“It’s very, very disturbing what we’re seeing here,” Bob Schieffer tells Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell on CBS This Morning, but he’s not talking about the scandals — at least not directly. Instead, Schieffer describes the lack of confidence induced by plausibility run amok, where no one in executive positions knows anything except what they read in the newspaper. “Somebody’s got to grab hold of this thing,” Schieffer says, and even the steps taken by Barack Obama yesterday are far more than a day late and a dollar short:
I’m reminded of the oft-misquoted poem by Thomas Gray:
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
‘Tis folly to be wise.
In the case of this administration, knowledge would certainly destroy their paradise, which is why Jay Carney spent so much time this week painting the Leader of the Free World as something of a hermit with a satellite dish. Eric Holder got into the act yesterday, insisting so many times that he knew nothing that it sounded a bit like an audition for a reboot of Hogan’s Heroes.
Dana Milbank, who was unimpressed with the former, expressed similar dissatisfaction with the latter:
As the nation’s top law enforcement official, Eric Holder is privy to all kinds of sensitive information. But he seems to be proud of how little he knows. …
On and on Holder went: “I don’t know. I don’t know. . . . I would not want to reveal what I know. . . . I don’t know why that didn’t happen. . . . I know nothing, so I’m not in a position really to answer.”
Holder seemed to regard this ignorance as a shield protecting him and the Justice Department from all criticism of the Obama administration’s assault on press freedoms. But his claim that his “recusal” from the case exempted him from all discussion of the matter didn’t fly with Republicans or Democrats on the committee, who justifiably saw his recusal as more of an abdication.
“There doesn’t seem to be any acceptance of responsibility in the Justice Department for things that have gone wrong,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), after Holder placed the AP matter in the lap of his deputy. “We don’t know where the buck stops.”
Clearly, the buck doesn’t stop. It’s circling Dulles Tower in a perpetual pattern, and won’t have a landing clearance until Simon & Schuster pays millions of dollars for it in 2017. Until then, well … ignorance will continue to be bliss in the nation’s capital.