When a presidency is experiencing a political collapse, as is happening now, the last thing it needs is to face serious legal and ethical problems. But that is precisely where the Obama administration finds itself with both the Solyndra story and the so-called Fast and Furious program. It’s clear that at a minimum, the Obama administration has given a misleading account of both matters. When these stories finally unfold, two cabinet secretaries (Chu and Holder) may be forced to resign. Attorney General Holder, in fact, may have provided misleading statements to Congress about his knowledge of Fast and Furious. (The operation allowed firearms to be illegally purchased with the goal of tracking them to Mexican drug cartels, but the effort went out of control after agents lost track of many of the weapons, resulting in the deaths of scores of Mexicans as well as an American border patrol agent.)
Right now, there’s no evidence the president was briefed on Operation Fast and Furious. But Obama’s direct involvement on behalf of Solyndra, in which the solar start-up company with political connections to the president received more than a half-a-billion dollars from the federal government before going bankrupt, is quite problematic.
So far, Obama’s personal ratings have remained significantly higher than his overall approval rating, in part because the country seems to like and respect the president. But that can change rather quickly — and nothing can change it more quickly than a series of expanding scandals.
Obama hasn’t hit bottom yet.