Good Riddance Eric Holder

 
Barack Obama is nearing the end of his second and last term in the White House.
 
With just a little more than two years before he leaves office, his top cabinet members and aides have begun making the inevitable exit for more lucrative pastures.
 
Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that he will resign after a successor is nominated and confirmed.
 
Holder is like all political appointees. They may have high positions but in the end they are like every mid-level manager in the country.
 
They must do what their bosses tell them to do.
 
If Obama said that reporters and whistle blowers must be prosecuted under the Espionage Act Holder did that.
 
If he told him not to prosecute the criminal mortgage bankers who destroyed the lives of working people, he did not do that.
 
If the president wanted to concoct justifications for assassinating United States citizens then the attorney general did that too.
 
On March 5, 2012, Holder gave a speech at Northwestern University law school which was meant to explain why the president ordered the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki and his sixteen year-old son Abdulrahman.
 
“Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces.
 
This is simply not accurate. ‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”
 
The only thing more noteworthy than the horror of the president proclaiming his right to kill at will was the lack of reaction to the attorney general’s bizarre assertion.
 
The uproar that should have erupted never did.
 
In a familiar pattern, Holder and the president weren’t called out by people who would have protested the same actions from a Republican administration.
 
That silence allowed the two men to get away with the al-Awlakis murders and more.
 
Holder’s tenure as attorney general ends with one of his and the president’s worst betrayals of their most loyal constituency, black Americans.
 
After Michael Brown was shot to death while surrendering to a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, the people in that town rose up in a protest which has now lasted for nearly two months.
 
Obama was forced to reckon with Ferguson.
 
He first sent Al Sharpton to quell the righteous anger but Brown’s murder was clearly different from other issues which the shifty minister has used to give Obama cover.
 
The sustained pressure and media attention finally forced him to send the attorney general to give higher level lip service in person.
 
When Holder arrived in Ferguson he performed an Obama-like impersonation.
 
He said he had been stopped by the police as a young man, sort of like Obama saying that if he had a son he would like Trayvon Martin.
 
He gave vague assurances that the Justice Department will review the case but only time will tell if the Brown family receives justice.
 
The Obama/Holder partnership gave black Americans nothing but sleight of hand, the appearance of doing things they had not done.
 
The president and attorney general had the opportunity to free thousands of people from jail who were prosecuted under the draconian drug sentences of the 1980s and 1990s.
 
Instead they made sure they stayed behind bars.
 
In the U.S. v. Blewett case the Obama justice department asked a federal court of appeals to prevent 5,000 people, almost all of whom are black, from requesting resentencing.
 
Instead of actually getting people out of jail, the partners in high crime came up with a toothless plan to reduce mandatory minimum sentences and were credited with a non-existent triumph.
 
“The Holder legacy is like the Obama legacy.”
 
It is telling that as Holder departs, Al Sharpton emerged to show his true colors as the buffoonish presidential snitch.
 
First he got a bit more impressed with his position than he should have when he claimed that he would assist in choosing Holder’s successor.
 
Just a few hours later Sharpton contradicted himself and said he would not really be doing that at all.
 
Oh to have been a fly on the wall when King Rat Sharpton got the smack down from on high.
Sharpton is an easy target of derision but he isn’t alone in trying to put lipstick on the political pig.
 
Obama and Holder get away with their hypocrisy in large part because the black political class is silent when they ought to be outraged.
 
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund issued a press release decrying the court decision in the Blewett case without once mentioning that the court did so with the support of the Obama justice department.
 
Holder’s failings are Obama’s failings. Barack Obama is a putative black man who wants nothing to do with black people.
 
When Holder gave his mealy mouthed “cowards on race speech” Obama was so angry that the attorney general was kept on a short leash with the media.
 
The Holder legacy is like the Obama legacy. Millions wished and hoped that he would represent their concerns and uphold the laws as they wanted but they were bound to be disappointed.
 
Obama’s defenders love to say that he isn’t just the president of black people.
 
He is in fact never the president for black people and the Holder legacy tells that sad story.
Good riddance to Eric Holder. He will not be missed.
 
On January 20, 2017 we will at last be able to say good riddance to Barack Obama too. He won’t be missed either.
 
 

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com.  Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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