Karl Rove understands better than anyone that George Bush needs as much wiggle room as possible to provide the pardons he and scores of his rogue colleagues expect. President-Elect Obama's assurances that there will not be a witch-hunt do not comfort those whose warts and noses are so large that they can be seen without mirrors.
Enter, Eric Holder. Regrettably, Holder was the official ultimately responsible for vetting President Clinton's last-minute pardons. By his own admission, he did not pay sufficient attention to the details, and Bill Clinton, at the behest of Marc Rich's attorney, Scooter Libby, pardoned Rich, a notorious defrauder who had escaped to Switzerland without going to trial or serving a day in prison. In the wake of the Madoff scandal, a fraud that made Marc Rich's seem like petty larceny, Rove smells blood.
Eric Holder will be confirmed. All Rove wants to do, and will succeed at doing, is to elevate public attention to his confirmation hearings where pliant Republicans will ask the same questions about Marc Rich over-and-over-and-over to shine the spotlight on Clinton's egregious pardon. In addition the Republicans will try to pin Holder down on whether he will prosecute the major rogue actors in the Bush/Cheney regime, but he cannot take that bait.
Together, the cover supplied by Holder and his unwillingness to be pinned down on whom he might investigate, will provide Bush and Cheney the manufactured rationale to pardon Rove and others.
Of course, Bush will pardon them anyhow. Or, as I originally predicted, on January 19th, Bush will pardon Cheney and resign, and let Cheney pardon the rest of them, including Bush himself.
But, to keep Bush et al. from having a forum to cast just their last abuse of power as "Clinton did it too, and even Obama's new Attorney General was involved," the Senate Judiciary Committee should not hold hearings on the Holder nomination until after January 20th. While no one can be formally nominated until then, the relevant Senate Committees can, and probably should, hold confirmation hearings on the others so they can vote on them on January 21st.
Hold Eric Holder's hearings until after the 20th.