Thursday, June 21, 2012

Friedersdorf, Eric Holder is not your n****r either

On his first day as Chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee - prior to any testimony or investigations - Rep. Daryl Issa declared the Obama administration "one of the most corrupt" in history. It should come as no surprise that he would concoct a way to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt. After all, he's been working his way towards this goal for almost 2 years, regardless of the facts.

But as I said back when I fist started focusing on the work of AG Holder and the DOJ, its not just the right that has been after him. He's also been the target of many on the left as well. Right on cue comes Conor Friedersdorf with his article titled The Real Reason Eric Holder Should Resign as Attorney General.

What Friedersdorf has done is to twist a story that was written up in USA Today about a conflict between federal laws regarding felons caught with guns and state sentencing laws in North Carolina to insinuate that DOJ is not doing anything to release "innocent" people from jail.

Without repeating all the details (please read them at the links if you're interested), I'll give you one example of how disingenuous these charges are. Friesdersdorf  includes this quote from the USA Today story.
Here's U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins: "We can't be outcome driven. We've got to make sure we follow the law, and people should want us to do that."
He presents that as an accusation that DOJ isn't doing anything to correct the problem. But of course he conveniently leaves out the very next sentence in the article.
She said her office is "looking diligently for ways, within the confines of the law, to recommend relief for defendants who are legally innocent."
If it weren't so maddening it would be funny to see these folks - who constantly accuse Obama supporters of propaganda - being the very ones to utilize it to prop up their Obama Derangement Syndrome.

But all that was just a warm-up act for Friedersdorf. Eventually he gets to his real beef.
Attorney General Holder didn't create this mess. But it sure looks like it's another injustice that he's failing to clean up. After President Obama and Harold Koh, perhaps no one in the Obama Administration has been a bigger disappointment to civil libertarians than Holder, so much so that Wil S. Hylton mused in a 2010 profile about whether there was any reason for him to keep his job. "He has promised to end the policy of indefinite detention at Guantánamo by prosecuting some of its most notorious detainees; to investigate torture by the CIA; and to revitalize the department's most neglected offices, like the long-suffering Civil Rights Division," Hylton wrote -- and he got a bigger budget and improved staffing for the Civil Rights Division.
We've been around the block on these accusations over and over again. I'm as tired of them as I am of Rep. Issa's nonsense. Its clear that Mr. Fridersdorf is clueless about the role Congress played in not allowing the closing of Guantanamo and how the Military Commissions Act of 2006 shielded the Bush administration against prosecution for torture and how Holder's re-invigorated Civil Rights Division is tackling things like police brutality, voters rights, nativist immigration laws, etc.

So I think I'll simply quote Brown Man again (with a slight adaptation) and say, "Friedersdorf, Eric Holder is not your n****r either."


  1. If Eric Holder were white, your opinion and all of your arguments in this piece would be unchanged, save for the headline/last line: ""Friedersdorf, Eric Holder is not your n****r either."

    Think about what you're doing with that line.

    To inflate your argument with rhetorical power it would otherwise lack, you're invoking a racially taboo word and the audience's antipathy toward racism, and associating those things with my position, though they've nothing to do with one another.

    I'm not saying I'm offended, or that you're calling me a racist. I'm just pointing out that you're cheating, doing the equivalent of pumping your post with steroids before the big race while everyone else tries to compete clean. I could respond in kind, but I won't. My arguments can stand on their own.

    1. Thanks for your measured response.


      It's not necessarily the color of Holder's skin that is the issue I was referring to by using that word. It's the disrespect with which YOU went after him that invokes it.

      As I saw it - in the midst of him being the target du jour of the right wing, you grabbed a pretty insignificant story, twisted it into something it isn't, and then used it as a launching pad for other grievances.

      In other words, you're treating the AG just like the Republicans are.

      So yes, I pumped up my response with steroids because I'm sick and tired of that kind of thing from both the right and the left.

      I have no idea if you would have done that if Eric Holder were white. What I DO know is that he's black. And you have somehow decided that he doesn't deserve to have his positions understood and/or respected.