Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Celebrating as Holder lets go
Special to the Daily
Eric Holder, perhaps the worst occupant of the attorney general’s office since Alexander Palmer — or even Roger B. Taney — has decided to pack it in. This suggests several things.
First, it’s an indication the White House is finally beginning to realize that Republicans may recapture the Senate in five weeks. This would bring untold problems to the president’s desire to have another like-minded crony in the job; a quick resignation means a lame-duck session could instead approve Mr. Holder’s successor after the worst has happened. Note that this has not happened since the Civil War.
Second, the heat the AG is facing for his malfeasance in service of both the president and his own radical agenda is becoming uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, both to him and to the boss. Not only was Eric Holder the first sitting U.S. attorney general to be held in criminal contempt by the House of Representatives, he was facing impeachment. The as-yet-unsubmitted HR 411 demands his removal from office for high crimes and misdemeanors including perjury in the Fast and Furious scandal; his refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act or to prosecute IRS officials who leaked GOP donor information from tax forms; and for misleading testimony concerning electronic surveillance on members of the U.S. press. Additional items may be added following a very mistaken phone call by AG Communications Advisor Brian Fallon to the office of Representative Daryl Issa, which proposed collusion between the DOJ and the IRS to thwart investigation of wrongdoing by the latter. At least three of these are felony crimes and evidence is pretty damning, so it’s clear that the AG’s strategy involves getting out of town and lying low.
Disdain for the law aside, Eric Holder has been a powerful advocate for a race-based society. One of his earlier comments on the topic was that the United States was “essentially a nation of cowards” for not talking enough about race — a reticence he evidently does not share since he reaffirmed the accusation earlier this year.
So let’s not be cowardly. Contemporaneous with the accusation was the attorney general’s refusal to prosecute members of the “New Black Panther Party” who appeared outside polling stations in Chicago with clubs in hand, addressing any white citizens who appeared as “cracker” and remarking that they were there to ensure that no one derailed the election of Barack Obama. Think Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1964, shot on negative film. And yes: there is footage of this clear violation of election law. As one of his first acts, Eric Holder refused to prosecute, or even investigate. Perhaps he agrees with Harvard professor Derrick Bell’s theory that black people cannot be racists; the Black Panthers were therefore engaged not in intimidation but in voter education.
When pushed in a 2011 Congressional hearing about this failure to prosecute, Mr. Holder put on high dudgeon and complained that the question “… does a great disservice to the people who put their lives on the line for my people.” Really? Even John Mitchell and Ed Meese recognized that “their people” were the people of the United States, not a small subset thereof.
Mr. Holder exuberantly embraced the role of racial-identity activist, saying earlier this year that “Any attorney general who is not an activist is not doing his or her job.” Couple that with his comment from earlier in his tenure that the Department of Justice, “can and must do that which is right,” and one has an important clue as to his motivations.
Earlier this year, federal investigators flooded into Ferguson, Missouri, to investigate the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer. This is curious, because murder is a state, not a federal, crime and the investigation is usually local — even in Chicago, the country’s center for murder of black men by firearms. But it reprises DOJ activities in the earlier George Zimmermann/Treyvon Martin shooting. Why?
Both cases involve a white shooter and a black victim; both featured crowds whipped into frenzy by the usual suspects, mouthing the usual slogans. Call it the Mike Nifong school of justice: if the accused is white and putative victim black, guilt is established, prima facie. Tawana Brawley, anyone?
Yes, Eric Holder is on the way out. He will doubtless settle in academia, where his views reflect those of the majority; he will continue his poisoning on a smaller and less public stage where he will be embraced for his wrecking. His predecessor John Ashcroft was the butt of intellectuals’ jokes for painting bras on the Department of Justice’s faux-Greek female statues; in contrast, Eric Holder blacked out whole sections of the Constitution, and anticipates nothing but applause. Good riddance.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column.
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