“This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” he said, “both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”
It just strikes me as a play for sympathy. Maybe the Right wing is unfairly impugning Holder’s Justice Department, but to what extent does the right actually matter? The right wing is a core constituency of the Republican Party and doesn’t, at least not yet, have the power to seriously derail anything on Holder’s agenda.
This is why Holder’s deference to race is a bit of a smash and grab in the sense that Holder knows there are serious issues with the way he’s running the Justice Department, all of which should be met with serious answers. Throwing the red meat of race into the debate cheapens it and allows Holder to skirt away with a cheap political win that he really didn’t pay for, not with currency that counts or matters anyway.
If the right or left is behaving increasingly erratic, it may have a bit more to do with Holder’s unprincipled stand on issues than race baiting. Take for example Holder’s decision to renege on his promise to respect state law and not prosecute state marijuana sellers, the F.B.I.’s raid on homes of several non-violent activists across the Midwest, the A.T.F.’s “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal, or Holder’s inability to plot a way forward for prosecuting terror suspects.
If ever Eric Holder is able to formulate a consistent approach to federal law, one that reflects both American principles and the spirit of the 2008 Obama campaign, then he can cry foul about unwarranted and unearned criticism. Now, however, he’s deserving of every scrap of criticism that flys his way.
On both the right and the left, there is a veritable potpourri of reasons to question both Attorney General Holder’s integrity and ableness. I suspect that in either case, race is far down on the list of considerations.