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Eric Holder: I Voted For It Before I Voted Against It

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I had high hopes for Eric Holder when he was appointed Attorney General.  He had at one point been a career prosecutor, and by the mid-nineties had become the Clinton-appointed US Attorney for the District of Columbia.  He also seemed to me, from the very few interactions I had with him, to be a level-headed man with a wicked sense of humor.

He still has the sense of humor, but has become far too political as Attorney General. Among other things, he plays to the Democratic Party's constituencies pretty shamelessly, see, e.g., my post here, and did so again last Friday in his obsequious speech to those who are ostensibly (though not actually) his "adversaries" in the criminal defense bar.  A day or two later, he gave a much shorter, and perfunctory, video talk to the prosecutors whose work he's busy scuttling.

'Twas not ever thus.
In the olden time, Mr. Holder thought tougher sentencing, even for a relatively less harmful drug (pot), was not only acceptable but imperative. According to the Washington Post's reporting in December 1996:

U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. called yesterday for tougher laws to thwart marijuana dealers in the District, saying the drug's growing popularity has contributed to a wave of recent killings, robberies and other violence.

Current laws are much too lax to address the problem, Holder contended. Under D.C. law, a person arrested for distributing marijuana can be charged only with a misdemeanor, punishable at most by a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Holder wants the D.C. Council to make the offense a felony, carrying up to five years in prison. Then, he said, "the punishment will finally fit the crime." The penalty for distributing drugs such as cocaine, heroin and PCP in the city would remain a maximum of 30 years....

Goodness gracious!  It was a relatively scant 18 years ago, and of course a politically less electrified job, when Mr. Holder was  --  ready now?  --  a racist.



3 Comments

Back in those same "olden times" (more or less), the term "neoconservative" was coined to describe a person who had been considered a "liberal" in the JFK days, still believed the same things he believed then, but found himself labelled a "conservative" for his formerly "liberal" beliefs.

Do we need a new word for what is described here? What should we call a person who agreed with Eric Holder then, still believes the same things, but disagrees with Eric Holder now?

"I had high hopes for Eric Holder when he was appointed Attorney General."

After Marc Rich?

federalist,

I see your point. High hopes are still just hopes. I thought it possible that Holder was just having a bad moment under pressure from the White House in the rushed, final days of the Clinton Administration. I readily concede that that's the most chipper spin that can be put on it.

Probably the most disappointing thing about Holder is not even his disregard of law. That was certain to follow from the imperial views of Holder's boss. The most disappointing thing is how much Holder has fanned the racial flames, thus advancing the culture of victimization and entitlement that so undermines the country's former strength.

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