While there was much speculation that Holder was alluding to racial divisions, Holder told The Huffington Post his intent was to highlight the current lack of civility in the nation’s capital.
“I think what we have seen is kind of a breakdown in civility in Washington, D.C., and that becomes important because I think it has substantive impact,” Holder told the liberal publication. “We are celebrating the 50th anniversary passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If we had a Congress or an executive branch-legislative branch relationship in the way that we now have one, where there’s this lack of civility, I wonder whether or not you could have forged the necessary compromises, things that involved personal relationships, in order to get such a landmark piece of legislation passed.”
“And that’s essentially what I was decrying, the fact that we can’t somehow separate whatever our personal feelings are and focus on our functions as members of the executive branch or as legislators. I think that I’ve done a pretty good job in doing that, but it’s frustrating at times,” Holder said.