Finally, an end to Holder’s overly political tenure as AG

Holder NYT headline

The nearby photo, a screen shot of the New York Times’ online headline about the reported resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder, is a pretty apt summary of how Holder is likely to be remembered. He has been a “top liberal,” all right — an ideologically charged person who politicized the Justice Department to a greater degree than at any time since the Nixon era.

It was Holder’s DOJ that subpoenaed journalists’ records at an alarming rate — most egregiously, but hardly exclusively, in the case of phone records from the Associated Press’ Washington bureau. These subpoenas have helped fuel an unprecedented effort by an administration to prosecute leakers under the Espionage Act. Because, transparency.

It was Holder’s DOJ that botched a supposed sting operation against Mexican drug cartels, losing track of hundreds of firearms that were used in the killings of numerous Mexican nationals and at least one U.S. ATF agent. The scandal, commonly known by its operation name “Fast and Furious,” has moved largely out of public sight but is still playing out: A federal judge last month ordered the DOJ to hand over certain documents sought by House investigators who have charged Holder with contempt for his lack of cooperation. (The transparency thing again.)

Interfering with the investigation of the IRS scandal; seeking to prosecute prisoners of war in civilian courts before the war ended; declining to defend duly enacted laws of the United States; challenging voter-ID laws like those already upheld by the Supreme Court; seeking to shut down a school-choice program that disproportionately benefits minority children on the absurd grounds of a desegregation order — if there was a way for an attorney general to inject ideology and partisanship into what ought not to be a polarizing office, Eric Holder was apparently ready to try it.

Yet his tenure as attorney general fit rather well, I suppose, with the administration of a president who rose to national prominence by decrying “those who are preparing to divide us” — but who in his first week on the job was taunting his opposite numbers and less than halfway through his first term was encouraging his political allies to “punish our enemies and … reward our friends.”

One hesitates to to cheer Holder’s departure too loudly without knowing whom Obama might come up with to replace him, but it’s a virtual certainty many of us won’t miss him.

Reader Comments 0

70 comments
zekeI
zekeI

I have absolutely no problem with requesting, requiring, demanding so called journalist records, activities, and, requiring the names of their "anonymous" sources! None of which is covered by the FIRST AMENDMENT! That being said, Holder is a liberal agenda bigot and racist tool! He should have been removed after the black panther intimidation of voters in Pennsylvania! You can bet that if a SCOUS vacancy occurs in the next two years, OBOZO, the socialist, who hates the Constitution, will nominate him! THIS IS WHY WE MUST ELECT AT LEAST 54 REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE IN NOVEMBER! WHY 54? Because at least 2 who claim to be Republican and Conservative in the Senate are not!!!

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

The man sent assault weapons to Mexican terrorists so that the liberals could blame America for sending assault weapons to Mexican terrorists. This in itself is a major disqualification from the office of attorney general. Add on to that, one of the assault weapons holder sent to the Mexican terrorists was used to kill a US law enforcement officer. 


Yeah, he's a hero.

skruorangeclown
skruorangeclown

Best attorney general since Bobby Kennedy. He deserves to be on SCOTUS and make a mockery of Clarence. "Positive Rating"  is irrelevant for this position. Reducing crime and terrorism is relevant.

LDH2O
LDH2O

Then again it was John Ashcroft who said it was OK to torture and deny prisoner status to those caught on the battlefield - both very dangerous precedents allowing our troops to be treated the same way. He had zero respect for the safety of our troops. Did any of  you conservatives condemn that?

Don't Tread
Don't Tread

@LDH2O The enemy was already treating our troops that way long before Ashcroft came along.

notagain
notagain

Good man Holder,will be hard to replace...

skruorangeclown
skruorangeclown

Bottom line-  Crime is significantly down under Holder,  race riots averted ,  terrorists are being successfully prosecuted and the Cons can't stand it.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

As if Alberto "I Can't Remember" Gonzales set the standard. 

RantNRave
RantNRave

  • Bush administration U.S. attorney firings controversy
  • In late 2006, the Bush Justice Department fired (or asked for the resignation of) eight U.S. attorneys all previously appointed by President George W. Bush. Earlier in 2006, a provision included in the reauthorization of the Patriot Act allowed these positions to be filled by the administration without U.S. Senate approval.
  • In early 2007, hearings were held on the matter in both the House and Senate Judiciary committees on the firings. Several of the fired attorneys testified that they had been contacted by members of Congress or executive officials about pending cases shortly before their termination. Such contact by members of Congress is a violation of both House and Senate rules.

sourcewatch..........

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Well, about time he joined John Mitchell in the AG Hall of Shame.  Although they both ignored the law, when it benefited them and their administration, Mitchell refused to admit his misdeeds and was ashamed.  Holder unabashedly bragged, about his right to use his "prosecutorial discretion", even when it was obviously politically motivated.


Good riddance and long overdue.  He should have fallen on his sword after the Fast/Furious debacle.

Mandingo
Mandingo

Kyle, Holder is 63 years old and reached retirement age. He wanted to leave at age 62.  If  Congressman and Senators would do the same thing our nation would be better off. Mitch McConnell is 72 years old and has been drawing a federal paycheck for damn near 40 years.

Captain–Obvious
Captain–Obvious

Whatever shenanigans the GOP engage in in the course of confirming Holder's successor will be visited upon them if they ever win the White House again. A shame and a disgrace that they will (no doubt) conduct themselves like small minded, short sighted petty partisans.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@FIGMO2 

I always look for commentators and Op Ed writers who once were speech writers in one party to give fair objective commentary on the other party.

Always seems to work........ Well not really except for those who wish to be spoon fed pabulum that agrees with their preconceived notions as well as sit in the choir and be preached to.  

Marc Theissen?

Good laugh to end the day. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Nobody_Knows

If you can prove what Mr. Theissen said about Eric Holder's failures, have at it.

You can try to kill the messenger, but his observations are incontrovertible. Holder was another mistake Obama brought upon himself.

A majority of Americans don't trust Holder to do the right thing. Public opinion polls have indicated as much.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

When considering Holder, Obama's political advisers warned that he was lacking in managerial skills. His only passion and priority was civil rights as they pertain to race. All other issues were left unattended.

He should've never been confirmed. As a nation, we're all the worse because he was.


Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@FIGMO2 His only passion and priority was civil rights as they pertain to race.


And he did a fabulous job of attending to something long neglected.


Mr Holder would be a great addition to the Supreme Court. 


Either way he will be missed. 

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@FIGMO2 

"All other issues where left unattended"


Not even remotely meant to be a factual statement nor backed with any substantiation.


Great talk radio sound bite but not much else. 

THATBlackGuy
THATBlackGuy

As a Black man, please tell me how Mr. Holder has helped me and the majority of other Black Americans.

He was a good AG, but I don't see where he deserves such high praise.  Especially considering his lukewarm actions regarding the financial crisis.  People should have gone to prison.  But he allowed the people to skate while allowing the companies to pay out what would equal about 2 days worth of profits.  And of that only a VERY small percentage going to affected consumers.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

Prisoners of War: Were they caught by the military on the field of battle or by the CIA via intelligence and law enforcement activities?  He was seeking a solution to the indefinite detention rules put into affect by the Bush administration. 

Voter ID Laws: which admittedly were political tools, not actually intended to help voter integrity. 

Fast & Furious: a continuation/increase to a Bush era policy. 

Prosecution of Leakers: A continuation of the ill-advised "war of terror" started by Bush et al. 


I'm glad you at least backed up criticisms, even though they sound overly partisan if you didn't have the same reservations as when similar items happened under Bush/previous AG.  (Which I think you honestly would have issues with, but many hyper-partisans would overlook the exact same events if done by their own party/administration vs. the ridicule thrown against Holder/Obama. )


Would any Attorney General that served so long have any less criticisms? 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Holder will be remember as the First African American Attorney General


And for fighting for equal justice for all Americans.


He said the things on race the President couldnt and defending voting rights for all Americans.


HIs commitment to Voting Rights earned him a lot of enemies on the right. Those that would seek to suppress minority voting. 


He advanced sentencing reforms and was a champion of gay and lesbian rights. 


The violence in Ferguson virtually vanished after the went and spoke there


Mr Holder....This citizen thanks you for your service to your country.



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Bookman said it well today.


Blaming Holder for GOP paranoia " He is undermining that there Constitution !!!! "  is like blaming the lightning rod for lightning.



LDH2O
LDH2O

@Kyle_Wingfield @HeadleyLamar  It is not that they did not happen but that the Republicans also ignored the law* but conservatives did not complain. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. *E.G. the FBI said actions were torture but Ashcroft went ahead.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

Holder will be missed as much on the right as Gonzales and his use of personal email accounts to conduct official US government business was missed by the left.


Most of the bs on both sides was and is just that................bs. 


Many of those who can't stand Holder probably said very little about some of the dubious actions of Gonzales and viceversa. 


All law breaking and unethical behavior when it is the other party but good job and work when it is their own.

Don't Tread
Don't Tread

You're right...he won't be missed.


Note to Senators:  Do your homework before voting to confirm someone.  The fact that he did whatever he wanted (rather than staying within the limits of the law) was well documented long before he was nominated.  And after you confirmed him as AG, guess what?  He kept doing what he wanted, instead of what he was supposed to be doing.  (Surprise.)

Watsuie007
Watsuie007

Holder isn't any more poltical than any other AG;  he is just a black man and a  skilled lawyer who is very serious about the law and that is what really bothers all of the white guys in Congress.  How dare he!

MHSmith
MHSmith

@Watsuie007 

Holder is no more political the Judge Bork ! 



SmartAleck
SmartAleck

Don't celebrate too soon. There's talk of Obama nominating him to the Supreme Court to replace Ginsberg. If dems win the Senate, he gets confirmed!


He's leaving for a reason..and you can damned well bet it is not for the good of the country.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@SmartAleck there is always talk of that . . . and in this instance i imagine the gop would love for obama to do that. another crack at F&F, civil rights, etc., etc., etc.


me thinks it's just wishful thinking on the part of the gop. ain't gonna happen. he's leaving to go back to where his bread is buttered. he'll lobby for the banks and the bankers his office helped keep out of jail.

MHSmith
MHSmith

@SmartAleck 

Holder will never get Senate confirmation even if the Republican don't win. He is TOO toxic.

MHSmith
MHSmith

Not going to miss Holder.

MHSmith
MHSmith

@STHornet1990 @MHSmith 

I won't lose any sleep over it or your comment.

Jack®
Jack®

Wait, if Obama resigns....    Biden?

Jack®
Jack®

Good riddance. If only Obama would resign now. 

Watsuie007
Watsuie007

Not going to happen, so find something else to do.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

Re: "an ideologically charged person who politicized the Justice Department to a greater degree than at any time since the Nixon era."


Seriously, man, you too? This is just a ridiculous statement given W's friend Gonzales.

Starik
Starik

I don't like Holder..but remember John Ashcroft? 

Astropig
Astropig

When the Republicans win the senate, they should make him answer the questions about "Fast & Furious" that the Democrats never would.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@Astropig 

What are the exact questions Republicans have been unable to ask Holder?

Were they silenced at the hearings?

Do tell the facts and skip the hyperbole and lies.

Thanks