Should perpetuating racial grievance be the defining mission of a U.S. Attorney General? Eric Holder, who has held the office for the past five and a half years, really believes it is – and acts accordingly. A new book, Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department (Broadside), presents a strong case for removing Holder from office as a corrective to his many abuses of power related to racial and other issues.
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In 256 pages, authors John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky pull no punches in revealing how Holder and other department officials routinely have subordinated rule of law to radical politics, all the while stonewalling Congress and punishing internal dissenters. They also, properly, point a finger at Holder’s boss, President Obama.
There is an old saying in the world of bureaucracy: “Personnel is policy.” This is certainly true of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a $27 billion cabinet-level agency with about 114,000 employees. Arguably more than any other federal official, the attorney general (AG) carries out the president’s agenda. Fund, a widely-read columnist who wrote for many years for the Wall Street Journal, and Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation senior fellow who served under George W. Bush as a counsel to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and as a member of the Federal Election Commission, convey as much. The AG establishes an administration’s enforcement priorities and watches the president’s political backside. Though a political appointee, he must be thoroughly impartial. The authors explain (p. 19):
Why does it matter who runs the U.S. Justice Department? Because that person heads one of the most powerful executive branch agencies in the federal government – one that has enormous discretionary power to pursue people accused of breaking law and to exert major influence over social, economic, and national security policies by the choices its leader makes in enforcement. It requires someone who understands that while the attorney general is a political appointee, he (or she) has a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and enforce the law in an objective, nonpolitical manner.
In other words, to truly understand how President Obama means to transform this country – his mission is far from accomplished – it is necessary to know who Eric Holder is.