Attorney General Eric Holder -- hang tough and ignore Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the soon to-be drumbeat of other Republicans sniffing your blood that will call for your resignation. He's done nothing wrong. He has turned over thousands of documents to the political witch hunting chair of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa. He has testified countless times before the committee on the botched ATF's Mexican gun sting operation "fast and furious." The committee knows full well that the sting operation was the brainchild of former President W. Bush's Justice Department a year before Holder took office.
The program resumed in 2010 with no evidence that Holder knew all the details or the problems with the sting operation. Many of which as he testified were not disclosed to him by operatives. The program ultimately was not a DOJ operation but a local law enforcement program that should have drawn fire but that blame should not have been dumped on Holder. Yet, he has repeatedly, publicly admitted that mistakes were made, calling the ATF's tactics "unacceptable," and has accepted blame for them, calling them "inexcusable." But this was never enough. Every overture Holder made to cooperate with the GOP dominated committee was met with a torrent of more abuse, and name calling of Holder as duplicitous and engaging in a massive cover-up. The dangling implication of that is the alleged cover-up is to protect higher ups in the White House. And we know who the GOP hopes the public will connect that dot to.
But let's be absolutely clear. The witch hunting Issa and the GOP targeted Holder virtually the moment he stepped into the AG post with every bit of petty harassment, hectoring, and borderline racially laden digs they could dream up. The aim was twofold to discredit President Obama and score political brownie points on the cheap in an election year. All the phony sanctimonious talk from Issa about getting the truth about what happened in the botched operation, and the even more sanctimonious talk about getting justice and closure for slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry is even more laughable.
Holder made that exact point during one of the sweatings he got from Congressional GOP attackers when he bluntly called the attacks "politically motivated gotcha games." In the days to come, the GOP will saber rattle Holder and Obama with loud demands for his firing, or his resignation. They will trumpet the committee's contempt citation for all its worth. It's media catchy and sensational enough to keep Holder on the hot seat.
With the 2012 presidential election heating up and with the GOP's manic vow to make Obama a one term president, the GOP will continue to go after Holder fast and furious. That's even more reason for him to stay put and hang tough.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC and a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network.
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