In Vietnam, I understand the official term was “friendly fire.” The grunts called it “fragging.” Killed by your own troops. It happens. Generals don’t like to lose anybody, but as realists, they have to talk about things in terms of “acceptable losses” and “collateral damage.” But when it is leaders taking the bullet, and not foot soldiers, there’s usually a more political and Machiavellian undercurrent to it. And that brings us to speculate on the fallout from Project Gunwalker, and how it pertains to the political prospects of one Barack Hussein Obama.
Let’s get one thing straight. This kind of thing is not party-specific. The GOP had their Nixon. The Democrats have their Obama. It’s not a Left/Right thing. It’s a Right/Wrong thing. And it’s never the crime. It’s the cover-up. So let’s do a little crystal ball-gazing and see if we can look through the fog of the future to see how all this plays out, for we’re playing a high-stakes game here, and the outcome will likely have a LOT to do with the survival/continued existence of the ATF and how gun laws are enforced, not to mention the direction of the country in the next four to eight years.
Admittedly, I’m no Obama fan. But then again, I wasn’t really crazy about the Bush domestic agenda, either, so I don’t see this in terms of a political witch hunt. Corruption knows no party affiliation. Having cleared that up…
Timing, both in humor and in politics, is everything. If real estate is about “location, location, location,” politics is all about timing. And nowhere is timing more important than in that painful period in the American experience we know as “campaign season.” There’s a time to be out in front, and a time to be back in pack. If a scandal comes late in a Presidency (say “Iran-Contra”) there’s less red meat for the opposition to get excited about. One that strikes early in the season? As Audrey II said in Little Shop of Horrors, “It’s suppertime.”
I remember Watergate. Vividly. I was a soon-to-be High School senior, away at Louisiana Boys State, studying government. They herded us into an assembly room in the LSU Student Union building for an “unscheduled announcement.” It was Richard M. Nixon, resigning the Presidency.
I was shocked, but not surprised. I had a paper route, and read my own product. I knew what was going on, and had followed events since Woodward and Bernstein broke the story nobody (at first) amounted to a hill o’ beans. Looking at Watergate in retrospect, I think that the Nixon White House made just about every mistake you could make. Which makes it all the more curious that the Obama White House is following in their predecessors’ footsteps so closely, they are hardly leaving a trail of their own.
So let’s say that Obama is up to his ass in alligators on this one. Let’s look at the timing, and assume that he’s gone too far, too fast (and furious) and too soon to turn back from the inexorable gravity of the ensuing coverup. Now what happens?
For the sake of argument, let’s say Obama’s stonewalling makes this thing drag on throughout primary season. (I’m thinkin’ that’s a lead pipe cinch.) By then, I’d expect to see the O-Man’s poll numbers so far in the cellar, he’d need a Leupold scope to see a 10% approval rating. You know the GOP candidates are bound to make hay with this, sooner or later. Based on his press conference yesterday, I’d say Obama’s up to his neck in Gunwalker.
To date, Congress has been somewhat reluctant to go after Obama on almost everything, worrying that the Dems and the mainstream media will immediately place the “race card” and the Republicans will be painted in white sheets with little point hats. GOP? Meet your new, joined-at-the-hip-if-we=have-anything-to-do-about-it KKK. But candidates are in the business of getting themselves elected – and I don’t mean as “Ms. Congeniality.” Eventually, one or more of them will grow a pair, and point out the not-too subtle similarities between Tricky Dick and Obfuscatin’ Obama. (I know. The moniker’s not quite there. I’m workin’ on it.)
Someone, somewhere, sometime will therefore point out the obvious – that if Obama’s re-elected and subsequently impeached/forced to resign, the country could be looking at a “President Biden” sometime in the second term.
(Wait – another 70’s/80’s flashback…remember when Reagan was shot, and then-Secretary of State Alexander Haig famously (and incorrectly) said “I’m in charge?” Maybe Hillary is thinking she’ll have her turn yet. Nah…she’s have to wait out Biden, Bohmer, and Inouye to get her shot. I suspect she has other plans to capture the flag.)
Now remember how willing Obama was to throw his Democrat buddies under the bus in the last election, just to get ObamaCare passed? Well Karma – like payback – is a bee-yatch, baby. All those party bigwigs (many of whom are the same Senators and Representatives who were re-elected by the skin of their teeth, and in many cases in spite of – rather than because of – the White House) will begin to speculate on if they should throw HIM under the bus and jump ship to another, more electable candidate.
The parties don’t just take the short view, either. They realize that, every two years, there’s a referendum on the President’s popularity, and it can cost them, big time. They know that to keep the White House in 2012 could cost them Congress for the next fifty years if they go too far down in the hole. And grooming a candidate now for a rematch in 2016 makes a lot more sense than going down with the U.S.S. Idiocracy and it’s Captain, Barack “Ahab” Obama.
We’ll likely see an interesting pas des deux. The Democrat party honchos have to realize that, due to Obama’s unwillingness to budge on ideology, they are about to take a hit even bigger than the one they took last year in the mid-terms. And while the American public doesn’t really think of individual Congressional elections as influencing the balance of power in D.C., I can assure you that Congress does. And believe it or not, the GOP has the potential to score enough seats in the Senate this time ’round to capture a 60 seat majority.
In layman’s terms, we’re talkin’ veto-proof. With 60+ members all singing out of the same ideological hymnal, the power of the Presidency becomes one of “compromise and consent,” and not “my way or the highway.”
One of two things become likely at that point. The Dems’ll have to throw either Obama or Biden under the bus. Which one they choose depends as much on fundraising success, party-wide, as it does the Congressional hearings and the poll numbers. If Obama’s not on the ropes, they’ll dump Biden, as a hedge against the Republicans using Biden as boogeyman in case of an Obama impeachment, as well as to give an heir-apparent a little street cred on the national stage, should Obama lose. (I can’t see the Democrats excited about Crazy Joe in the Oval Office. The guy would make Millard Filmore or James K. Polk look like Stephen Hawking by comparison.)
If Obama’s numbers are sub-basement dwelling, they’ll look to give Obama the heave-ho, and put someone – ANYone in as the party nominee. Why? Better to jettison the spoiled cargo, start bailing the ship now, and try and cut your losses. Holding on to Obama may just be too costly a price for the Dems to pay.
But that’s when things get sticky for the Democrats. The Republicans may have their Tea Party faction, but you can accurately say there’s a “Centrist” wing and a “Right/Tea Party” wing for the GOP. Would that you could say something similar about the Democrats. The Dems have their Blue Dog centrists, their Classical Progressives (left of center-to-far left), their Far Lefties (who feel completely betrayed by Obama, by the way) the Unions (who forsake ideology for benefits/workers rights/forced union membership), Communists/Socialists, and the special interests groups (ecology/green, animal rights, immigration reform/amnesty, etc.).
If the GOP is bi-polar, the Dems suffer from multiple-personality disorder. Within the GOP, one group or the other becomes ascendent, and says “follow me and we both get much of what we want.” Within the Democrat ranks, no one group is powerful enough to get buy-off from the others.
Think back to 2007. Hillary was the heir-apparent. It was hers to lose, and frankly, nobody expected her to lose. She was the darling of the Elites on the Left side of the ledger. Nobody likes her, mind you. But everybody respected and feared her. And then, Obama happened.
Obama really started his ascendency back in 2004, at the DNC confab when John Kerry did his very best JFK impression – and failed miserably. Obama’s keynote electrified the crowd, and he was suddenly being Groomed For Bigger and Better Things. So how’d he overcome La Hillary and take the big prize? Simple. He had two things going for him – three if you count Clinton’s over-confidence and hubris.
He had come up in the Chicago political scene, which meant he knew how to get down and dirty. All that grass-roots crap really counts when you’re building a war machine. And he had George Soros and some other well-heeled Progressives/Socialists, who saw Hillary as too much of a centrist. (Pause with me as I consider the rich irony of the woman who tried to ram HillaryCare down our throats in the 90s being painted as a “centrist.” It is to laugh.) Obama had the bucks, the organization, and the cutthroat will to win. Hillary had her crown all picked out, and Obama simply out-flanked her before she knew what had hit her.
That was then. This is now. It’s way too early to speculate, but you’ve got to be thinking that both far-left, nattering nabob Denis Kucinich and SecState Clinton are both eyeing the White House in 2012 with a kind of chop-licking that would have been absent, had Obama not been already so tarred by the Fast and Furious brush.
Watch that news conference? Obama’s arrogance is breathtaking. I kinda wonder if Nixon isn’t a role model for him, in attitude and temperament, if nothing else. He has no use for Congress and the Press, unless they are fawning all over him. That’s no big – lots of Presidents have felt that way. But only Nixon and Obama found it impossible to hid their contempt. Contempt for the Press is dangerous, once they smell blood in the water. They are fickle friends at best. But we’re not there. Yet.
But when we get there, I don’t care how much the media may feel simpatico with the ObamaNation, they’ll go after the story. They have to. Period. It’s in their DNA. Contempt for Congress will eventually get you in some serious hot water, because while you may have more power as President than any one member of Congress, as a body working as one, they can get you pwned faster than you can say “video game geek.”
It’s not wise to insult Congress, and they tend to get a wee bit testy when they ask for papers and testimony and are told to go pound sand. Lose those allies, and the phrase “lonely at the top” is gonna take on a whole new significance for Brother Barack.
There and I thought Obama was channeling Jimmy Carter all this time. Turns out, he’s riffing on Nixon. And not in a good way. Say what you will about Nixon, but we are still feeling the effects of that scandal today, from the polarized politics of the Beltway to the corruption of the media from “dispassionate observers” to “cheerleaders.”
Will Project Gunwalker be Obama’s Watergate, or will history NOT repeat itself. Me, I put my bet with history. For those who don’t learn from it are condemned to repeat it. He’s going down. And remember, you heard it here, first.
Well, this is the longest TTAG entry I’ve read.
“[Biden] would make Millard Filmore or James K. Polk look like Stephen Hawking by comparison.)”
Brad Kozac says: “…a 60 seat majority. In layman’s terms, we’re talkin’ veto-proof. ”
Not exactly. 67 votes are required to override a Presidential veto. 60+ votes is enough for full control of the Senate as that is what is needed to cut off debate and force a floor vote. The chances of Reps picking up enough votes to gain 67 seats are in the same league as me beating Jerry Miculek at Nationals.
I appreciate your efforts at keeping Gunrunner at the center of attention. The sad fact is, at this moment, I can go to Fox or CNN.com, and actively search for Gunrunner articles, and have a hard time finding anything on the front page, much less in the second or third, so to speak. Even the latest story about whistleblower Cefalu is barely getting any traction. Its gonna take some political resignations to even get the story on the front page. It angers me that this is the case as the death of Agent Terry and others should make everyones blood boil. There is no shortage on articles of speculation about Obama’s reelection strategy.
During the Clinton administration, I had a rather amusing conversation with a bunch of Clinton supporters who were old enough to remember Watergate. (we were all gathered at our favorite watering hole, enjoying pints of Guinness)
The Clinton supporters were all on about how unfairly Bill was being treated, etc. Meanwhile, the only conservative at the table, me, was listening quietly. There was a brief lull in the conversation, at which point I asked everyone: “You all remember the FBI files that were found in the White House basement?
All the Clinton supporters nodded yes.
I continued with: “Nixon was run out of office for less.”
As the saying goes: “You could have heard a pin drop.”
Nice, Brad. I disagree with your conclusion that Obama is going down. Gunwalker is more like Lewinski than Watergate. Sure, nobody died as from the break in or Clinton’s icky cigar moment, but still.
“Fragging” or “fragged” refers to fragmentation grenades, as in all blowed-up to hell. It was also a method that grunts talked about to rid themselves of an officer who was getting their buddies killed through incompetence. When the guy was in the hopper, the story goes, one of the troops would pull the pin on a fragmentation grenade and toss it in. Was this ever actually done? Somebody knows, but nobody tells. Like Gunrunner.
I believe you mean James Buchanan not Polk. Polk is considered one of our best, top 6-7 Presidents. Given that Nixon should have been impeached for tossing Bretton Woods and and instituting wage and price controls, a little late for the wrong reason if you ask me. To be run out of town for Gunwalker would be hilarious since his policies are advancing our destiny with bankruptcy. I guess it doesn’t matter which crime you get convicted for, as long as one of them counts. Hubris indeed.
Please reprint this 2000-word turd on Inauguration Day 2013 to remind everyone how horribly, hilariously poor you are at political predictions.
You got it! Don’t forget to ping me.
So Magoo has no problem with the administration’s suspension of gun laws in an apparent effort to generate anti-gun propaganda…
Hey Magoo.. here’s my prediction: if the economy doesn’t get any better, your boy Obama is history. 4 and out. Done. Over. The only thing that might change that prediction is a right wing dark-house candidate splitting the R vote (a la Ross Perot).