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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

USAG Eric Holder Reminds ‘Nation of Cowards’ of Their Flaws



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In the first Morning Jolt of this final week before Christmas . . .

Eric Holder Peers Into His Critics’ Hearts, Minds, Sees Racism

I finally had a chance to catch up with my friend Cam Edwards, to get his response to Thursday night’s debate, where the Fast and Furious scandal finally was addressed.  His response, paraphrased: So . . . seventy-some minutes into the sixteenth debate, a question on Fast and Furious comes up . . . to Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. Better than nothing, but not much.

Indeed, since any Republican president would replace Eric Holder, perhaps the more interesting question is, “Do any of you, as the Republican nominee, plan on campaigning on Fast and Furious as ‘Exhibit A’ of the Obama administration’s incompetence, malfeasance, disregard of the law and Congressional investigations and overall disregard for the public?” The alternative media, talk radio, Rep. Darrell Issa, Sen. Chuck Grassley — they’ve all done everything they can to get answers and force accountability. The last step is for a Republican presidential candidate — preferably a frontrunner — to address the issue at length and with passion with the world’s cameras upon him.

On Sunday, the New York Times completed a generous profile of Holder that included this rather blatant unveiling of a favorite defense of some in his party:

But Mr. Holder contended that many of his other critics — not only elected Republicans but also a broader universe of conservative commentators and bloggers — were instead playing “Washington gotcha” games, portraying them as frequently “conflating things, conveniently leaving some stuff out, construing things to make it seem not quite what it was” to paint him and other department figures in the worst possible light.

Of that group of critics, Mr. Holder said he believed that a few — the “more extreme segment” — were motivated by animus against Mr. Obama and that he served as a stand-in for him. “This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” he said, “both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”

“And Clinton/Reno and Bush/Ashcroft had it so easy,” recalls our old friend Byron York.

“You know he’s getting desperate,” says Zip at Weasel Zippers.

“If Holder was a lightning rod for partisan criticism before, you can imagine what the reaction might be to racial politics being injected into the discussion,” writes Josh Feldman at Mediaite.

I’m not holding my breath for the mainstream media to treat this scandal with the attention and gravity it deserves. But every time a mainstream publication notices that there’s actual news here, the world seems a tiny bit more sensible. Throw Mike Hashimoto of the Dallas Morning News onto the small group of MSM voices who grasp the scale of the wrongdoing here:

What we still don’t know — what Attorney General Eric Holder with great determination will not say — is who in Washington signed off on this awful idea of letting straw purchasers cart off armloads of high-powered weapons, headed to Mexico. The stated plan was to track them to the cartels, which worked out about as well as one might expect. Hundreds of guns disappeared and now are turning up at crime scenes on both sides of the border.

Holder last week had another bob-and-weave session with a congressional committee, managing to reveal as little as possible. However, he did let us know that while Justice did dump hundreds of emails in response to a subpoena, none were addressed to him or had been sent by him. And that he has a personal email account, along with his government account. And that lying isn’t the same as not telling the truth, depending on one’s “state of mind.”

You’ve seen people who did it and didn’t in your life. Is this how an innocent person behaves? Is it plausible that the attorney general of the United States had no idea what was going on in Arizona within his own shifting time parameters?

If Eric Holder had been some amazing lawman, I could perhaps understand the administration, virtually every Democrat in Congress, and the vast majority of the media averting their eyes from an egregious scandal on his watch. But he’s Eric Holder. Just what has he done at DOJ that makes him so irreplaceable?

Maybe I’m being too harsh on the attorney general; perhaps he’s just helping us stop being “a nation of cowards.”


Tags: Barack Obama , Eric Holder


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