The Grand Inquisitors of racism

Attorney General Eric Holder gave an interview with ABC News in which he carried the Administration’s bottled whine about how mean Republicans hate them and keep obstructing their wonderful agenda:

Attorney General Eric Holder is challenging Republicans who are calling for his and President Obama’s impeachment, and denouncing what he calls a “gridlocked Washington” stalled by what he says is a Republican Party bent on blocking any of the administration’s efforts.

“For whatever reason, [some] Republicans decided early on that this was a president they were just simply not going to cooperate with,” Holder said in a rare interview with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas. “And over the past five-and-a-half years, we have seen demonstrations of that, where the president has reached out his hand, offered compromises that have simply not been met [in the way] they have been in the past by a Republican Party willing to do the appropriate things.”

How far the majestic King Barack I has fallen!  From sneering “I won!” and telling Republicans to sit in the “back of the bus” while he rammed his agenda down America’s throat, to piteous whining by his toadies and political operatives about how he truly loves and respects the people he used to dismiss as irrelevant, and can’t understand why they won’t accept his outstretched hand of friendship.

It’s too bad Obama and Holder were cursed with living in a representative republic, where the legislature is equal to the executive, and people who disagree with the President have representation in Congress.  The only thing that makes this wistful sobbing about the joys of elected dictatorship tolerable is knowing they will end, absolutely and abruptly, as soon as a Republican wins the White House.  It’s interesting how the Ruling Class and much of its pet media instantly rediscovers the importance, and moral stature, of dissent and “obstruction” when we have a Republican president.  It’s almost as if the only way to focus the Democrat mind on how the American system of government actually works is to put a Republican in charge of it.

Why any of this political posturing should be the business of a famously inept Attorney General – the guy who claimed, under oath, repeatedly, that he has no idea what his department was doing in Operation Fast and Furious, because he doesn’t read his mail – is open to question.  There are a lot of things that should be occupying Holder’s attention.  For example, Mr. Attorney General, did you know the Internal Revenue Service admitted to a serious crime, and left taxpayers on the hook for $50,000 in fines, when someone at the IRS handed the confidential tax information for a group called the National Organization for Marriage over to its political opponents?  How’s the investigation into that serious federal crime going?

Of course, in a hyper-politicized Justice Department, justice is permanently deferred for people with the wrong views.  Holder told ABC he thinks he’s doing a terrific job.  Contrary to the impression of abject lawlessness at the southern border, or within the law-rewriting Obama White House, everything is so well-in-hand at Justice that Holder can focus on the urgent task of suppressing speech he doesn’t like.  That would include just about all criticism of Barack Obama, which Holder thinks is founded in racism:

Holder said that he and President Obama are treated differently than their predecessors.

“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder said. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”

Asked about his controversial comments from 2009, in which he called the United States a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race, Holder stood firm.

“I wouldn’t walk away from that speech,” Holder said. “I think we are still a nation that is too afraid to confront racial issues,” rarely engaging “one another across the color line [to] talk about racial issues.”

We’re a “nation of cowards” for refusing to talk about race, says the man who thinks all criticism of him or his boss is racism, and wants to use the dread power of the super-State to crack down on it.  Now that all violent crime has been fixed forever, here’s the sort of thing occupying the Justice Department’s time, courtesy of the Washington Times:

The U.S. Department of Justice has sent a member of its Community Relations Service team to investigate a Nebraska parade float that criticized President Obama.

A Fourth of July parade float featured at the annual Independence Day parade in Norfolk sparked criticism when it depicted a zombie-like figure resembling Mr. Obama standing outside an outhouse, which was labeled the “Obama Presidential Library.”

The Nebraska Democratic Party called the float one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.”

The Omaha World-Herald reported Friday that the Department of Justice sent a CRS member who handles discrimination disputes to a Thursday meeting about the issue.

Also at the meeting were the NAACP, Norfolk mayor Sue Fuchtman and the Norfolk Odd Fellows, which coordinated the parade.

The float’s creator, Dale Remmich, has said the mannequin depicted himself, not President Obama. He said he is upset with the president’s handling of the Veterans Affairs Department, the World-Herald reported.

“Looking at the float, that message absolutely did not come through,” said NAACP chapter president Betty C. Andrews.

And now that our society has internalized the totalitarian doctrine that offense is solely and entirely in the eyes of beholders with the correct political credentials, that’s all that matters.  When, exactly, did tasteless floats become illegal?  I can think of a few other parades noted for tasteless floats, but they never seem to get hassled by DOJ.  Of course, the people offended by those floats don’t have the right politics to get the Justice Department on the case.  As for insults to the intrinsic dignity of the presidency, I’ll bet that’s never happened before, in Nebraska or elsewhere.  It’s not as if liberals spent the Aughts cranking out insulting caricatures of George W. Bush, right?

Here’s a little bold talk for that searingly honest national conversation AG Holder claims he wants to have: false charges of racism are themselves acts of racism.  Our civil-rights leaders would be energetically making that point, if a white Attorney General gave interviews where he said resistance to the white President by people of color was driven largely by their animus against people of pallor.

Even putting a mock-up of the President next to an outhouse is not inherently racist, although it’s certainly crude and insulting, assuming you don’t buy the float guy’s claims that the outhouse zombie was meant to represent himself.  We have a long history of mockery afforded white presidents of both parties, stretching back for – well, forever – to demolish the notion that Obama is getting some uniquely horrendous treatment, or that he gets it primarily because he’s not white.

Holder, and many other Obama defenders, level far broader charges of racism, claiming that virtually all criticism of this President is founded in racial animosity.  That’s an easy charge to beat in “court,” and you’d think someone named to the position of Attorney General would understand why.  In a country as sharply divided on major issues as the United States, there’s no logical reason to reach for racial hatred as an explanation when good old-fashioned partisanship will do.  (Not to mention that American citizens also have a long, proud history of disrespecting their politicians.)  Demanding universal acclaim, and universal obedience, is ridiculous.  Accusing those who dissent of committing the worst social crime imaginable is offensive.  And since it’s an absurdly broad charge, the people making it are freed from all burden of evidence.

Americans should expect better conduct, and sharper thinking, from their top law-enforcement officer.  The law, after all, is not meant to be a series of minor obstacles for the Ruling Class to get around when they want to destroy people.  We should demand our top officials embrace the spirit of the law and its rationale.  Their conduct should reflect trust and reverence for the American people, which you’re obviously not getting from someone who thinks half (or considerably more than half, to judge from Obama’s approval ratings) of the population are racists.  The conduct of our Attorney General should also reflect an inherent respect for principles such as the presumption of innocence, and the need to back up accusations with evidence.  Racism is a serious charge, and it often does have serious legal consequences.

It is extremely irresponsible for the Attorney General to position himself as a Grand Inquisitor, throwing such charges at political adversaries with careless abandon.  He even does that when the preponderance of the evidence is against him, as with voter-ID laws.  Holder constantly claims such laws are vicious acts of racism, even though they never actually produce the suppressed minority vote he keeps warning about.

Holder says he thinks Americans are cowards because they don’t want to have a “conversation” on race, which he envisions as something more like an inquisition, in which one side does little except mumble forced confessions of guilt.  I think it would be far more courageous to put race-baiting behind us for good.  What if we all presumed each other innocent for a change?  What if the people of the United States had some faith in each other, extending goodwill and benefit of the doubt, instead of assuming the worst and indulging in perpetual outrage?  It’s not easy to do that, but if brotherhood was easy, everyone would be doing it.  We aren’t likely to make much progress as long as we indulge “leaders” who play to our worst instincts for political gain.

Allow me to quote Dr. Martin Luther King, not in a game of racial “gotcha,” but because his famous words have enduring power, and he unquestionably meant them to linger in ears of every color: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  Does that sentence retain any of its power if we stipulate that the judgment of their character cannot be negative, no matter what?  It is indeed the right of all men and women to ask for fair judgment of their character and deeds.  They don’t always get it, sadly, which is why they only have the indisputable moral right to ask.  But even when fair judgment is given, it might end up negative… perhaps even harshly so.  I can imagine no better sign of racial progress than for the First Black President to get the same kind of no-holds-barred pummeling from the rowdy American electorate that his white predecessors enjoyed.