The Last Days of Eric Holder
‘Punish Your Enemies and Reward Your Friends’
Attorney General Eric Holder suffered the ultimate humiliation for a leader of the Obama administration – he invited his friends in the media to a policy meeting and hardly anyone showed up.
The meeting was called to discuss Justice Department guidelines pertaining to the investigation of security leaks following revelations that the department had secretly obtained phone records and other data from the Associated Press and Fox News reporter James Rosen.
What made it worse for Holder is the fact that the right people didn’t show up to his meeting. After he called the meeting, he changed the session to an off the record briefing. A host of administration favorites, most notably the New York Times, said no.
Holder is in a heap of trouble. His biggest headache is a possible perjury charge based on congressional testimony surrounding media surveillance and national security. He faces a deadline of next Wednesday to respond to inquiries from the House Judiciary Committee regarding conflicts in his testimony.
Holder has lost all credibility and trust. It may cost him his job. He could resign at any time, though certainly President Obama will be reluctant to cut loose one of his closest allies. In a way, it doesn’t matter. Holder is finished in the eyes of the Congress and the American people.
It is been a long time coming. Holder has been a divisive and politically driven figure from the day he took office. He has displayed arrogance and defiance at every turn.
Barely a month into the Obama administration in 2009, Holder gave a speech in which he said that in matters of race, the United States has been a “nation of cowards.” Over a half-century of racial progress was cast aside.
Then he dropped the case against the New Black Panther Party that had been accused of voter intimidation. The decision caused an
upheaval in the Justice Department and led to resignations and accusations of blatant racial bias.
Fast and Furious was Holder’s ultimate showdown with Congress.
It was a gun-running scheme designed to undermine the Second Amendment, and encourage passage of stricter gun control laws.
It backfired badly, putting about 2,000 weapons into the hands of drug kingpins and other criminals in Mexico It cost the lives of two U.S. border guards and countless others.
When Congress investigated the scandal, Holder stonewalled. He was held in contempt of Congress when he refused to provide information about the gunrunning scheme. Finally, the president invoked executive privilege to stop the flow of information.
Meanwhile, Holder waged a relentless war against states that sought to enforce immigration laws and prevent voter fraud. He demonized and sued Arizona for attempting to enforce immigration laws that the federal government ignored.
Now Holder has outdone himself by surveilling the media in national security cases. He has managed to offend the administrations closest allies – the mainstream media that has provided Obama’s most reliable cheering section since the 2008 campaign.
Holder, along with the IRS, the State Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services, simply follow the Obama rule: Reward your friends and punish your enemies. Everything is about winning an election. The rule of law means nothing.
Obama will probably retain Holder long as he can. But even this president may have to sack his Attorney General to help save what’s left of his second term.
During the course of his career, Walker has worked in Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, and Phoenix. He served as a reporter in Chicago, a press secretary and speechwriter in Washington, and in numerous positions in New York in corporate and financial services communications.
Walker is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.