Well, knock me over with a feather. Attorney General Eric Holder will only serve about seven-eighths of his two-term stint as the nation's chief selective law enforcement officer. With any luck, he'll take another spin through the revolving doors a year or two before Obama does. Assuming, that is, that the Senate will deign to confirm any replacement who is not Alberto Gonzales or Michael Mukasey. If the GOP takes the Senate, I am sure things will go a lot more smoothly. They will no longer have to pretend that there is any major difference between the two corporate parties.
I guess we can be marginally grateful that Holder is not pulling a Ruth Bader Ginsburg and arrogantly claiming that nobody but nobody could ever replace him in the current political gridlock, which of course magically goes away whenever there's a war to be fought, or CEOs to be enriched, or plutocratic nominees like Obama donors Penny Pritzker and Caroline Kennedy to be bipartisanly fawned over. So, maybe if Obama nominates a Forbes 400 scion, he or she will have a fighting chance to fight for truth, justice and the American way of wealth.
The premature accolades for the first African-American attorney general are flowing fast and furious. The New York Times has not only placed Holder's eventual departure prominently on its home page, but shockingly called him "the most prominent liberal voice of the administration."
It just goes to show how far the definition of "liberalism" has fallen. Some examples of Holder's liberalism:
-- Declared that assassinations of American citizens are perfectly O.K. as long as they constitute an imminent threat to American interests. Of course, "imminent" as defined by Holder is not the same thing as how you or I might define it. Holder's DOJ has decreed that "imminent threat" can be something as benign as a group of malcontents bitching to each other in emails, or an Imam calling USA the Great Satan.
-- Blamed his failure to prosecute even one bankster on the canard that not only are mega-banks too big to fail, their individual human overseers are too important to jail. Although Holder later tried to backtrack from his remarks, he's never backed them up by actually indicting anybody.
-- Has overseen more prosecutions of whistleblowers than in any previous administration. Despite giving lip service to press freedoms, Holder has still refused to withdraw the subpoena demanding that New York Times reporter James Risen testify against one source who embarrassed the Bush administration.
--Immediately upon being sworn in as chief selective law enforcement officer in 2009, Holder announced there would be no prosecutions of CIA torture. And on the off-chance that Congress should decide to hold the torturers to account, Holder promised at that time that the government would provide them with free legal
representation and use taxpayer money to pay any judgments."It would be unfair to prosecute dedicated men and
women working to protect America for conduct that was sanctioned in
advance by the Justice Department," Holder said.
-- Absolved the CIA from criminal accountability even when Kill List architect John Brennan admitted hacking into Senate computers.
I know that this list of Holder faits accomplis is far from exhaustive. For one thing, it does not include his accomplishments as assistant AG under Clinton, the most famous of which was the pardon of Marc Rich. But you get the picture.
Naturally, the Opologists are concentrating heavily on Holder's victimization/contempt charge at the hands of the GOP over the Fast and Furious debacle. It's this political martyrdom -- rather than his actual misdeeds -- which help drive the mythologizing campaign to paint him as a liberal hero for black people. His defenders don't want to admit that Holder raided medical marijuana dispensaries before piecemeal state legalization made this war on drugs seem as thuggish as it was. He also initially tried to keep largely minority prisoners in jail under unfair sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine possession, before worries about his own legacy got to him and he minimally modified his stance, pre-revolving door.
This man's departure can't come fast enough for me. In a just world, he would not be missed. And when he rejoins his white shoe law firm, or becomes a well-remunerated, chin-stroking pundit at some faux-liberal, corporate-funded think tank, the initial liberal disappointment that he won't be offering pro bono representation of indigent defendants will no doubt be fleeting, shallow, tepid, and insincere.