On February 7th, Coach is Right posted a story reporting that House Speaker John Boehner was involved in an under-the-table negotiation with Attorney General Eric Holder to arrange a “mutually acceptable conclusion” to the Congressional investigation of Operation Fast and Furious.
Originally broken by Mike Vanderboegh on his Sipsey Street Irregulars website, it was reported that the Department of Justice would provide Boehner and Republicans the heads of DOJ higher-ups Lanny Breuer and Jason Weinstein along with assorted minor players. In return, the GOP would drop House and Senate committee investigations, giving Eric Holder and Barack Obama a pass on their involvement in the gunwalking scheme.
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Since this story first broke on February 3rd, dozens, perhaps hundreds of sites across the internet, have picked up the articles originally published on Sipsey Street, Coach is Right, and Western Journalism. CiR and WJ have been inundated with comments, many taking offense at the accusations of imminent betrayal lodged against Speaker Boehner. The Congressman’s office phone has apparently rung off the hook with questions about the veracity of the report. Naturally, the allegations were denied.
Today, David Workman and David Codrea of the Gun Rights Examiner weighed in. Workman claims that the story presented by Coach is Right is pure fiction. Codrea, both a friend and associate of Mike Vanderboegh, is taking more a wait and see approach, knowing that Vanderboegh’s sources are both well informed and eminently trustworthy in their ability to appraise conditions and goings-on in the Capital.
In September, Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee currently investigating Operation Fast and Furious and the Holder/Department of Justice connection, held a telephone conference with bloggers—members of the “new media.” Issa congratulated them for covering the story of Fast and Furious, promising to keep them informed as he knew they would report stories the legacy media would not.
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And the blogosphere has indeed been reporting stories the MSM will not, even to the extent of discomforting Republicans.
Far more than the potential betrayal by John Boehner, this has been a story of the “new media” and the power it can and MUST exercise over our elected officials.
Last week, Darrell Issa meekly took back his threat to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for the AG’s continued refusal to turn over some 80,000 pages of Fast and Furious documents subpoenaed by Congressional committees. Instead, Issa “granted” Holder an apparently indefinite extension of time! (Update: Issa has taken a small step, days late, to hold Holder in contempt. Perhaps his late move is resulting from the increased pressure generated by our stories. EDITOR)
It is worth wondering if Issa would have been so quick to accommodate the Department of Justice gangster if, like that of Speaker Boehner, thousands of calls had been directed to Congressman Issa’s office asking if a story of his pending decision to “wimp-out” was true!
Of course, it’s a distinct possibility that Issa did not have the votes necessary to force Holder to choose between obeying the demands of a House subpoena and going to jail. Would a hundred or more Republican members prefer the relative security of doing nothing to forcing the Attorney General’s hand if their own phones had rung off their hook demanding that they take a stand?
The point is simple: a couple of bloggers reported a story we believe to be true. Hundreds of others carried it on their websites and many thousands of readers made its content known in Washington, DC. And it might have made a difference. For we know that the offer of any Fast and Furious deal letting Eric Holder off the hook now would be political poison for the Speaker.
I believe that the story of John Boehner’s unscrupulous deal-making was accurate. And I KNOW that the majority of our elected officials prefer the path of least resistance to one of courage and resolve. That’s why the “new media” must make a difference. And, over the last 10 days, it’s just possible that we did.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.