For the last year, Rep. Darrell Issa has masterfully sustained the media hype surrounding his cause celebre Operation Fast and Furious, but at the final crucial moment, the vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, he's setting himself up for a media blackout. As House Republicans line up to place Holder in contempt on Thursday, an outcome that is expected, the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its ruling on Obamacare, a decision that will morph into a kind of media black hole sucking in every piece of news matter in its path. What was Issa thinking?
Today, the California Republican continues to build up hype with increasingly aggressive language directed at President Obama, Politico's Jake Sherman and Jonathan Allen report:
In a letter to Obama to be released Tuesday morning, the California Republican and chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee charged: “Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it…or, you are asserting a presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation.
The two Washington buzz experts say the letter "is sure to grab headlines and build drama before the House votes this week." That's a prediction that has already come true. And, no doubt, Issa has been adept at maintaining media attention into a gun-walking scandal that is notoriously complex and not easily explained in a soundbite (you can see cable news pundits trip over the issue here). His secret is to raise increasingly aggressive allegations, even when there's a noticeable absence of evidence. For instance on Sunday, by Issa's own admissions, he said he has no evidence of a White House coverup on ABC's This Week.
Now, he's alleging that the president either did a coverup or is gleefully obstructing justice. That's sort of like saying the Obama administration is the "most corrupt" government in history without having all the facts. Oh wait. he did that too. In any event, regardless of how the House votes on Thursday, the Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly big foot it. Even the masterful media tactics of Issa can't overcome that.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.