I was going to let this pass—I pass up a Holder or Obama ethics topic approximately twice a day, just for, you know, diversity—but it is such a blatant Jumbo, and such an insulting one, that it has to be noted. When it occurred last week, I called up my two Hill contacts who have worked with Holder, and asked how they could square this with their “Trust me, he’s a good guy and a decent lawyer who is just over his head” assessments. Now that assessment is “He’s a good guy who is just over his head, the nasty politics is getting to him, and he’s not thinking straight any more.”
Speaking to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, on April 10, Attorney General Holder went off script to say this, in the context of his remarks about civil rights progress during the Obama administration:
“The last five years have been defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms even in the face, even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity. If you don’t believe that, you look at the way — forget about me, forget about me. You look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee — has nothing to do with me, forget that. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
The comments were widely and correctly interpreted as an accusation of racial bias, which is exactly what they were:
1. The comments were about civil rights.
2. He was referring to “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity” to civil rights.
3. He made the remarks personal, focusing on what he regarded as disrespectful “treatment” of Holder, a black Attorney General, and President Obama, a black President, rather than institutional or policy-related opposition.
4. Allegedly disrespectful treatment and opposition to President Obama’s policies being motivated by racial animus rather than principled disagreement has been a six year theme echoed by other Democratic officials, as well as high-profile supporters.
5. Holder was speaking to an all-black audience.
6. The audience was made up of followers of Rev. Al Sharpton, a career race-hustler who has made the same accusation of racism routinely on his MSNBC cable show.
7. It strains credulity to think that anyone in the audience thought Holder wasn’t referring to race, given the local, the topic, the group and the speaker, or that Holder was not aware that this is how his comments would be received and understood.
Yet when asked about the remarks by the Huffington Post, Holder denied that he was referring to race.
“I didn’t say there was a racial component. I was very careful not to say that,” Holder said. This is the same man who has accused the U.S. as being made up of “cowards” on the topic of race, and has accused others of using “code” for racial denigration. When a politician says that he was being careful not to say directly what he obviously meant to say, that is really an admission of deceit—the official language of Washington, D.C.
I am pretty sure at this point that Democrats and Obama Administration officials have convinced themselves that opposition to their policies and objections to the deceptions, lack of transparency, dissembling, fecklessness, rejection of accountability and incompetence are all a manifestation of racial bias. That is so much easier than accepting responsibility, and confronting their own mistakes, misjudgments and deficits in skill and management. And we know, or should, that this has been the first line of defense for this administration from the beginning, despite the terrible harm the tactic does to the country and race relations. It works, after all; at least it works to keep the 97% support of the African-American voters.
I am more troubled, I think, that we cannot trust the nation’s top lawyer, who is supposed to represent justice and fairness to all Americans, to admit the truth when denying it is so obviously unbelievable.
‘Race card? What race card?’