Eric Holder

"Eric Holder's Legacy: Duplicity, Incompetence, Obliviousness"


Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning, reportedly as soon as his successor is named and confirmed. It can't happen soon enough, I argue at Time.

Despite some positive actions — refusing to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that is plainly discriminatory, and calling for long-overdue sentencing reform, for instance – Holder's tenure has been marked by a disturbing mix of duplicity, incompetence, and obliviousness.

Which is another way of saying that he was a thoroughly typical attorney general, a cabinet position that has long been held by individuals whose first loyalty is to the president that appointed them rather than to the Constitution they swear to defend….

Arguably more disturbing was Holder's central role in signing off on the secret monitoring of Fox News' James Rosen and other journalists and his staunch defense of National Security Agency surveillance programs (even when federal oversight boards decreed them unconstitutional and ineffective). It took a 13-hour filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to get Holder to acknowledge in plain language that there were in fact limits to the president's secret kill list (the existence of which is itself deeply disturbing).

That Holder has moderated on some of these issues — just a couple of weeks ago, Holder voiced support for NSA reforms that would "provide the public greater confidence in our programs and the checks and balances in the system" — only drives home just how situational his ethics and actions always have been as attorney general.

Read the whole thing.

Holder was up to his eyeballs in various scandals (such as Fast and Furious) and he was always willing to play coy and stupid when the moment served. In his defense, the position of attorney general is to be the president's bag man, to carry out and then defend all the horrible things an administration can do.

But will anyone miss him more than we miss Alberto Gonzales or John Ashcroft or Janet Reno? Obviously not, unless his successor is even worse. Which is always possible.

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  1. …unless his successor is even worse.

    I suspect Chicago is about to have one fewer – less? – fewer lawyers.

    1. ‘Round those parts, they sprout like hydra heads.

      1. I wish it was that few…more like sowing the dragon’s teeth and having an army of them spring up.

        1. Just hit one on the head with a rock and they’ll slaughter each other. I’ve seen it happen.

          1. Be funnier to throw a big fat retainer fee into the middle of them and sit back and watch them turn on each other.

    2. “Fewer” is for count nouns; “less” is for mass nouns.

      Fewer dollars equals less money.

      And it’s “one fewer lawyer” since there’s only one being mentioned. 😉

      1. And when you flip count nouns to mass nouns you get an interesting connotation, like, “There’s lawyer all over the street.”

        1. I’m all for that.

      2. W’hatever..

  2. as soon as his successor is named and confirmed

    I hadn’t heard that until now. That could be any fucking time in the next two years.

    1. Given the current track record, I’m putting the over-under at six.

    2. This should be *very* entertaining. Or nauseating. Maybe both, like sorority girls drinking themselves to a puking and shitting stupor.

      1. I don’t think it’s going to be entertaining at all. It’ll probably be some infuriating bullshit “temporary recess appointment” or some shit like that just to run out the last two years.

        1. It will be a lame duck cram down on straight party lines with Harry Reid going nuclear on the Republican filibuster.

          And the replacement will be much worse. Anyone with any brains or prospects is already angling for a position in the next administration. Whoever takes this job will have zero chance of a position anywhere once Obama leaves office. Moreover, only the most craven fanatics willing to do anything to protect Obama need apply. So you won’t even get a smart fanatic. They are all waiting to get positions in the hoped for Hillary Administration. You will get a fanatic who is so fucking stupid and held in such low regard, a two year stint playing kamakazi to protect Obama is better than a four year stint in the next administration.

          It is going to be someone on the level of the guy they put in at IRS. You know him, the “we obey the law when we can” and “hard drives are crashing as we speak” guy.

          1. Don’t forget, there’s a lot of money to be made “recommending” pardons in that last week of the administration.

            1. And the dolt who replaces him won’t be able to take those checks.

  3. What a piece of shit. The worst of Obama’s appointees, in my opinion.

    1. It takes a lot to be worse than any of Obama’s appointees. I mean, you truly have to be lower than a snakes belly to come out on the bottom of that pile.

      1. There are lot of strong contenders for that position, but Holder is definitely on the short list that would have to include Valerie Jarrett, Lisa Jackson, Van Jones, John Kerry, James Clapper, and Rahm Emmanuel. Each is horrible in his own way, so it’s really impossible to choose.

        1. Holder is the worst because of the position he holds. Jerritt and Emmanuel are both White House people. They are supposed to be horrible hacks. Holder is the fucking attorney general. He is the highest law enforcement officer in the country. The nature of his position and his being essentially a career criminal who makes up for it by his fanatical political allegiance makes Holder by far Obama’s worst appointment.

      2. You have to subtrack the retards (LaHood) first.
        Then there are seat warmers (Hillary!).
        Then the apparachiks (Duncan, Kerry).

        That leave Holder as the worst.

        1. What’s Sebelius? Chopped liver?

          1. Jerky of some sort….from which animal…who can say?

      3. Janet Napolitano gave him a run.

        1. In fairness, Eric never had a chance to burn a bunch of people alive. It is not like he wouldn’t have done it if only he had had the chance. Attorney General Holder leaves office deeply regretting he never had the chance to burn any of his political opponents alive like his old boss Janet did. Some guys just can’t catch a brake I guess.

          1. That was Janet Reno, Napolitano is a different breed of androgynous cabinet secretary.

      4. Let’s ask Nicole about that.

    2. Elena Kagan is the worst, because we have to live with her for the rest of her life.

  4. Holder was up to his eyeballs in various scandals (such as Fast and Furious)




      That’s a nice new rendition in the book of bagger terminology.

      1. I just imagine shriek spluttering in anger at The Jacket, that he gets it all mixed up. And I imagine it in a voice somewhere between Sylvester the Cat and Daffy Duck.

        1. And I imagine it in a voice somewhere between Sylvester the Cat and Daffy Duck.

          Nahh…more Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction!

        2. I imagine Shriek just pointing at his monitor and shrieking like Donald Sutherland in Body Snatchers.

          1. That sounds pretty spot on. Consider my previous remarks so amended.

  5. Coming soon, in a very special appearance, Eric Himpton Holder in Orange is the new Black.

  6. And so it begins:…..y_general/

    But however powerful Holder’s personal interest in civil rights and criminal justice arenas may have been, they’re apparently not powerful enough to overcome his exhaustion. He’s trying to get out before he’s “locked in” for the final quarter of the Obama administration. It’s the same rationale for why certain Bush administration staffers, like Karl Rove, left in late 2006: once you’re in for the final two years, you’re in.

    1. He was “exhausted”. yeah that is it. Wanted to spend more time with his family. A giant size 12 on the horizon about to drop had nothing to do with it.

      Remember this bullshit when the shoe does drop, because then the talking point will be “this is old news, everyone knew Holder was a bad guy and that is why Obama did the right thing and told him to resign, nothing to see here”.

  7. I’ve always said that Fast and Furious is the worst of the fake scandals on The Shreeky Fake Scandal list. Although, nothing else will happen. Holder takes the fall, retires in luxury, and Obama remains shiny and untouched.

    1. How did Holder take a fall in any way? The degree to which a debacle like Fast and Furious was slithered out from under by all involved is sickening.

      1. Banana Republics… minus the bananas… and the republic.

      2. He never took a “fall”. He is however leaving office to be the designated scapegoat when the rest of this bullshit comes to light. He had to let power slip from the grip of his grimy hands nearly two years before he had to.

        Hasn’t he been punished enough?

  8. Lets not forget that Holder’s legacy lives on in the huge numbers of fanatical hacks he hired to civil service positions in the justice department. These people will be subverting the law and helping to further turn this country into a banana republic for decades. Eric may be gone but his army of grim totalitarians will on long after him.

    1. True. And this is another area in which the common libertarian claim of “both parties are equally awful” fails: Democrat administrations tend to pack the courts and bureaucracies with leftist statists. At least sometimes, the GOP gets some non-statists in place.


  10. OK, now that I can finally post comments again:

    he was always willing to play coy and stupid when the moment served

    Who says he was playing?

    1. He wasn’t. People like Holder and Obama for that matter are of fairly low intelligence. What they do have is a certain feral cleverness that allows them to manipulate and exploit people. Holder is no different than most of t he people sitting in prison today. The only difference is he was born in the right circumstances and was able to use his talents in political crime rather than old fashioned street crime.

  11. And the post-Holder list is out. Front runners include Obamacare defender, woman who Obama thinks is hot, and a complete idiot.

    1. $10 on Verrilli.

    2. One source identified Verrilli as the leading candidate right now.

      The Josh Earnest of lawyers.

    3. Deval Patrick has far too many scandals to be considered. Kamala Harris has higher goals than spending two years trying to cover up Obama scandals.

    4. Pretty sure you have to start any list with, what race/class/gender subgroup is Obama trying to appease? So I’m guessing Latinos or women or both.

  12. In his defense, the position of attorney general is to be the president’s bag man, to carry out and then defend all the horrible things an administration can do.

    Bullshit. It’s supposed to be an apolitical seat on the Cabinet, and for the most part it was until Bush and Obama’s administration.

    Remember Alberto Gonzales getting run out of town for supposedly participating in politically-motivated bullshit internal to the DOJ? That’s what’s supposed to happen when the DOJ is corrupt.

    1. It’s supposed to be an apolitical seat on the Cabinet, and for the most part it was until Bush and Obama’s administration.

      RFK, for instance, was a paragon of the non-political application of justice.

      Are you fucking serious?

  13. Smokey JOnes Bones is not gonna like that.


    New York, NY 10 hours ago

    Holder has done more to advance the cause of civil and human rights in the United States than just about anyone. He has been that shining light on the hill for much of the population who do not have a voice. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy is secure.


    Kathy B
    Seattle, WA 10 hours ago

    I would like to thank AG Holder for his tireless work in the face of contempt from Republicans that was expressed even before he took office.

    I particularly appreciate his work for voting rights, his unwillingness to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and his quiet dignity.


    Big Al
    Southwest 9 hours ago

    I was very impressed by the way AG Holder spoke with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, in a consoling and calm way, assuring them that their concerns would be heard and acted upon. Then I looked up Mr. Holder’s resume and I realized that he’s the real deal in terms of qualifications to be U.S. Attorney General: former Federal judge, former partner in a very well regarded law firm, former U.S. Attorney, former trial lawyer for the Justice Department and graduate of Columbia Law School. I sincerely wish Mr. Holder would finish out his full term because I think the people of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, including Ferguson, will be very dismayed by the fact that he is leaving early.””

    To be fair, some were harder on him….

    …for not lining up Wall St CEOs and having them shot

  15. Holder had only one real agenda. The protection of the President, Administration and Democratic party at all costs. The Constitution and therefore the people were not and have never been a focus of his actions. He fought to carry out the fundamental transformation of the United States because he like the President believes it is a flawed, racist model and inherently evil.

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