Senator Charles Grassley weighed in on the Holder nomination with an insightful comment:
"It’s going to be much more controversial than a new administration ought to try to put forth," Grassley said, according to a transcript on his Web site.
The other day I had a post wailing in dismay over the Holder nomination. Let me make myself clear; I do not dislike Eric Holder. I do not think he is the most terrible awful person that ever walked the earth, not at all. I do think that his nomination sends the wrong message for two reasons:
1) Remember all those new voters that registered and worked for and turned out for Barack Obama because they believed, with an almost religious fervor, his message of change? You know, the 18-25 year olds? Remember them?
Uh,guys, they were, like in the 5th grade when the Holder/Rich/Clinton pardon thingy happened and in 2002, when the Chiquita thing started, they were in middle school. They didn’t know about it.
Now they get to be treated to the specter of the RNC breaking the news to them, and I’m sure the RNC won’t do it gently, they will pound away the message that this guy’s got the same old, same old Washington insider baggage that Obama promised we were going to do away with.
2) As you know, I believe DOJ to be a seriously wounded and sickly organization desperately in need of an inspirational figure to restore its morale, culture of integrity and reputation with the people who work there, the people who work with it and the American people which it serves.
In other circumstances, Holder would be an "OK" nominee, and I would say "let the president have his druthers", but after what Gonzales, Goodling, Sampson, Taylor, et al have done to DOJ, somebody REALLY special is needed to get it back on solid footing.
In 1987, in the wake of the Iran Contra scandal, the reputation and morale of the CIA were in tatters. Ronald Reagan persuaded William Webster-who had been appointed as FBI Director by Jimmy Carter to move over from FBI to CIA. At the time, Webster enjoyed a reputation as a man of impeccable character and professional integrity. I am told–and maybe Valerie or Joe can weigh in here, if they see this post– that people who planned on leaving the CIA, taking with them critical institutional memory, reconsidered and stayed on because of Judge Webster.
DOJ needs its own Judge Webster moment.
And the legions of new, young, inspired voters do NOT need to be disillusioned before we even get to inauguration day.