|Nancy Pelosi, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and other Democrats walk out of House Chambers as Republicans vote to hold AJ Eric Holder in contempt over "Fast and Furious"|
As dozens of their colleagues exited the House Chambers in protest, seventeen Democratic congress members chose to stay behind and vote with the Republican majority to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the non-scandal that is "Fast and Furious".
Remember these names: Altmire, Barrow, Boren, Boswell, Chandler, Critz, Donnelly, Hochul, Kind, Kissell, Matheson, McIntyre, Owens, Peterson, Rahall, Ross, Walz.
Better yet, make sure the DCCC remembers their names too. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
To understand why this vote is such a farce, I highly recommend reading Fortune magazine's epic takedown of "Fast and Furious".
Today, with Attorney General Holder now squarely in the cross hairs of Congress, Democrats and Republicans are accusing each other of political machinations. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and ranking member of the oversight committee, has accused Issa of targeting Holder as part of an "election-year witch hunt." Issa has alleged on Fox News that Fast and Furious is part of a liberal conspiracy to restrict gun rights: "Very clearly, [the ATF] made a crisis and they are using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people's Second Amendment rights." (Issa has a personal history on this issue: In 1972, at age 19, he was arrested for having a concealed, loaded .25-caliber automatic in his car; he ultimately pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered gun.)
Issa's claim that the ATF is using the Fast and Furious scandal to limit gun rights seems, to put it charitably, far-fetched. Meanwhile, Issa and other lawmakers say they want ATF to stanch the deadly tide of guns, widely implicated in the killing of 47,000 Mexicans in the drug-war violence of the past five years. But the public bludgeoning of the ATF has had the opposite effect. From 2010, when Congress began investigating, to 2011, gun seizures by (the ATF) in Phoenix dropped by more than 90%.