself.

                    4. if you go back to the start, all I said was this was Hart's attempt to point out that both sides can be equally stupid but it's tough to find an equivalent to FF. The Patriot Act has proven its worthlessness; I agree with you on that. I disagreed with Hart's assessment the two AG's are equally dangerous.

                    5. I don't recall the PATRIOT Act, as fucked up as it is, as a method of codifying biblical edicts into law. It would be one thing if, in reminding us of why Ashcroft was no friend of liberty, he would attribute those things Ashcroft did in that respect. But here, he can't simply claim "PATRIOT Act!1!1!!" because TEAM BLUE is equally guilty of such. So he invents the Christian-Sharia State in order to distinguish bad TEAM BLUE from bad TEAM RED while conveniently missing that Ashcroft and the rest of the Evangelical right never really got much in the way of Christian Fascism in outside of the faith based charity boondoggle to buy black votes that failed in that regard.

          2. I have a real problem with the idea that the program killed people. Guns don't kill people.

            1. true...but criminals willing to use guns do kill people. No, absolutely no way anyone could have predicted that FF would not turn out well.

              1. I am only disagreeing on the limited point. F+F is a top-to-bottom clusterfuck disaster, IMO.

                1. F+F is a top-to-bottom clusterfuck disaster, IMO criminal enterprise that was a direct assault on another nation's sovereignty and enabled drug cartels to murder hundreds if not thousands of Mexicans and at least one American CBP agent.*


                  *I'm still not nearly as sad for Brian Terry as I am for the innocent victims, and I know you and I went round and round the other day on it. He volunteered to be an active participant in the drug war. The vast majority of the victims on the other side of our border did not.

            2. Would you say that the cartel killed those people?

              Wasn't FyF essentially an extension of the cartel, the collusion of the administration with the cartels to get guns into Mexico to be used in crimes?

              1. Well, it's not as if the cartel would have been short on guns were it not for FF.

        2. When asked whether he had any problem legislating morality, Ashcroft once explained, "I think all we should legislate is morality. We shouldn't legislate immorality."

          Prior to Ashcroft's appointment, the Justice Department's pornography prosecutions were almost exclusively child pornography, but Ashcroft oversaw a self-described War on Pornography. At least half a dozen agents were assigned to monitor on-line pornography full-time, forty hours a week surfing the internet and taking notes.

          Despite his long-time support for "state's rights", he brought federal action against Oregon's law allowing assisted suicide, and against California's law allowing medicinal use of marijuana....

          He has said he was anointed with oil "in the manner of King David" as he took each successive political office in his career. When he became a Senator his father anointed him with Crisco brand cooking oil, and died the next day. Before becoming Attorney General, Ashcroft had Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas do the anointing.

          1. Not in the way he said it, but I agree with Ashcroft's comment.

            If an act is moral or amoral, we shouldnt outlaw it.

            If an act is immoral, we shouldnt mandate it.

            Now, that is a lot wider than what we want, but the NAP fits well within those bounds.

            If you arent an anarchist and want to legislate against force/fraud from the NAP, they you are doing it because they are immoral acts. So you favor legislating morality.

            The key is ONLY legislating against those immoral acts that initiate force or fraud.

            1. Fair enough, but based on his actions, you know that's not what Ashcroft meant.

              1. True, but when I say it, people take it the way Ashcroft meant it, not the way I meant it.

            2. I agree with robc. I'd say 3 things are necessary for a law criminalizing something to be good: 1) the thing criminalized is immoral, 2) it involved teh initiation of force and 3) the law can be effectively enforced.

          2. maybe he should have had those agents monitoring Saudi students who over stayed their visas.

          3. At least half a dozen agents were assigned to monitor on-line pornography full-time, forty hours a week surfing the internet and taking notes.

            Not to mention the great health and retirement benefits. Private sector work is for suckers.

            1. People get paid, plus pensions, lavish bennies, and stable employment, to surf teh interwebz for porn 40 hours a week?

              Excuse me while I update my resume.

        3. And here is the truth about that episode. The media would literally sprawl on the floor in front of Ashcroft to get the right angle to get Ashcroft and the nude statues in the same shot. It was just juvinille prank. Ashcroft got tired of these assholes laying the the floor in front of him every time he gave a press conferences. So he just draped that statues to take the fun out of it. He NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE STATURES.

          I am not an Ashcroft fan. But that entire episode was just a case of lefty media douchebagery.

          1. I'd never heard of that before, and was going to go all [citation needed] on you, but I found this confirmation:

            Photographers have gone to great lengths in the past to capture the scantily-clad female statue in the background as the Justice Department's top brass addressed the world's press.


            The drapes are reported to have been hanging since Monday, drawing to a close the sport of photographers who infamously sprawled on the floor to snap the former Attorney General Edwin Meese holding aloft his report on pornography in front of the female statue.

            Thanks for that, John.

            1. I knew people who worked at DOJ at that time. It is too bad the truth isn't more widely known.

              1. Juvenile prank - yeah, sure, whatever. Sounds like something many of us here would do, so John doth protest a bit too much, methinks.

                Also, anything to distract from the discussion of Ashcroft's real shortcomings...

                1. I think you have lost the ability to read. I have only said about four times I don't like Ashcroft and even made a crack about him letting the 9-11 hijackers in.

                  The media was being douche bags and that story is a lie. Don't repeat lies even if they are about people you don't like.

                  It is called integrity Tonio.

            2. I forgot about the Meese photograph

          2. " take the fun out of it."

            Thats John Ashcroft.

          3. Yes. I remember quite clearly. The photographers used to belly crawl along the floor during briefings and disrupt things.

      4. Well, if the Greco-Roman nude looks anything like ordinary Greeks and Romans I'm not sure that I blame him.

  2. Ive always been a bit of an Ashcroft fan, due to his support for legalizing strong crypto.

    That balances out a lot of crazy, for me.

  3. "...put thousands of guns into the hands of violent drug gangs ? and could not predict the outcome. "

    Yeah, really, who could predict how that would turn out?

    1. Iknowright? It's as if they wanted this outcome and were hoping for an outcry for more gun control. But who would justify that kind of outcome to advance more gun control legislation?

      1. You know who else advanced gun control legislation?

    2. For people that want to run our entire lives, they sure end up with a lot of "unexpected" results. Like the "unexpectedly" low job numbers.

      1. ^This. And I know it's a corrolary to RC's law, but it's a good re-statement.

  4. All the quibbling here over holder vs ashcroft.....but it seems to me that being a solid gold shithead is a requirement to be attorney general. As solid gold shitheads go, holder is the worst so far.

    1. Ashcroft and Meese tied for second.

    2. Holder/Ashcroft is false equivalency and Ron Hart knows better. Holder actually did something that was monumentally stupid that got a lot folks killed; Ashcroft, well, did not.

      1. the real bullshit is the equating of Ashcroft to Al Quada. Hart is a shit head even if he will admit the obvious about Fast and Furious.

        The fact that Gillespie likes this shit just makes me look forward to the day the Jacket gets the big TV contract he is angling for and Reason can maybe have a Libertarian as its leader again.

        1. Or, you could find someplace else to hang out while you wait for that.

      2. If you RTFA, you'll see that Hart didn't attempt to equate Holder with Ashcroft. The paragraph about Ashcroft is part of a discussion (with a slightly satirical tone) of what might happen if Holder resigns:

        Holder makes previous Democrat Attorney General Janet Reno look like a piker. You will remember the Elian Gonzalez case, orchestrated by Reno; then came Waco and the Branch Davidians. She left her cabinet position in the Clinton administration for a successful career as a down-lineman in the Canadian Football League.

        Perhaps Holder will be forced to resign so he can spend more time suing his family to advance his political agenda.

        If GOP candidates are elected in November, they can go back to their type of attorneys general, like crooner and songwriter (with the soothing vocal stylings of the Oak Ridge Boys) John Ashcroft, who seek to codify their view of the Bible into law while calling al-Qaida "religious fanatics."

        1. Still compares Ashcroft to Al Quada. I don't even like Ashcroft and find that to be lefty bullshit.

          1. al-Qaida is a stretch. Muslim Brotherhood? Definitely.

            1. Bullshit. Ashcroft was a lousy AG. But shut up with that. The Muslim Brotherhood literally wants to make Egypt into something resembling Saudi Arabia. At worst Ashcroft wanted to remake 1950s America, back when stag films were illegal. You can't compare those two. And doing so just shows your ignorance.

              1. At worst Ashcroft wanted to remake 1950s America, back when stag films were illegal

                Wasn't 1950's America also an America where homosexuality was illegal, and in certain states, interracial marriage?

                Not helping your argument.

                Ignorance, thy name is John!

                1. but whatever outcome Ashcroft sought, he did not achieve. Holder, on the other hand, oversaw a criminal operation with fatal results. Therein lies the flaw in Ron Hart's logic.

                  1. It's not 'logic' it was a joke. Unless you actually believe Reno "left her cabinet position in the Clinton administration for a successful career as a down-lineman in the Canadian Football League."

                    Whether or not it was a funny joke, that's a different discussion.

                  2. Lighten up wareagle, go recruit another Cam Newton with all your moral high ground you stake out.

                    1. beating UVA did not require Cam, but I would gladly take another one of him. Try and keep up; talk of money stemmed from Miss State.

                2. Why yes, yes it was. And John either forgets, or "forgets," that since it doesn't support his arguments.

                  1. My 4:58 in reply to HM at 4:37.

                    1. squirrels are active today, tonio. Lot of things winding up where they were not intended.

                  2. Tonio,

                    Show me a link to where Ashcroft ever wanted to ban homosexuality or go fuck yourself and admit you are lying hack.

                3. If you think 1950s AMerica is anytying near as bad as what the MB or Saudi Arabia want, you are fucking moron HM. Give it up.

          2. I'm sorry, but I don't see where he compares Ashcroft to Al Qaeda. It plainly says Ashcroft made a statement about those assholes, but doesn't compare him to them at all.

            Anyone who gets a comparison of Ashcroft to AQ from this argument ought to try out for the US Gymnastics Team because London is only a few weeks away.

          3. I guess pointing out that both are religious fanatics is technically a comparison, but he is hardly making an equivalency between Ashcroft and AQ.

        2. HM,
          that is what struck me as silly: comparing something that a sitting AG actually has done with what the other party's AG may want to do.

          1. Not even the actual AG. Just the one that lives in Hart's head.

            1. that's what I am saying - the actual AG is involved in FF; Hart's conjured version may want to do something the writer does not favor.

            2. Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle, Pot.

              1. Holder = Ashcroft? Come on, man.

  5. Question. What would prevent Congress from inviting Holder over, then having the Sgt. at Arms place him under arrest? Could they detain him until such time as the justice department arranges to try him?

  6. Hart is a wonderful writer, very funny like PJ O'Rourke. The Sandusky and Toddlers line is classic.

    Also remember Ashcraft wanted churches to give out government money as long as winos came to God. He only touches on the point, so I think you are over playing that one, but it's true.

    1. Fucking sockpuppet!

      If only P Brooks was still alive.

  7. There is one important distinction between Holder and Ashcroft. One is currently the AG and not only knowledgeable of, but likely in charge of an illegal operation.

    While Ashcroft is, eff if I know, retired, golfing, singing? Ashcroft is past-tense and no longer means a damn thing.

  8. "Hart is a wonderful writer, very funny like PJ O'Rourke"

    Not the same league as PJ. Look at the distraction Hart created by taking the crack at Ashcroft. The point is fast and furious and the role of a sitting AG, not an AG that has no input on anyone life anymore.

  9. I am still pretty angry at the people of Missouri, for voting for a dead guy and kicking Ashcroft out of the Senate, where he was just 1 in 100, and into the AG's office, where the havoc he wreaked still reverberates, well into the present day. This is the kind of thing that ignoring the Constitution gets you, Missourians.

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