Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Someone get him his blanky

U.S. Attorney General Eric "Neutral, leaning towards favorable" Holder got his panties in a bunch yesterday while being grilled by Congress as to just why his Justice Department saw fit to dismiss slam-dunk cases against the New Black Panthers who were found to have engaged in blatant voter intimidation on Election Day 2008 at a polling place in Philadelphia: 

"The Attorney General seemed to take personal offense at a comment [Texas Rep. John] Culberson read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.

'Think about that,' Holder said. 'When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,' said Holder, who is black."  (emphasis ours)

Mr. Holder, to be perfectly frank, is an idiot.  Here's just some of the considerable civil-rights bonafides of Mr. Bull, the eyewitness (he was a poll watcher at that very precinct on the day in question) to the Panther incident and the man whose opinion our oh-so-competent A.G. so cavalierly pooh-poohs:

"Bartle Bull was born in 1940 and graduated Harvard College in 1963, attended Oxford 1963-1964, and graduated Harvard Law School in 1967. He was admitted to practice in New York in 1967. In the 1960s Bull worked for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law seeking to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Mississippi protecting both black voters and black political candidates from voter intimidation."

Mr. Bull put his life on the line as much as anyone else during that period to ensure the right of blacks to vote.  And the folks he spent years fighting for weren't even "his people", as Mr. Holder so elegantly puts it, as Bull happens to be white.  Yes, Mr. Holder, other racial groups besides blacks fought (and sometimes died) to advance the cause of civil rights in this country.  Maybe you should have paid more attention in history class.

In short, if Bartle Bull (a lifelong liberal Democrat, by the way) says he saw voter intimidation you can take it to the bank.  Yet all Holder can do is "take personal offense" when he's asked legitimate questions about why his department refused to connect with the hanging curveball of a default judgment against these petty thugs.

Well, no one cares about your precious self-esteem, Eric.  Do your job by enforcing the law fairly and without racial bias and you won't have to worry about sniveling in front of Congress about how your feelings are so hurt.

"Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Democrat from Philadelphia, said the Black Panthers 'should not have been there.' But he said the GOP was making too much out of a fleeting incident involving a couple of people."

We wonder if Mr. Fattah would be holding that same milquetoast opinion if those "couple of people" had been white and wearing hoods and sheets instead of being black and wearing paramilitary gear while brandishing nightsticks.

No, we imagine he wouldn't.

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