Eric Holder wonders if he still has “gas left in the tank”

posted at 3:11 pm on November 8, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

It’s fairly uncommon for attorney generals to serve more than four years, and you might be tempted to think that — if there was a Congressional investigation questioning you and your department’s nefarious-and/or-incompetent handling of a deadly not-”botched” gunwalking scandal for which you ducked full accountability by calling on the executive privilege of your BFF — the coming reshuffling of the second-term cabinet might be the perfect opportunity to just bow out gracefully. Not this guy, via Reuters:

Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday he has not decided whether to stay on as the chief U.S. law enforcement officer in President Barack Obama’s second term.

Holder, speaking to law students at the University of Baltimore, said he still must speak with Obama and with his own family and ask himself, “Do I have some gas left in the tank?”

“That’s something that I’m in the process now of trying to determine,” he said.

There’s a very Keith Olbermann-ish refrain running through my head right now: Have you no sense of decency, sir?

It’s not that I would trust, oh, probably pretty much anybody that Barack Obama would consider appointing to the position of U.S. attorney general to stop doing outrageous things like aggressively prosecuting states for their voter-ID laws, but Fast & Furious is really the icing on the cake. Even though Holder was technically cleared of wrongdoing, there was ample evidence of his (at best) utter incompetence as a department head — the result of which was that people died. As Jim Geraghty wrote at the time:

A suspicious mind could look at this strange pattern of underling, after deputy, after staffer not mentioning critical information, and information getting all the way to Holder’s office but not being seen by the AG himself, and conclude Holder’s staffers were keeping him in the dark. Would that be to preserve his “plausible deniability”? Another conclusion might be that someone just wasn’t honest with the inspector general.

We now know that the best that can be said about Holder is that he was oblivious to a major, exceptionally dangerous operation going on within his organization. And the most generous interpretation of that is that he had staffed his office with professionals who had epically flawed judgment in deciding what the nation’s top law-enforcement officer needed to know.

Knowing when to quit can be a virtue, you know.


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