Ed Driscoll

Ice Cracking Beneath Eric Holder's Florsheims?

“If the Obama White House wants to send up smoke signals, it almost always turns to one outlet — the New York Times,” Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air:

That’s what makes their profile today of embattled Attorney General Eric Holder so compelling.  Ostensibly, the profile positions Holder as taking arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, hoping to end them.  However, anonymous sources with connections to the West Wing make it clear that momentum is growing at the White House to end the heartache already:

You can click over to Ed’s post to read the excerpt from the New York Times, which notes “some in the West Wing privately tell associates they wish he would step down, viewing him as politically maladroit.”

Perhaps having read the Gray Lady’s tea leaves, Obama booster Tom Brokaw of NBC joined the chorus predicting Holder’s resignation today:

Veteran NBC News reporter Tom Brokaw said it is “tough to see how” Attorney General Eric Holder can keep his job in the wake of recent scandals involving the Justice Department.

“Boy, I think it’s tough to see how he does [in] this case,” Brokaw said, when asked by NBC’s David Gregory if Holder was likely to remain as attorney general, given the multiple Congressional inquiries and general media uproar over the DOJ’s aggresive surveillance of journalists at the Associated Press and Fox News.

Brokaw said we are seeing “that familiar Washington two-step” with respect to Holder; the administration and its allies have express public support for the embattled attorney general, but behind the scenes, some are beginning to suggest it would be better if Holder stepped down.

“From a political point of view, one of the ways that you can measure the impact of all this, and the fairness of it, is think if this had happened in the Bush administration, with John Ashcroft as the attorney general,” Brokaw said. “You know full well that the Democrats and the left would be going very hard after them with these issues that are in play.”

And that’s an awfully fast turnaround for Brokaw, considering that as recently as Thursday, when Brokaw dropped by the MSNBC set, he was blaming Holder and Obama’s troubles solely on — who else? — the GOP, Tim Graham writes today at Newsbusters:

Then Brokaw took after Peggy Noonan and the Reagan administration: “Peggy Noonan wrote recently that the IRS scandal was the worst scandal since Watergate. It occurred to me I was covering Iran-Contra during the Reagan administration when she was working for that president, in which we were funding a war illegally. We were trying to make a deal with the Iranians at the time. That was a pretty big damn scandal, quite honestly.”

But as Noonan wrote in her blog on Friday:

In previous IRS scandals it was the powerful abusing the powerful—a White House moving against prominent financial or journalistic figures who, because of their own particular status or the machineries at their disposal, could pretty much take care of themselves. A scandal erupts, there are headlines, and then people go on their way. The dreadful thing about this scandal, what makes it ominous, is that this is the elites versus regular citizens. It’s the mighty versus normal people. It’s the all-powerful directors of the administrative state training their eyes and moving on uppity and relatively undefended Americans.

That’s what makes this scandal different, and why if it’s not stopped now it will never stop. Because every four years you can get yourself a new president and a new White House, but you won’t easily get yourself a whole new administrative state. It’s there, it’s not going away, not anytime soon. If it isn’t forced back into its cage now, and definitively, it will prowl the land hungrily forever.

Looking at the IRS scandal from Tom’s perspective, let’s face it, those mom and pop Tea Party types certainly had it coming to them with their Gadsden flags, tri-corner hats, support for the Second Amendment (which Brokaw really loathes), and calls for less taxes (ditto), one man blogs (again, ditto), and smaller government. Presumbably, so did James Rosen when Holder targeted him, if only for being employed by Fox News. Perhaps when Brokaw criticized the elitism of the White House Correspondents Dinner in late April by quipping that the MSM is “Versailles. The rest of you eat cake,” he was projecting his own thoughts about his viewers, and anyone who refuses to toe the Beltway Leftist Elite Orthodoxy as well.

As Graham writes at Newsbusters today, “Brokaw’s change in attitude today suggests just how most political scandals look like a political game, based not on any objective criteria, but on waves of gossip and partisan plotting. Brokaw doesn’t sound like a journalist. He sounds like a partisan hack smoking a cigar in some Democrat’s war room.”

Fortunately for Holder, at least one leftwing “journalist” is willing to defend him: gwen_ifill_defends_holder_6-2-13

In early January of 2009, even before Obama was sworn in as president, Tavis Smiley of PBS gushed, “we’re all working for Barack Obama.”

And certainly plenty of his fellow leftwing journalists such as fellow PBS colleague Gwen Ifill still are.

Of course, as Peter Wehner notes at Commentary, “Holder Should Resign, but Obama Is the Problem:”

Now, I’d prefer for Mr. Holder to resign, if only because I’d prefer that a man who misled Congress regarding his role in secretly monitoring the private e-mails of Fox’s James Rosen and for his role in the Fast and Furious operation (for which he was held in contempt of Congress)–a man who is self-righteous as well inept–not be attorney general of the United States. But whether Holder stays or goes is, if not exactly beside the point, not the central issue involved here.

What matters is that we have an administration that had contempt for the rule of law and believes it is right and proper to use the power of the federal government to target, intimidate, and silence its political opponents. That has been happening since nearly the beginning of the Obama Era. Eric Holder is not the generator of this culture of intimidation and corruption; he is merely one of its executioners. The real problem with the Obama administration begins at the top. Getting rid of Eric Holder may be a good idea. But it won’t solve the deeper pathologies of this presidency.

But from the MSM’s eyes, Holder’s resignation would at least put a Band-Aid on the Obama regime’s myriad woes, hence the trial balloon in today’s New York Times, and the addition of NBC’s Tom Brokaw to a growing media list who have called for Holder’s resignation.

Update: Former Obama advisor David Plouffe appearing on former Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos’ This Week show today on ABC say that he doesn’t think Holder should go for targeting James Rosen: “I think if anything, he’s guilty of over-zealously trying to uphold the law.”

As one of Ace’s co-blogger responds, “They are trying so hard to come up with better quotes than Watergate.”

Well, to paraphrase Peter Arnett, Eric Holder apparently believes that it’s necessary to destroy the law in order to save it — which come to think of it, would be a pretty good summation of this administration’s increasingly paranoid worldview.

More: From Doug Ross, “Here it is: the full, six-count indictment against Attorney General Eric Holder by former prosecutor Pirro.”

And from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Holder-Fredo connection, revealed.

But Obama as Don Corleone? I just can’t see it myself