Ed Driscoll

Know When to Holder, Know When to Fold'er

“Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General,” Obama house organ NPR reports. The lead is a predictable doozy:

Eric Holder Jr., the nation’s first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.

Even in NPR’s article, between fluffy ‘graphs stating that Eric Holder is kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being that NPR has ever known in its life, details emerge about Holder’s disastrous tenure:

…a 2009 Black History Month speech where he said the country was “a nation of cowards” when it comes to discussions about racial tension.

* * * * * * *

Another huge controversy — over his decision to try the Sept. 11 plotters in a New York courthouse in the shadow of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center — prompted venomous reaction from lawmakers, New York City officials and some victims’ families.

* * * * * * *

Things hit a crisis point when the GOP-led House voted him in contempt for refusing to hand over documents about a gun trafficking scandal known as Fast and Furious.

So why is Holder resigning now? Let’s ask him!

[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”75907″]

Gee, you’re not much help at all, Eric*. OK, let’s ask Noah Rothman at Hot Air:

Holder’s decision to resign is the clearest indication yet that the White House believes there is a real possibility that Democrats will lose control of Congress in the coming midterm elections. If the GOP were to take control of the Senate with Holder in place as AG, he would likely have to serve in that role for the remainder of the Obama presidency.

Holder has, however, said that he intends to remain in his post until his replacement is confirmed. Even if Republicans take control of the Senate after the November elections, there will be a push to confirm Obama’s new nominee in the lame duck session. A confirmation fight over the supremely important post of attorney general looms, and it will probably not be a fight tackled by the 114th Congress’s Senate. Nevertheless, the politics of a confirmation fight is likely aimed squarely at the midterm electorate. Republicans and Democrats both stand to benefit from this shot in the arm.

Noah writes that “The two leading candidates who fit this bill are California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.” Regarding the former:

Ambition: Check. Partisan liberal: Check. Demographic desirability (Harris is both female and African-American): Check.

Patrick, meanwhile, is a known quantity and, having occupied statewide office and served as a surrogate for Barack Obama, his nomination may even be seen as more partisan and divisive than would Harris’s. Patrick has also served as a Department of Justice official in the past as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, so he has the qualifications and possibly even the desire to serve as Obama’s AG.

“Deval Patrick has always been a name you heard a lot over the years,” Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd opined on Thursday. “He’s somebody that has been close to a lot of the president’s political aides.

“As somebody whose term is expiring in Massachusetts, electing a successor there, he expressed interest in – I think he would love to be a judge someday,” Todd continued. “I think he said one time in an interview one of his dream jobs would be to be a Supreme Court justice.”

Oh and speaking of Chuck Todd’s opinion of Holder himself, as Glenn Reynolds notes:

Meanwhile, predictable loserdom from the Journolist crew: NBC’s Chuck Todd: Self-Professed ‘Activist’ Eric Holder ‘a Very Non-Political Person.’ Really, Chuck? Really?

There’s the kind of hard-hitting take no prisoners journalism we’ve come to expect from NBC and its Democrat operatives with bylines. Keep on BenSmithing, boys!

Update: “Republicans Rejoice at Resignation of Holder: ‘Obama Could Hardly Do Worse.'” I’m not at all sure that’s true — do not taunt a happy fun community organizer with nothing to lose after November.

QED: “Al Sharpton Says He’s Helping The White House Pick The Next Attorney General.” Gee, between Sharpton saying that he advises Obama on domestic issues and resident Time-Warner-CNN plagiarist  Fareed Zakaria boasting from time to time that “he has been advising President Obama on foreign policy matters,” the country’s in the very best of hands, to coin an Insta-phrase.

More: Juicevox Mafia suffers their usual epistemic closure: