Members of the Congressional Black Caucus today will match the pure theatrics of the House contempt vote on Attorney General Eric Holder with some theatrics of their own, planning a walk-out on the floor of the House when the body prepares to vote on Holder.
Leaders of the Caucus passed around a letter to Democratic House members last night urging them to join together and walk off the floor of the House when the contempt vote comes up today. The letter was sent to members of the Hispanic Caucus, Progressive Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus and others, according to the Huffington Post, which obtained a copy of the letter.
“We call upon all members of Congress to stand with us during a press conference on the Capitol Building steps during this appalling series of votes to discuss our nation’s most significant priority–creating jobs,” the letter states. “At this critically important time in our nation, we must work as colleagues rather than political enemies.”
The contempt vote on Holder has grown more ludicrous with each passing day, but it appears to be driven by strange right-wing conspiracy theories and pressure on lawmakers from the all-powerful National Rifle Association. The NRA has told Republicans and certain Southern and rural Democrats in their sway that they better vote to hold Holder in contempt or else. Conservative politicians, bloggers, talk radio blowhards and the NRA have been chattering for months about the bizarre theory that the Obama administration was using the bungled ATF Fast and Furious Operation as a Trojan horse to drum up public support for gun control. As the conspiracy goes, the Obama team came up with the idea to let members of Mexican drug cartels buy illegal guns in Arizona that they would then take back to Mexico and use them in more than 200 murders of Mexicans, then they would come back to the U.S. and engage in a shoot-out with ATF agents and ultimately kill ATF agent Brian Terry, which would then create such public outrage that there would be a national clamor for more gun control. That’s the theory. In reality, the “gun walking” operation actually began under President Bush, Holder and Obama knew nothing about it and have publicly stated they would have immediately halted the operation if they knew about it, and the Attorney General handed over more than 7,000 pages of confidential Justice Department documents in response to the Congressional inquiry. But Rep. Darrell Issa, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, decided those documents weren’t enough, so he created the whole contempt spectacle in an effort to embarrass Obama and Holder.
The entire matter is a ridiculous distraction at a time when the country can ill afford it.