Dual initiatives partnering the Obama administration with leading African-American ministries emerged yesterday that appear designed to work around IRS restrictions on church political campaigning, and to create pressure against proceeding with a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder for failure to comply with Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” scandal-related subpoenas.
“Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU will brief several hundred pastors in the African American community on how to participate in the presidential election — which the Congressional Black Caucus chair expects will help President Obama’s campaign,” The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.
On the same day a letter was sent by a The Leadership Conference, with African American Ministers in Action joining various “progressive” organizations characterizing the focus on Holder as “a rush to judgment” and repeating administration talking points and insinuations that the investigation was “a partisan attempt to discredit the Attorney General.”
The letter also raises an ominous flag.
“The harshness of the attacks themselves is misplaced, and to the extent these attacks are intended to divert the Attorney General from the vigorous enforcement of the nation’s laws—including those protecting civil rights, voting rights, disability rights, and other core concerns—we are deeply troubled,” the coalition writes. In other words, investigating Holder is not just anti-civil rights, that’s the intent behind it.
Undeterred, Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars, who was the first to blog on the connection between the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and “walked” guns, showed his trademark bluntness that earned him a spot on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s latest “key leaders of the radical right” list.
“Obviously…the White House is pulling out all the stops for the ‘no justice, no peace’ mantra,” Vanderboegh wrote on Tuesday under the heading “White House organizes ACLU, unions, and race hustlers to lobby Boehner to leave Holder alone. Where are the countervailing voices?”
His concerns are not without foundation. A week ago, Gun Rights Examiner reported Vanderboegh had been given conflicting information from his insider contacts on why House Speaker John Boehner appeared afraid to throw his unequivocal support behind the Holder contempt action.
“One source I trust implicitly says that the story is correct,” he advised, sharing “They (the GOP leadership) don’t think that they will suffer for failure to follow through. They’re scared of Holder’s race card. . . they’re scared of Trayvon. They think if they let Issa fail, that it will only be a story in the blogosphere for a day . . . that they can weather it.”
Whether that is true, or whether the alternate explanation that it is disinformation planted by the White House to paralyze the GOP with infighting, one thing is obvious: The administration is brazenly exploiting the race issue—and the fear on the other side of the aisle of being labeled with the new scarlet letter, “R,” to its political advantage—and daring opponents to do anything about it, knowing full well where the media will come down in the fray.
The harder the Republicans press forward, the more strident and explosive we can expect the pushback to become. That those who make race the issue are prepared to scream “Racist!” seems certain based on their carefully crafted rhetoric, even as they express confidence “that ‘President Obama is going to get 95 percent of the [African American] vote.’”
That the “countervailing voices” Vanderboegh asks about are confined to a niche activist community and its corner of the blogosphere is the outrageous and bizarre reality of our time. It’s what those doing the pushing and pulling on the “Gunwalker” story, in defiance of those who use race as an assault weapon, have come to expect.