Fast and, er, furious, Mr President?
Published in: Daily Mail
In 2009, the Obama administration began instructing gun storeowners to break the law by selling firearms to suspected criminals. Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were then ordered -- according to testimony by ATF agents turned whistleblowers -- not to intercept the smugglers but rather to let the guns cross the U.S.-Mexican border and into the hands of Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. One tragic if eminently foreseeable outcome was that some of these firearms sent to arm Mexican drug runners were used in a gun battle with the US Border Patrol, during which a Border Patrol agent was killed. You can read about this scandal in Forbes magazine. The scandal is known by the code-name ‘Fast and Furious’.
Imagine, then, the astonishment when, as can be seen on this video, UK Prime Minister David Cameron was asked what he made of the basketball game he had just watched with President Obama, he replied that he thought the game was
‘fast and furious’.
This has thrown elements of the blogosphere into a tailspin, as can be seen here on Breitbart. What, folk in the US are asking each other excitedly, could have been behind Mr Cameron’s amazing reference?
Well, here are a few possibilities (including some canvassed elsewhere):
- Act of God (he’s not an Obama fan; probably a Republican)
- Thought transference (yup, they’re that close)
- On his mind because Obama has been confiding in him about F&F and, well, it kinda just slipped out
- Sly way of slipping knife into Obama’s back
- None of the above
Well, sorry guys, but the last gets my vote. ‘Fast and furious’ is an idiomatic phrase commonly used in England. David Cameron almost certainly used this phrase when watching the basketball game because, as an Englishman, that’s how the game appeared to him to be – fast and furious.
Obama was hardly likely to have been confiding in him about this scandal which so graphically reveals – uh, how to put this, Prime Minister? – that Obama really has ‘reset the moral authority’ of the US government: to zero. Nor is it remotely likely that Cameron would use such an occasion for a sly but very public dig.
No, what’s overwhelmingly likely is that Cameron unwittingly chose a phrase which not only perfectly summed up the game to which he had just been introduced, but just happened to be the shorthand term for a scandal which shows up Obama’s zero moral authority. So the President’s British guest for whom he laid on a 19-gun salute and a state banquet, and who in return delivered three days of slavering obsequiousness, just happened to have inadvertently drawn the attention of the American public to the one thing Obama would seek to bury for ever.
Whoops. How's that special relationship thingy playing for ya, Mr President?