The Obama administration has been trying to spin all manner of news like a centrifuge recently, so the latest shenanigan of the president's spinner-in-chief at the Department of Justice, Tracy Schmaler, could easily have been lost in the shuffle. But it didn't escape the attention of everyone in the media.
This is one of those stories that has a background, and it is one that is well known. Last year, we learned that the Obama administration lied when it told Congress that it didn't know that its "Operation Fast and Furious" had deliberately allowed hundreds of guns to be smuggled from the United States to Mexico, without the knowledge of Mexican officials.
Then, we learned that Obama administration officials supported the smuggling, expecting that the resulting drug cartel crimes could be exploited to impose gun control in the United States.
Next, the Obama administration began illegally requiring firearm dealers in states that border Mexico to record and report the sale of more than one center-fire, detachable magazine, semi-automatic rifle to an individual in a five-day period. The Gun Control Act expressly limits the "multiple sale" reporting requirement to handguns, of course, and normally that would count for something with the nation's chief law enforcement agency. But in this instance, those in charge of enforcing the law are the ones breaking it.
Fast and furiously forward to the present. Fox News reported on Monday that Schmaler has been "regularly collaborating with the liberal advocacy group Media Matters on stories that slam the administration's critics," including Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been investigating the DOJ's now-exposed gunrunning scheme.
It seems that Media Matters posted an article on its website attacking Rep. Issa within hours of receiving an email from Schmaler complaining about statements that the congressman made during his committee's hearings on "Fast and Furious." This followed a conniption fit Schmaler threw over CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson for her coverage of "Fast and Furious" last year, and similar bad behavior by Schmaler that attracted negative attention on other occasions.
We all expect White House staffers to say whatever they think will help the president get reelected. One would have to be very naïve not to take everything that Obama's Press Secretary, Jay Carney, says with a chunk of rock salt the size of a baseball, for example. But it crosses the line when the Department of Justice becomes a component of a campaign spin machine that uses its power and taxpayer funds to help reelect Obama.
We would say "shame," but apparently this administration doesn't know the meaning of the word. It knows what "vote" means, however. And so do we.