Farewell Eric Holder!

On Thursday September 25th, Attorney General Eric Holder announced he is to resign from his position since assuming it nearly six years ago. I for one am not sad to see him go as I never really cared for him. A close friend of President Obama and one of the last remaining members of the original cabinet, I always saw Holder as a political tool used by the president. Despite whatever good he has done, his legacy will be forever scarred by multiple scandals including Fast and Furious while he will be viewed as having performed his job with a heavy political bias. Now we must wait and see who is appointed by the president and I can only hope that it is a person more interested in applying the law through an objective lens.

Holder's departure is not all unexpected as he had said in the past that he intended to leave by the end of 2014. It can be said that the tears that Republicans are shedding now are of a different type than those Obama shed for Holder upon his resignation announcement. Holder arguably has drawn more attention from the media and the electorate than any other recent attorney general. Rather than being viewed as an impartial lawman, he is seen as emblematic of the Obama administration and its policies. Conservatives view him as sharing the senior Democratic Party mantle with Obama, Rep. Pelosi and Senator Reid. His resignation for conservatives is cause for celebration.

Much of the animosity that is directed at Holder is related to numerous scandals which have been partially attributed to him, his selective outrage in legal cases, contemptuous attitude, and his desire to politicize issues. Regarding the latter, he has been criticized for supplanting the rule of law in favor of his own personal political beliefs. Most recently his reaction to the events in Ferguson, Missouri have served to further that belief. His remarks about police regarding issues of trust and discriminatory practices were and remain toxic to most conservatives. While the presidents hometown of Chicago is turning into a 24/7 shooting range, Holder's willingness to focus on one death in Ferguson and then politicize the issue by adding in ideas of racism, and inequality showed his loyalties were to his own personal beliefs and ideology rather than the situation on the ground.

Replacing Holder might prove highly difficult for Obama. If the GOP takes the Senate this November which it is highly predicted to do, Obama's appointee will face a great deal of scrutiny. GOP senators are without a doubt already generating opposition research on possible nominees. Among those who've been mentioned as possible replacements are U.S. Attorneys Loretta Lynch and Preet Bharara. Being from New York I'm familiar with both; Lynch is overseeing a 20-count indictment against my congressman Rep. Grimm while Bharara has come to be known as a walking term-limit for politicians in New York. These are but a few of the possible contenders mentioned and personally, I'm a fan of Bharara.

Ultimately I expect Obama to push for a more moderate candidate than Holder, this even more the case if the GOP takes control of the Senate. Obama could push a nominee quickly before the new Congress takes office next year but the legitimacy of such an attorney general brought in under such circumstances would be suspect in the eyes of many. As brazen as Obama is I don't believe he would do that. Regardless, the process of finding a replacement can't be delayed as the current domestic and international situation necessitates the presence of an attorney general.

I don't want the next attorney general to be an instrument of the president, a party, or an ideology. I want an attorney general that acts as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. I never felt Holder adequately performed that role. Would I call him an absolute failure, no I wouldn't. Would I say he had an agenda and acted on it, absolutely yes. I only hope that the president acknowledges that and seeks a replacement who is more loyal to the office of Attorney General than to the policies emanating from the White House. And to Eric Holder, I say farewell, sorry but I won't miss you.

Posted by SPBrooker at September 26, 2014 8:21 PM
Comment #383844

Even if the Rep take the senate, the Dems will have just under 3 months to ram thru their choice. It just won’t make that much difference. If the Dems cannot come up with a name they can agree with, then when the Reps take the Senate control in january they maybe can do something. Not holding my breath.

Posted by: tom humes at September 30, 2014 11:23 PM
Comment #383854

The irony of Holder’s resignation is its dependence upon the Senate confirming Obama’s choice for a replacement. Hey, Republicans, confirm Obama’s replacement choice or accept Eric Holder as your AG until such time as you do confirm his replacement. One of the cleverest resignations ever designed, politically speaking.

Posted by: David R Remer at October 2, 2014 1:47 AM
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