Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Best Boy Friends: Obama Has Holder's Back

The bit below is from yesterday's Morning Jolt, Jim Geraghty's always insightful and often feisty e-newsletter. The newsletter, by the way, is available through National Review. 

Holder Won't Go Until Obama Pushes Him. What Are the Odds of That Happening?

The Obama administration has effectively hacked the traditional checks and balances of our governing system, in that if President Obama wants Attorney General Eric Holder to stay, he will stay, and no other factor -- not Congress, not the press, not even contempt of Congress votes, congressional hearings that turn into all-out-sneer-fests -- matters. So while these sentences in the Sunday New York Times are interesting . . .

"Over the course of four and a half years, no other member of President Obama's cabinet has been at the center of so many polarizing episodes or the target of so much criticism. While the White House publicly backed Mr. Holder as he tried to smooth over the latest uproar amid new speculation about his future, some in the West Wing privately tell associates they wish he would step down, viewing him as politically maladroit. But the latest attacks may stiffen the administration's resistance in the near term to a change for fear of emboldening critics.

But that does not mitigate the frustration of some presidential aides. 'The White House is apoplectic about him, and has been for a long time,' said a Democratic former government official who did not want to be identified while talking about friends."

They don't mean much until President Obama says, "Eric, you've got to go." And he won't, because he perceives that as giving the Republicans a win. So everything else -- Fast & Furious, the AP phone-record scandal, the James Rosen conspiracy-claim scandal, his testimony before Congress that he did not know about a possible prosecution of a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, despite his signature on a search warrant to monitor Rosen's e-mails -- proves meaningless.

The Huffington Post can declare he ought to go, but that doesn't matter. Tom Brokaw can say it's tough to see how Holder stays, but that doesn't matter.

Holder stays because Obama wants him to stay. Obama locuta, causa finita -- Obama has spoken, the matter is settled.