“No, I respect the motives and intentions of my critics. Those who have opposed me genuinely disagree with my philosophy and approach to the job, and I would never denigrate them by attributing their opposition to race, bias, or anything but the same passion and belief in their goals for the nation that I have in mine.”
—What Attorney General Eric Holder could have and should have answered in his “exit interview” with Politico’s Mike Allen, in answer to the question, “Now, there clearly have been times …when you have felt disrespected on Capitol Hill. How much of that do you think relates to race?”
Holder didn’t answer this way, however.
Holder is black, and consistent with the message that has been trumpeted from the White House, Democrats, the Congressional Black Caucus, and Presidential advisor and Holder consort Al Sharpton for more than six years, any and all problems, criticism, misfortune or failure affecting African Americans can plausibly, reasonably, credibly, and advantageously be attributed to racial bias or outright racism.
Thus Holder’s actual answer to Allen was…
“Yeah, there have been times when I thought that’s at least a piece of it.”
Holder has been an incompetent,unprofessional, nakedly political and unethical Attorney General, and very possibly a criminal one. He has placed loyalty to the President above his duty to the law and the nation. He lied under oath to Congress; he admitted repeatedly that he did not know what was going on in his own department, under his authority. He refused to ensure the integrity of the government and the public’s faith in it by seeking impartial and thorough investigations of multiple scandals, including the still festering I.R.S. debacle and misconduct in the Justice Department. He refused to execute and defend duly passed and signed laws of the land, in direct violation of his oath of office. He undermined the First Amendment by harassing and intimidating reporters and the news media. Worst of all, perhaps, the nation’s lawyer whose job is to represent all Americans regardless of their race or political affiliation openly declared his loyalty to citizens of his own race, and displayed open bias against the rest.
In the same interview with Allen, Holder continued to display this detestable orientation, which so warps his judgment that he apparently has been frustrated by having to abide by basic, core, standards of due process, prosecution ethics and justice. He told Politico that between now and his departure, he plans on calling for a lower standard of proof for civil rights crimes. Coming in the wake of his unprofessional statements upon the agency’s declining to charge George Zimmerman with such a crime, and the expected announcement that Darren Wilson will not face such charges in the death of Mike Brown, the only reasonable interpretation of this is that Holder wants a standard that presumes racial animus any time a white individual, including a police officer, inflicts harm on an African American, since that is how low the standard of proof would have to be to prosecute Zimmerman or Wilson.
Holder is a small, bigoted, sadly limited man in a job requiring far more talent, judgment, courage and integrity than he can muster or even conceive of. It is remarkable that he is so devoid of self-awareness that he attributes criticism of his abysmal tenure to race, when the truth is that racial preference is the only reason he was able to become Attorney General, or to avoid being fired, a fate which he earned too many times to count. It was Holder who as Assistant Attorney General approved Bill Clinton’s corrupt pardon of irredeemable fugitive Marc Rich (in exchange for a big check to the Clinton Library), a display of craven incompetence that would have cratered the career of any white Justice Department lawyer. But the first black President had to have an African American AG, so Holder got the call, and once getting it, knew he would never he held to account.
So it is not surprising that he does not have the grace to accept accountability for his own mistakes and choices, and chooses instead to tell young African Americans, like his interviewer, that they should always realize that their critics, adversaries, and opponents are “at least in part” motivated by bigotry, just as Darrell Issa, Republicans, conservatives, legal analysts, pundits, free press advocates, and people like me are probably racists as well, because there are no legitimate reasons to find fault with his performance.
Eric Holder has been a divisive, destructive and corrupting presence in the Justice Department, and his greatest contribution to the country will be walking out the door for the last time.