Eric Holder

Two Jeers for Eric Holder

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Credit: C-SPAN

In an interview conducted yesterday with The Daily Beast, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder cited criminal-justice reform as his "signature achievement" as America's top law enforcement official. "After years of over-reliance on incarceration as a criminal-justice strategy, we finally started to turn this aircraft carrier around," Holder said.

Holder certainly deserves some credit in this area. He has spoken out in favor of reducing prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders, restoring voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, eliminating racial injustices from the justice system, and other measures designed to counteract the fallout from mass incarceration and the disastrous war on drugs. But if Holder deserves a cheer for that, he deserve a jeer for overseeing the federal prosecution of medical marijuana dispensaries that are operating legally under state law—especially since Holder made what sounded like a promise to stem such federal prosecutions. Yet as a 2013 report by the California branch of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws noted, Holder's Justice Department turned out to be even worse on the marijuana front than its Republican predecessors. "153 medical marijuana cases have been brought in the 4 ¼ years of the Obama administration," the report observed, "nearly as many as under the 8 years of the Bush administration (163)." That record has not gotten better with age.

As the head of the Justice Department, Holder also deserves his share of the blame for the Obama administration's lousy record at the Supreme Court, which includes unanimous defeats on issues ranging from executive authority and the separation of powers to the Fourth Amendment, the free exercise of religion, due process of law, and the Takings Clause. As I previously described it, this Justice Department "continues to push dubious legal theories that fail to persuade even the most liberal justices to vote in [its] favor."

Holder's record on civil liberties is equally poor. Most notably, despite President Obama's promise of running "the most transparent administration in history," Holder's Justice Department has secretly subpoenaed and collected the emails and phone records of journalists. Holder's Justice Department even threatened to jail New York Times reporter James Risen, who refused to reveal his sources in a CIA whistleblower case. "The administration's war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post's investigation of Watergate," wrote Leonard Downie Jr., author of a scathing 2013 report on the Obama administration and the press written for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent."

When all is said and done, Holder's harassment of the press may turn out to be the real "signature achievement" for which he's remembered.

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  1. Good riddance Holder. You’re now free to join the Black Panthers or follow whatever the hell your true dream is.

    1. He’s now free to drop out of the limelight until some USSC Justice shuffles her mortal coil and Obama appoints Holder to take her place.

      1. If RBG doesn’t want to suffer an untimely demise, she would likely be wise to retire before the end of the year.

        1. That’s pretty much what I think. I would put nothing past President Jarrett.

          1. He can always wait for President Hillary. I understand they owe him a very rich favor.

            1. + 100

              That’s a very rich comment.

        2. I thought RBG was replaced by Kirk Cousins?

        3. Given Ginsberg’s age, I think she is beyond any demise being “untimely”. But your point is well noted.

          1. My god, man, take a look at her. She’s already been demised for years.

            And people scoff at the thought of a zombie take over of SCOTUS.

    2. His only role in the Obama administration was to legally impede any legal challenges to the administration over its unconstitutional policies.
      He was never a real attorney general in any real sense

      1. You ingrates! Five years ago, Eric Holder, with just a few simple words, helped me to confront my racial cowardice. Since then, my life, yea, the entire nation, has been transformed into a kumbaya-topia.

        I would list him as simply the best latte-skinned AG of the 21st century.

  2. General Eric Holder cited criminal-justice reform as his “signature achievement”

    Holder certainly deserves some credit in this area. He has spoken out in favor of reducing prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders, restoring voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, eliminating racial injustices from the justice system, and other measures

    Speaking is not an achievement.

    1. That worth repeating with an exclamation point: Speaking is not an achievement!

      Holder did nothing, absolutely nothing, good from a libertarian standpoint.

      One could argue that he wasn’t as bad as Janet Reno, for whom the buck stopped for barbequing men, women and children to a crisp for their peculiar religious beliefs. She really was horrible. But that would be to ignore the ultimate consequences of Fast ‘n Furious.

      Holder’s contempt for individual liberty even made Ashcroft look good by comparison. Holder has been that horrible in every dimension.

      1. Yes did nothing. Giving lip service to reducing drug sentences is nothing. Talk is cheap.

      2. Holder did nothing, absolutely nothing good

        FTFY

        Even die-hard Democrats can’t actually name any substantive legal achievements. All Holder did was talk and carry around a chip on his shoulder.

    2. And not even speaking about these things from a freedom-oriented perspective. As far as I could tell, he basically disfavored such policies because of their disparate racial impact.

      Any good he did, from a libertarian perspective, was purely incidental to his racial agenda.

  3. There’s always a strange dichotomy from the things the liberal media tells me Democrats are the good guys on and what they are actually doing.

    Republicans are the war on drugs party and anti-gay, yet up until very recently no major Democrats were willing to come out and speak up for gay marriage. It took a Joe Biden gaffe for Obama to reverse course.

    They are, for whatever reason, considered pro-weed. If I’m for legalization or decriminalization, the media pushes this narrative that I should vote Democrat. Yet, as the evidence shows, they are the exact same and even worse in some ways than Republicans on the issue.

    It’s as if the followers of the democrats just project their intentions and beliefs onto the Democratic party.

    1. Progressives do a whole lot of projection, that’s for sure.

      Like most people of all political orientations, progressives are typically profoundly ignorant of history and full of cognitive dissonance.

    2. Which Republicans are for gay marriage? What, do they get graded on a curve because they’re so fucking retarded? I thought we were against affirmative action.

      Good luck with legal weed under President Whomever-the-Fuck (R). Unless it’s Rand Paul (and it won’t be), you would be safe betting on a total crackdown on the advances made in the states.

      1. Tony|9.26.14 @ 1:00PM|#
        “Which Republicans are for gay marriage? What, do they get graded on a curve because they’re so fucking retarded? I thought we were against affirmative action.”

        Tony, asshole, learn to read before inserting foot in mouth.

        1. Sevo, darling, only speak when you can improve upon the silence.

          1. Tony|9.26.14 @ 1:07PM|#
            “Sevo, darling, only speak when you can improve upon the silence”

            Tony, asshole, anything at all is am improvement on your imbecility.

          2. Glad to hear of your new vow of silence, T.

      2. tony the turd returns…….

        1. Yeah, there are about 5000000000 sites out there where both the content and comments are in lockstep with his views, and he apparently couldn’t find his way to any of them. Lucky us.

          1. Where’s the fun in debating people who agree with you?

            1. Like I said, lucky us.

            2. Tony|9.26.14 @ 3:39PM|#
              ‘Where’s the fun in *lying to* people who agree with you?’

              Fixed, just for you.

      3. Where in my post did I praise Republicans to begin with? I didn’t. The point was that Democrats are, at best, marginally better on two issues that a lot of people are dumb enough to vote over. Often times, they are the exact same or worse.

        The Democrats win votes on these issues over a false perception. Democratic politicians aren’t the reason gay marriage or legalization of weed are making progress. Electing Democrats doesn’t help on these issues. There’s the point you missed.

        1. Electing Democrats very much does help, at the very least because it means we aren’t electing Republicans instead.

          1. You actually just dodged the point raised. We all know you hate Republicans. That isn’t an argument.

          2. Tony|9.26.14 @ 3:51PM|#
            “Electing Democrats very much does help, at the very least because it means we aren’t electing Republicans instead.”

            Tony, ASSHOLE, this isn’t about GOPers.

          3. Tony, you should move to Detroit or Flint, Michigan. Both wonderful towns. Both have had a Democratic lock on nearly every elected and appointed office for most of the 20th Century, and are virtual paradises as a result.

            I, unable to handle all the protections and freedom offered by the Enlightened Leaders from the Democratic Party, moved to an area that is strongly Republican. I nominate you to take up the spot I left in the Democratic stronghold. Go forth and enjoy Flint, Michigan — workers paradise, and Democratic dream!

            1. So do all the really great places to live. Don’t point me to cities that were ruined by capitalism and tell me that’s proof of your point of view. You really want to compare the outcomes of places governed by red vs those governed by blue? Mississippi vs. New York. Hmmm.

              1. Flint, home of the UAW and one of the first socialist mayors in America, 70% minority, where it is all but impossible to be even considered as a candidate without a D before your name — this is your idea of a city that capitalism ruined?

                And funny you mention Mississippi… because up until relatively recently, most of those “places” you mention as Red were also ran by team Blue.

                But team Red isn’t much more capitalist than team Blue at this point, so let’s compare capitalistic places versus non capitalistic. You pick the continent. I’ll take the most capitalistic place and you choose the least. Let’s see which place is “ruined” by capitalism, and which place is most enriched by socialism.

              2. Hey butt nugget. Detroit had Democrat mayors one after another, in fact they hadn’t had a Republican mayor since the early 1960’s, so your point, as usual, is full of shit. You aren’t even a good troll, in fact, your the worst I’ve seen.

              3. ‘ruined by capitalism’.

                Ha, ha.

                Nothing – NOTHING – to do with left-wing, corrupt Democrat politics. NOTHING.

                Easier to blame an economy system.

                Man, is the left pathetic.

      4. Which Republicans are for gay marriage?

        You know, as someone who actually favors gay marriage, I don’t care; it really isn’t such a big deal.

        Obama’s presidency has been such a disaster and so destructive of civil liberties, privacy, separation of powers, the rule of law, poverty alleviation, and above all the economy that I am not going to vote Democratic again.

        If there’s a reasonable Republican candidate, I might vote for him and I don’t care about his positions on abortion or gay marriage. I don’t care both because it is unlikely that he is going to do anything about it, and because, on balance, even the socially conservative positions in those areas are less harmful than what Obama and Holder have done to society and minorities.

  4. Holder’s signature achievement is his justification of extra-judicial killings, period. His reversal on drug sentences is nowhere near a balance to his career of trying to expand mandatory minimums and personally helping to convict and imprison untold numbers of drug defendants.

  5. There is one ugly face we won’t have to look at quite as often. Good riddance.

    I can wait for pictures of the next ugly face we are going to be cursed with having to look at on a regular basis.

    You know, while we are on the subject, please never ever post another picture of DWS ever again. Thx in advance.

  6. When history looks at the Obama administration, it will see a black president and a black attorney general who achieved some important things but who were prevented from achieving more by total unblinking opposition. That opposition will not be judged by history to have come from a rational place.

    1. Tony|9.26.14 @ 1:04PM|#
      “When history looks at the Obama administration, it will see a black president and a black attorney general who achieved some important things but who were prevented from achieving more by total unblinking opposition.”

      Yeah, leaving black and brown kids in jail and murdering others is a real achievement to imbecilic lefties.

    2. No, of course not. All opposition will have come from a “white” place, right? Because all unblinking opposition to things like Obamacare, extra-judicial killings of Americans, and IRS targeting is entirely irrational and racist.

      1. What good does it do the rational non-racist critics that they are so completely drowned out by the irrational racists?

        1. They’re not drowned out by them. You can find rational criticism all over the place for all of these policies. But rather than attempt to address them, it’s much easier to look through the haystack, find some racism, and claim that some fringe element is “drowning” out the other 99%. Problem solved, right?

          It would have been like saying “All of the legitimate BOOOOOOSH critics are drowned out by the Black Panthers!” And still just as stupid.

        2. Tony|9.26.14 @ 3:40PM|#
          “What good does it do the rational non-racist critics that they are so completely drowned out by the irrational racists?”

          I’ve noticed that.
          Your racism makes it impossible for you to deal honestly with anyone who isn’t white.

    3. “When history looks at the Obama administration, it will see a black president and a black attorney general who achieved some important things”

      Which were what?

      1. He made it cool to use the IRS to target your enemies and to spy on American citizens.

        Last time that was tried history viewed it differently. That guy wasn’t a crook either.

      2. Destabilizing Mexico in an attempt to disarm U.S. citizens?

      3. “Which were what?”

        Well, turning the language inside-out is no small feat:
        “Below is a list of Obama’s documented lies so far with the most recent lies first.”
        http://obamalies.net/list-of-lies
        (Only the big ones)

        And how about:
        “It’s not a news flash that Barack Obama is a liar. His multiple bald-faced lies about Americans being able to keep their Health plan and doctor under Obamacare were told more than three dozen times during his first term. Also throughout his first term, Obama boasted about ending the war in Iraq.
        The video montage below of him making those boastful claims to help in his 2012 reelection effort is made even better with the ending. Be sure to watch all the way through:”
        http://shoebat.com/2014/08/12/…..obamacare/

        1. Joe Wilson’s ‘You Lie!’ shout has aged like a fine wine. Conventional wisdom at the time was that he violated decorum. In hindsight, he was protecting it.

          1. It was the one no kidding courageous thing I have ever seen anyone in Congress do in my entire lifetime.

            He spoke the truth. So of course the liars in the media hated him for it.

          2. You can’t have politicians shouting out “You lie” you’ll never hear anything else.

    4. He didn’t achieve anything Tony. The drug war goes on just like it did before.

      The only achievement Holder can claim is being the first AG to legally authorize the assassination of an American citizen. That is the one significant thing he did. You own it pal.

      1. Here’s the government’s list, for what it’s worth.

        You may not remember what a bloody hash the Bush admin made of the justice department, which Eric Holder had to put back together. Bet you were in a frightful tizzy during those years and definitely not cheering on every sleazy amoral political move those psychopaths made.

        1. He said it was legal to assassinate an American Citizen. and you think its great, because murder is what your people do.

        2. Tony|9.26.14 @ 3:43PM|#
          …”You may not remember what a bloody hash the Bush admin made of the justice department,”

          Tony, ASSHOLE, this isn’t about BOOOOSH!
          Is that the best you can do?

        3. BTW, Tony, you ought to read that list rather than just linking it. Pathetic.
          ‘Under his watch, the DOJ arrested people, and, uh, they were dangerous people and stuff!’

        4. Tony:

          Here’s the government’s list, for what it’s worth.

          Um…Tony, this is a page on the DOJ’s website, managed by Eric Holder, explaining the accomplishments of Eric Holder.

          What such government lists are worth are exactly zero.

          Here, let’s all read George W. Bush whitehouse.gov pages explaining how awesome the Bush years were, according to the government, for what that’s worth.

          Nieve much?

          1. I’ll translate some of the list from “government bullshit” to English.

            “The Department is supporting effective prisoner reentry and reinvestment programs.”

            Translation: We are trying to unfuck the lives we fucked up instead of not fucking them up in the first place.

            “The Department has successfully prosecuted international cartels and domestic collusion conspiracies.”
            “The Department has made historic progress in combating the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals.”

            Translation: War on Drugs, fuck yeah!

            “The Department has saved taxpayers dollars by being more cost efficient.”

            Translation: We needed an advisory council to tell us that plane tickets cost money.

            “The Department has investigated and prosecuted hate crimes under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.”

            Translation: Though police, fuck yeah!

            “The Department has shared more than $1.2 billion in forfeited assets and proceeds with state and local law enforcement agencies”

            Translation: We stole a ton of stuff.

            “The Department is assisting in efforts to increase production of renewable energy on public lands.”
            “The Department has successfully defended the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.”

            Translation: Cronyism, fuck yeah!

    5. Obama will go down in history as one of the least competent and least effective presidents in a long time, even rivaling Bush. He will be viewed as a community organizer who talked a great deal, but for whom the shoes of the presidency were too big to fill. And he will be considered a crony capitalist whose economic programs, tax policies, and health care reform will have made America’s already shaky economy far worse and will cause us problems for decades to come.

      If we’re lucky, Obama’s failures will be the start of a change of direction in US politics, a nail in the coffin of progressive interference in the economy and personal lives. “Hope and Change”, though not the way Obama promised.

      1. Wishful thinking, I believe. The academic/media view will find fault mostly in the fact that he didn’t go far enough.

    6. We already know the left has already narrated and written the ‘history’ of Obama and Holder.

      Two pillars and giants of political intellectualism who had all the right ideas but were thwarted by OTHER people less enlightened.

      1. That’s my take on the “history will tell us” argument, too, because history is mostly in the hands of the academic left.

  7. Perhaps he was blocked from making Al Sharpton an honorary federal agent, much like Elvis. Actually Sharpton is kind of like a reverse Elvis, because he got skinny instead of fat and he stole ideas from white people. Lets hope Sharpton gets drafted.

  8. He has spoken out in favor of reducing prison sentences, etc.

    Effing Christ on a pogo stick. Who fucking cares what he said. What matters is what he did to push all these laudable things forward. And I think the answer to that is . . . nothing.

    What else did he say about the WOD? Oh yeah, that they weren’t going to after state-legal pot. What did he do? Pretty the fucking opposite, with bells on.

    Stop pretending that anything that these psychopaths say means anything. It doesn’t. Its usually a clue that they are covering up or diverting from something else, that’s not going to make you so happy-clappy.

    1. Remember, he could have just changed how cases are charged and effectively reduced those sentences. And he didn’t. And assholes like Tony have the nerve to pretend him talking about them means anything.

      1. Eric Holder also said that locking people up less would be bad for the economy because of the impact they would have on private prisons already being constructed.

        Holder has said a lot of things. Actual results? Well, even if I were a progressive, I figure I’d hate him. He has (or his department) gotten its ass kicked on almost every major issue.

    2. MegaloMonocle|9.26.14 @ 2:23PM|#
      “He has spoken out in favor of reducing prison sentences, etc.”

      Hey, to the lefty assholes of the world, a promise is as good as it ever gets.
      Results? Who cares?

  9. Was/is Holder on the down-low?

  10. With Democrats worrying about losing the Senate soon, this may be their last chance to push a new nominee through for this position by way of the nuclear option.

    Maybe someone like Lois Lerner or Janet Napolitano will get nominated, and Republicans will be called misogynists for opposing the nomination, for an extra bonus?

  11. Holder? Barely knew her.

  12. I’d love to be nominated to the Supreme Court, specifically because I’ve never studied law. I studied English Lit, which means I had to learn about a little thing called “textual evidence”. Meaning “penumbras and emanations” cut no ice with the Honorable Judge Gamer.

    Granted, they’d have to bleep readings of my opinions:

    “What part of ‘no searching persons, papers or effects without a warrant’ do you not f*cking understand, sh*tstain?! A phone, a tablet, a laptop, a f*cking Kindle; those are ‘effects’, you illiterate boil on humanity’s asshole! Now get your stupid ass out of here and back to kindergarten until you f*cking learn to read, you mentally subnormal fascistic motherf*cker! By the way, this ‘anonymous source’ bullshit stops now. Keep it up, and don’t be surprised if someone ‘anonymously reports’ that you’re spying for al-Qaeda. I’m sure the Navy would be happy to loan a yardarm to hang you from. Now you can get the f*ck out.”

    1. If only legal analysis were that simple. Emanations and penumbras are largely unavoidable, and the debate between legal formalism and legal realism has long dealt with such issues.

      If you stick to pure formalism, you’re going to get some really screwed up consequences, and if you stick to pure consequentialism, you end up with some really bad process.

      For example — a law aimed to prevent drunk driving says “No person shall operate a vehicle while intoxicated.” Does “vehicle” mean just motor vehicles, or include bikes and row boats? Does it include lawnmowers? Does “operate” mean drive, or just turning the key in the ignition? Does intoxicated mean a certain blood alcohol level, regardless of displayed impairment? And if the law is aimed at preventing dangerous drivers on the road, does it matter if the operator is operating the vehicle inside his attached garage?

      Meaning is slippery, and I think you advocate wading into deeper waters than you might realize.

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