Two weeks ago, the various pundits on multiple current events talk shows agreed that the hopeless, untrustworthy, bunging and double-talking Attorney General, Eric Holder, would remain in office despite evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he is a liability in the job, as long as “he retains the President’s confidence.” Sure enough, after another week in which Holder’s Justice Department came under even more bipartisan fire, White House political hatchet-woman Valerie Jarrett told the press that Holder “will be in his position for quite a while” and “continues to have the president’s full confidence and respect.”
Not to be unkind, but this tells us that…
- President Obama is paying no attention at all, or…
- He has no idea what a competent Attorney General does, or…
- He doesn’t care, as long as Holder is politically loyal, or
- Following in the footsteps of J. Edgar Hoover, Holder has secret photos of the President having illicit relations with an under-aged, male skunk, or
- Valerie Jarrett is lying, and Holder is preparing his resignation.
Sadly, the last is only slightly less likely to be true than the the one before it, although Jarrett has been caught in lies before.
The only thing President Obama could rationally have confidence in regarding Holder is that he will continue to be inept, continue to engender public distrust for the nation’s law enforcement, continue to be blatantly political in a job that demands perceived fairness and objectivity, continue to look like an unprepared boob whenever he appears before Congress, and continue to be a political liability.
Today, in the Washington Post, unquestionably liberal columnist and Washington insider David Ignatius devoted his column to cataloging Holder’s deficits, though he was far from complete. You can tell Ignatius is a partisan, because the headline in the paper is, “A mediocre attorney general,” but his column describes a lousy, incompetent attorney general whom only an incompetent, lazy or foolish president would tolerate. (The headline online, “Attorney General Eric Holder is not up to the task,” is a little more to the point.) Ignatius is quite right about the consensus in Washington: Holder has literally no defenders, even among former colleagues and subordinates who like him personally. It is impossible to argue that he has done a good job: Ignatius’s list of particulars is incomplete and muted, but it is still shocking.
So why does such a failure have President Obama’s “full confidence and respect” ? What’s the most likely meaning of that stunning statement?
You might not like the answer.
The most likely answer, I’m afraid, is that the President is just as “mediocre” as Holder is.
Facts: Weekly Standard, Washington Post
17 thoughts on “Eric Holder Has President Obama’s “Confidence”—What Does That MEAN?”
Oh come now, Jack, the answer is #3 and I think you know it. It’s all about personal loyalty in this administration.
Well, what do we call leaders who reward personal loyalty over the welfare of the nation? I call it “corrupt.”
Didn’t he want his administration modeled on Lincoln’s “Team of Rivals”?
I think ‘Gang of Thugs’
More describes it.
But I suppose I’m just repeating you…
I call it messianic politics gone bad, but corrupt is a perfect synonym. I can still walk past the desks of black co-workers adorned with slick graphics comparing Obama to MLK, who I can’t discuss politics with (not that politics at work is a smart idea) because they immediately say I just can’t handle the idea of a black man in the White House.
I feel like I should just tell tgt and Beth to go fuck themselves preemptively for their inevitable defense of the indefensible.
You missed the possibility that Holder has Obama’s confidence because he’s following his instructions to the letter.
“Make me look weak and foolish”?
“Destroy trust in the government”?
“Do a bad job lying”?
How about “hold the line while I turn the charm offensive against the other side and make them all look like Tea Party whackos?” or “Don’t worry, your melanin will protect you?”
His melanin will protect him? What does sunburn have to do with anythi….ohhhhhh I see what you did there…
You know damn well that sunburn has NOTHING to do with it, but deflecting criticism because of the color of the target has EVERYTHING to do with it, and I say that openly.
Steve’s point is, I would say, unassailable. Holder, like his boss, has an extra layer of protection due to his race in a race-conscious administration still in office because of stubborn racial pride prevailing over self-interest and common sense.
On the other hand, Alberto Gonzales was at least as inept as Holder, and his pal the previous Prez—you know, the one responsible for every Obama policy that goes wrong?— wouldn’t fire him either—and race had nothing to do with it.
The second point is true, in some ways Gonzalez was MORE inept, and I think the failure to fire had something to do with a different kind of pride: refusal to admit he was wrong when he knew he was losing ground in a second term that went bad just as quickly as this one is. Let us not forget that GWB had no qualms about calling for the resignation of Paul O’Neill, and he did accept Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation, although he should have accepted it the first time it was offered.
deflecting criticism because of the color of the target has EVERYTHING to do with it, and I say that openly.
You can say it with confidence, too, because it IS true.
Columnists, like reporters, very rarely are allowed to write their own headlines.
Not that I’m agreeing or disagreeing with you about Ignatius (never paid much attention to him). I’m just saying that you can’t really judge a columnist, or a reporter, by the headline, unless you have specific knowledge that they wrote that headline.
Absolutely true, and the Post is especially bad at misrepresenting columns in headlines. But in this case, the headline echoed the writer exactly. It’s a weird article–he describes a terrible AG, and then uses the adjective mediocre. Mediocre is fair, average, nothing special, barely adequate. Not “lousy.”