Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Specter targets the Holder nomination

'Bout damn time someone in the GOP stood up and called BS to this nomination. The question remains if they can derail him but Arlen Specter has no intention of giving Eric Holder an easy ride through the confirmation hearings:

A leading Republican senator issued a broad attack on Tuesday on President-elect Barack Obama’s pick as attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., questioning his political independence.

The senator, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who is the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said Mr. Holder’s support of the White House’s stance on three contentious issues when he was deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration suggested that he was too willing to do the president’s bidding.

“He’s had an outstanding academic and professional record, and I acknowledge that early on,” Mr. Specter said of Mr. Holder in a 25-minute speech on the Senate floor. “But aside from these qualifications on Mr. Holder’s résumé, there is also the issue of character, and sometimes it is more important for the attorney general to have the stature and the courage to say no instead of to say yes.”

The Obama transition team rejected Mr. Specter’s assertions. “From prosecuting corrupt officials from both parties to supporting the appointment of independent counsels to investigate Democrats, Eric Holder has demonstrated throughout his career that he has the integrity and independence to be an outstanding attorney general,” a spokesman, Nick Shapiro, said.

The sharp criticism from Mr. Specter signaled that Republicans have identified Mr. Holder as perhaps the most vulnerable of Mr. Obama’s cabinet choices. Democrats say they expect the Democratically controlled Senate to confirm Mr. Holder easily but say he faces a tougher fight than they had expected.

Holder is the most vulnerable nominee that Obama has named because of his history with the Clinton Justice department. The editors at NRO put together an article criticizing the pick and Andy McCarthy weighed in here. In the Times article Holder's defenders claim that his appointment was a signal to end the partisan politicization of the Justice department, but Holder doesn't have the credentials to do that. He was a Clinton yes-man, and he'll be Obama's yes-man.

We have stated that the Holder pick had to be stopped. Out of everyone picked by Obama, Holder had to be denied the AG's slot. He was tied directly to the controversial pardons given out by President Clinton, including the Marc Rich pardon. In 1999, over FBI objections, he consulted on the pardoning of the FALN terrorists. He also didn't speak up on the pardons of Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans. Both women were a part of the Weather Underground (remember them and their friends that lived in Obama's neighborhood?), and Holder helped circumvent the pardon process, and avoid any objections from prosecutors. Both women were serving sentences for their role in Weather Underground bombings of government buildings.

Kudos to Specter for standing up to not only the Democrats, but to Obama. The Holder choice was a poor one, and a fairly improper one. He was chosen for the symbolism factor. But in this day and age we don't have the luxury of symbolism. We need a mature, tough-minded, legally-adept, and non-partisan attorney general. Eric Holder doesn't even come close to fitting the bill.

Publius II


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