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Politics

3:00pm November 30, 2011

Eric Holder: The Only Steadfast Attorney General in Recent History

Barack Obama, Eric Holder

Calls for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder by Congressional Republicans and the National Rifle Association bring back memories of numerous resignations before President Barack Obama’s time and the failure of Congress to renew the assault weapons ban in 1994.    Both Republicans and the NRA have taken the opportunity to publicly call for Holder’s head because Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by a weapon traced backed to “Fast and Furious,”  an operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – and, consequently, a division of the Justice Department.

Let’s not forget that George W. Bush’s administration had three Attorney Generals. John Ashcroft resigned. Alberto Gonzales also resigned. And Michael Mukasey who just left once it was all over.

Ashcroft, of Patriot Act fame, takes a special place in the annals of American History as the attorney general who amazingly created the opportunity to circumvent the constitution by giving permission for questionable detainment, wiretapping and eavesdropping, just to name a few.  He even tried to enlist the help of postal carriers and service workers to call in what they might think are suspect situations. For all this effort, however, Ashcroft had surprisingly few successful prosecutions against terrorists, and the Justice Department was caught several times playing “shell games” with the numbers. For example, crimes such as writing bad checks or protesters trespassing on a Navy base were listed as “terror convictions,” despite having no cited connection to any acts of terrorism.   Now a Washington  Lobbyist, Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans resigned the same day near the beginning of Bush’s second administration.

The resignation of Bush’s second Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, was received amid charges that he was loyal to the President and not the law.   Following on the heels of Ashcroft, the first Hispanic Attorney General, Gonzales, had also been White House Counsel.  He took the bold step of dismissing nine United States Attorneys, attracting criticism that his reasons were partisan. Many charged Gonzales with making questionable statements before Congress among many other things.

The Gonzales resignation was only one of many during the Bush administration.  In addition to Ashcroft, White House advisor, Karl Rove, also in the sights of congressional investigators for his alleged role in politicizing ordinary governmental functions, resigned. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton, White House counsel Harriet E. Miers, presidential counselor Dan Bartlett, deputy national security advisers J.D. Crouch and Meghan O’Sullivan, and budget director Rob Portman. All resigned.

Resignations appear to have been the Bush way of quelling public criticism and scrutiny.  Though the Obama Administration has had resignations, the most highlighted one was that of Rahm Emanuel’s departure – to run for Mayor of Chicago.

Holder, now under fire, has not been shy about taking unpopular steps.  He requested that internet providers, for example, put wiretapping capability in place similar to cell phone companies. And he has proposed expanding the time interrogators can question terrorism suspects before they must read Miranda warnings or present them to a judge for an initial hearing.

Following the Alberto Gonzales Justice Department, and risking the disapproval of the Administration, Holder released a secret report exposing C.I. A. investigative practices and consequently appointed a special investigator.  He also made a decision to try certain terrorists in U. S. Federal Court rather than military tribunal – to the dismay of New York officials (though the trials were never actually held).

The NRA is circulating a petition for the firing of Attorney General Eric Holder with no consideration for their own strong lobby to keep assault weapons on the streets of America

Democrats haven’t forgotten what happened in 1994. That year, President Bill Clinton was pushing for passage of a landmark crime bill featuring a ban on assault-style weapons, and then-House Speaker Thomas Foley (D-WA) twisted Democrats’ arms to get it through the House. Come November, Democrats suffered widespread election losses and lost control of the House and Senate. Foley was among those defeated, and Clinton and others credited the NRA’s campaigning with a big role in the outcome. And when the assault weapons ban came up for congressional reauthorization in 2004, it failed.

Holder has a history of dedication to the rule of law with little regard for partisan politics.  His ability to continue the work of chief lawyer for the United States in the face of intense political posturing shows that it is not likely the nation’s first African American Attorney General is going anywhere any time soon.



About the Author

Britton Loftin
Britton Loftin is a Political Strategist and Director of a Legislative & Government Affairs firm.




 
 

 
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18 Comments


  1. wet_nurse

    So in other words, Holder is doing the same thing as other AG in regards to wire-tapping and detaining terrorist. The difference is he's "our" guy so now we label it principled. Your article is fluff and propaganda for the administration.


  2. guest

    Let's not forget the Bush Admin's resignations?…Dude, that was the last Presidency…that one has been over & done away with for 3 years now. Do you still drudge up hard feelings over the girl who dumped you in the 8th grade? Obama won. This is the scandalous mess brought on by his Administration…Get beyond the Bush years…Why don't you report on the failures, scandals, and dereliction of duties of this administration?


  3. lch

    WOW, did Obama and Holder pay you to write that?


  4. David

    I'm sure there is quite a bit of blood on other Attorney Generals, but Holder is accountable for quite a bit. The tally isn't in yet. Do you realize how many thefts, rapes, and murders occurred in Mexico because of Operation Fast and Furious? They continue to happen. There are still many guns unaccounted for. BTW, prior operations had the cooperation of the Mexican Gov't. F&F did not. In prior operations the weapons were never out of sight or non-functioning with RFID tags. The upcoming hearing is about why Holder lied to congress. He will never admit to the cover-up that ensued. Not a very law abiding AG, do you think?


  5. David

    … other Attorney General's hands, but…


  6. MrsJesusChrist

    I really wish the DOJ would bring the entire GOP members in the 112th Congress and Governors who passed recent laws affecting Abortion, Education, Health, Safety, Union and Voting Rights/. Charged them with Breach of Promise or " One nation under God, with liberty and Justicie for All" They OK's Herman Cain's 999 plan and favored the 1% over the 99% . Charge them with Treason for this Reason – Signing a pledge by a lobbyist like Grover Norquist that says they will Not Raise Taxes when that's there job as well as Insist that Justices Thomas and Scalia Recuse themselves. Conspiracy, Corruption and Mass Relgion Fraud against We the People in the United States of America.


    • MrsJesusChrist

      Instead of passing President Obama's Jobs Bill, they Ignored who elected them to do their jobs and spent their time reminding US citizens that In God We Trust is our national motto, however anybody else will have to pay cash. G.W. Bush, Dick Cheny, put us in an Unjust War, killing more people than Bin Laden. John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, Rick Scott, and a bunch of others should be charged with Retaliation against We the People who elected President Obama. Their statement to make him "a One Term President" just may come true. But as a result of Expressed Intent to Default on our Nation's Debt for the 1st time in History a downgrade of our credit rating.


    • HoHoHo

      drinking the Kool-Aid…


  7. Nick P

    Britton Lofton,
    You are a total sandbagger for the corrupt left media.
    Even before "Fast & Furious", Holder was guilty of race-bias when he refused to prosecute the Black Panthers in Philadelphia. What we learned from that episode is that "being black" doesn't excuse one from the responsiblity of disabusing yourself of racisim. It's part of having principles, standards, morals, etc. By their very words and examples Holder and Obama are both racists. What you said in your piece is full of bias. So you should have recused yourself from this discussion. If you can't see both sides of racism then you are not even an editorialst (save being a journalist).


  8. Nick P

    Mrs. JesusChrist!
    Who died and made you the messiah?

    Your rant is nothing more than a recitation of name-calling that is seen daily on Huff Post, MSNBC, Jon Stewart, AirAmerica, the NY Times, etc. You even ripped off a qoute from Jean Shepherd

    You are cluelessly languising in a suspended animation of Lefty media mind control. I feel really sorry for Democrats because you are all so lost today. If one of you breaks rank with the Orthodoxy you are so afraid of being banished by the celebrities that you so adore.. That sounds like a cult to me. I disagree with Republicans all the time, but at least they don't aim to vilify, excoriate or label me a Pariah. There is too much heft in Political Correctness. It is being thrown about as a means of coercion. If you were to put a man with JFK's exact platform in the presidential race today, the Dems would label him an evil Right Wing lunatic and try to ruin him.


    • MrsJesusChrist

      You cant be seriuos Mr. St. Nick, or able to answer your own very simple question. So 1st off, it was Jesus Christ who died and then left me in charge so you better recognize that I sit as a Queen of th3e South to the King of Kings. 2nd I dont even know who Jean Shepherd is; so Maybe s/he plagerized me. 3rd Yes I Adore Jesus Christ and am quite fond of President Obama, Chelle and the kids. But 4th and finally; What part of what I said; is Not True….. You must be a viewer of Fox News cause the rest after the Aim makes no sense unless you are talking about Sara Palin's call to Get Your Guns and keep those Dems and Senator in their crosshairs. So in the words of Herman Cain People like you are so Brain & White Washed & Dumb to admit when you Phuck up.


  9. Nick P

    ….so hang up your spikes and go home. The game is over. Libs lose. Your 50 year libertine experiment has failed and you all are empty handed. Nothing, zilch, nada to show for all of your efforts. You people are the zaniest, stupidest, laziest troglodytes to ever emerge from the swamp swill of amphibian DNA. Reasoning, intellect, good behavior and a simple understnading of mathematics are all that is required for a healthy debate. But you losers purposely leave your equipment bag at home and expect us to play full contact football and then cry foul when you get hurt. You are morons.


  10. Dear Britton,

    Please get down on your knees and pray to God that Brian Terry wasn't your son, brother, or father. While you are down there, try saying a prayer for the Brian Terry's of this country, who go out into the night to protect folks like you. The Brian Terry's that seek bad men that do bad things. The Brian Terry's that not only put their life on the line for Americans, but those that violate our borders, as well. Brian Terry was killed that night in December 2010, while trying to stop border bandits from robbing and raping illegal aliens.

    I know Eric Holder quite well and he is no Brian Terry, he is a politician first and foremost. Just ask Marc Rich!


  11. Nick P

    Britton,
    Where are all your champions for your insipid rant? Twelve posts already and if you didn't have Mrs. JesusChrist you'd have absolutely NO supporters. Free your mind. Get out of the race-hustling ghetto and learn how free markets can free your people. Read some Thomas Sowell, Allen West, Herman Cain. The Black Experience in America doesn't have to depend Entitlements. You are so 1970s McGovern. What a loser.


  12. Jam

    Please tell me when free markets helped over this past economic recession and economic downturn. I prefer the free market but as for the republican talking point. then NO!!. Trickle down where and for who? You misguided people commenting on Mr. Loftin's post do nothing but protect the rich and those who have promised you dreams and an oasis. Did you defeat that death tax for those millions you have yet to get? Also. So what if Holder is hanging on. Governing is a tough job. Something many of you bench warmers could never even fathom taking on. Can you even begin to imagine how many operations the U.S. government is executing and planning at the moment? Honestly I can't so I dont even know why you simple minded people try.

    Go head Holder. Keep up the Good work.

    Maybe you guys should be raising hell at all the soldiers who have died because of an unjust war. Or maybe you should be raising hell because of all the people who are still unemployed due to a gird locked legislature's failure to pass beneficial legislation. Who fault? The stubborn Republican House.

    Grow up people.


    • Gun Hating Mom

      I smell tea party all over these anti-Holder comments. The article sheds light on the hypocracy of the GOP and the NRA. They are the ones who fight to keep these man-killers on the streets. And yes, with or without fast and furious, they are flowing across the borders (north and south). I really pray for the family of the Officer Terry as I do for families of all the people in this country who die by discharge of NRA playthings. I also pray for poor and working poor families who struggle to secure daily bread as the GOP fights furiously to protect the countries millionaires.
      You guys are ones who need to be on your knees praying to God for Mercy before you see him Judgment Day. And while you are down there as God to expand your ability to think outside the scope set for you by Fox News.


  13. gary grant

    CUT THE SPIN-DOCTORING! All that matters here is Holders actions (and in-actions) regarding fast and furious! We as a country should be embarressed having holder as our A.G.!!!! I am !!


  14. Bruce Whitcomb

    Our President as a socialist, muslim, and with the use of the bully pulpit of the White House he can further contaminate our constitution. We need the checks and balances of our separation of powers as defined in our constitution. The need to keep in check the DOJ is a good example of lack of separation regarding the Fast and Furious debacle. We should do this without blood on the streets of a free America. We need to understand above and beyond the left wing media coverage of the this, and on going, assualts, on our constitutional protections, at the whim of the Obama Administration and his czars!



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