Tag Archives: politics

Eric Holder, MVP

12 Aug

I would not have guessed this when I heard about his confirmation hearings, where Holder repeatedly disavowed any role in the pardon of Mark Rich. But I think Holder has become the most effective proxy for Barack Obama and the Obama agenda.

I think this mostly because of the way that Holder has been vigilant and even aggressive about defending the voting rights act, but he’s also been important, for example, in the way he has investigated police brutality (see this week’s actions to investigate in Ferguson, MO, just up the street from where I’m writing this), his comments about drug sentencing laws, etc.

(It’s not like Holder has done no wrong. I think at least he mishandled “Fast and Furious” and it’s aftermath. He, like his boss, sometimes gets drawn into conflicts that are a waste of time and energy.)

It occurred to me this morning that maybe the best analog for the partnership between Holder and his boss, between vision and implementation, is Jack and Robert Kennedy.

In the final analysis, when people look back on the Obama presidency and try to figure out what philosophy dominated it– and what kind of conception of the unitary executive and all that prevailed– I think Holder’s role will be seen as crucial in terms of expressing and actually carrying out the ambitions of the Obama executive.

I think everyone has by now seen the Key and Peele sketch about Obama and his angry black side. But you kind of don’t need to, if you just look at a split screen view of Obama and Eric Holder.

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