As a conservative, I eschew the desire to force the public into things against their will unless absolutely necessary. But I must submit that all citizens be forced to watch congressional testimony on CSPAN as a qualifier for voting. Only those who have taken in the full range of folly, mendacity, buffoonery and in some cases illiteracy of our leaders should be suffered to cast votes. As a retiree and writer I have lots of time to check up on the petri dish that is Washington DC via CSPAN’s microscope. I am convinced that if everyone watched their elected representatives at work at least once a week, a monarchist movement would spring up overnight.
We all like to think that if properly informed, people of good will would submit to the evidence of their own eyes and ears. In that spirit I suggest that there can be but two classes of people regarding Attorney General Eric Holder. There are those who have seen him testify before Congress and want him impeached. And there are those who have not seen his performances and want to give him a break.
I’ve watched many of Attorney General Holder’s appearances before various congressional committees over the years. These include his first appearances and those of last week. He operates in only two modes; implausible ignorance of matters central to his function as a public official, and officious refusal to respond truthfully to direct questioning by Congress.
All legislators understand that the executive branch has its secrets. Sometimes the executive has legitimate reason for circumspection. No one however, thinks that the executive can simply refuse to grant the legislature’s constitutional oversight function. Even when the executive holds the persons and the motives of legislators in low regard, as Holder obviously does, the executive must respect the oversight role. Cabinet members may elide or obfuscate to a degree, but they cannot simply stonewall for years on end information that congress has subpoenaed. Holder not only refuses he does so with transparent disdain in a manner that suggests he truly doesn’t feel the weight of law upon him. He seems to be saying that he is serving a cause that transcends the constitutional order.
It is this disdain for his constitutional obligation that should oblige Congress to impeach Holder. The administration has allowed firearms to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels; it has obviously allowed persons in the IRS to persecute citizens for their political beliefs. The list of administration transgressions is a long one. Holder has already been found in contempt of congress. Any Attorney General who puts aside his role as the chief law enforcement officer of the republic for that of political operative has no right to remain.
Even more damaging to public morale is his smirking indifference to how this looks to the public. As a product of affirmative action, he “knows” that the system is fixed. So he acts without shame, as though all the norms and procedures of our republic are just so much play-acting. For people like him, it’s all about power and holding on to power in a system they see as unjust in itself. He and his friend in the White House have the power now and have not the good grace to exercise it with honesty.
That is why Holder must go. He must be impeached or we will be seen as his accomplices in portraying our system as a sham.