Attorney General Eric Holder told The New York Times this weekend that “the more extreme segment” of his Fast and Furious critics are motivated by — you guessed it — racism. But Florida Rep. Allen West will have none of it.
In remarks to The Daily Caller, West interpreted Holder’s shameless rhetorical tactic as a sign of desperation — and called him out for his non-race-related incompetence:
“I think this is absolutely the last card in the deck, and that shows how weak their ground is,” West said in a phone interview. “But, what that means is they want to make white individuals afraid of continuing to put the pressure on Eric Holder because they don’t want to be seen as racist, and that is something that we have got to move beyond.”
West said Holder can’t logically assign race as a motivation behind the criticisms for his handling of Operation Fast and Furious. “What Fast and Furious has to do with is misleading the Congress and the American people about what you knew about this program, and if you did not know anything about this program, then who’s in charge of the Department of Justice?” West said. “It has nothing to do with your race — it has everything to do with competence, with your character and with your ability to lead the Department of Justice.”
West said Holder’s use of race as a way to attack his critics is “the most insidious thing I ever heard.”
“I grew up in the United States military and it’s not about your color, it’s about your competence, it’s about your abilities to execute a mission,” West said. “If your commanding officer turns heat on you, it’s because you have failed to achieve the mission and I think what we’re doing is we’re looking at something that was a very horrible program — this Operation Fast and Furious.”
It’s not about your color, it’s about your competence. What a great lesson for us all!
That Holder himself wanted to introduce race to this equation — that he was the first to bring it up as a possible motivating factor behind the investigations into Fast and Furious and the 60 congressional calls for his resignation — suggests he’s afraid to be judged by his competence alone. That shows Holder at least has some kind of clue. After all, that he can provide no explanation as to how he came to preside — with or without knowledge — over an operation that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry doesn’t make a good case against calls for his resignation.