The Corner

A Divisive Attorney General

Attorney General Eric Holder must be suffering from a sort of amnesia. He is upset at supposed divisiveness and rudeness directed at him when testifying before Congress, and suggests not too subtly that he and President Obama have been accorded inordinately harsh treatment (fill in the blanks why). Aside from the fact that he seemed to have relished the combat with Representative Gohmert in quite unprofessional tones (“you don’t want to go there, buddy, alright?”/ “good luck with your asparagus”), he seems to forget what former attorney general Alberto Gonzales once endured both in the liberal media and before Democrats in Congress, not to mention the films, comic routines, novels, and op-eds that focused on the idea of assassinating President George W. Bush, a shameful chapter in our history, which I think Eric Holder was largely mum about at the time.

But, more to the point, is this not the same Attorney General Holder who once called the nation collectively “cowards” and referred to African Americans as “my people” — not to mention a president who has called for some “to punish our enemies”? All that sounds pretty divisive and ugly.

And wasn’t Holder making his allegations of unprofessionalism while speaking before the demagogic Mr. Sharpton’s group? This is the same Al Sharpton who is on record inflaming the Crown Heights riots, provoking violence at the fatal Freddie Fashion Mart riot, helping to invent the Tawana Brawley caper, defaming and attempting to destroy the career of Duchess County prosecutor Steven Pagones, and with a long history of racist outbursts and threats (“white interloper,” “white folks was in caves . . .”, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house”), homophobic outbursts (“We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it”), and religious bigotry (“As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don’t worry about that; that’s a temporary situation”).

That Holder made these allegations at Sharpton’s invitation and at a time when Sharpton is back in the news as a former FBI informant offering information about Mafia criminals, and whose relationship with both the Mafia and the FBI is still unclear, is, well, again divisive and, to quote Holder yet again, ugly.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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