Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Word is Incompetent

Our Attorney General, Eric Holder, is an intelligent, highly educated and competent attorney but as Attorney General, the highest law enforcement official in the country, and the leader of the United States Department of Justice, he repeatedly displays an embarrassing level of incompetence.

In what turned out to be a scene which was actually hard to watch he attempted to answer questions during a hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee.

In answer to a question by Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) who was simply trying to get the Attorney General to use the words “radical” and “Islam” in the same sentence he stuttered, fumbled and steadfastly danced around, -refusing to simply acknowledge that the attempted bombing in Times Square was a terrorist act involving fanatical and radical Islamic philosophy.

In the past, Mr. Holder did not hesitate to describe America as a “nation of cowards” on matters of race relations. He has also been comfortable calling George W. Bush a “war criminal", but when it comes to saying “why” in the Times Square bombing case, uttering the words “radical Islam” to describe what Faisal Shahzad tried to do is apparently to hard for him to do. In fact, as hard as it is to conceive, it looked as if he actually does not think that had anything to do with the motivation!

Unfortunately, that was not all. The Attorney General still had another show to put on during the same hearing. Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas) asked the Attorney General about the new Arizona immigration law. I think the best way to tell you what happened is to put up the clip from You tube of the questioning followed by an exact transcript of the exchange. As difficult as it is to believe:

REP. TED POE: So Arizona, since the federal government fails to secure the border, desperately passed laws to protect its own people. The law is supported by 70 percent of the people in Arizona, 60 percent of all Americans and 50 percent of all Hispanics, according to The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll done just this week. And I understand that you may file a lawsuit against the law. It seems to me the administration ought to be enforcing border security and immigration laws and not challenge them and that the administration is on the wrong side of the American people. Have you read the Arizona law?

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: I have not had a chance to -- I've glanced at it. I have not read it.

POE: It's 10 pages. It's a lot shorter than the health care bill, which was 2,000 pages long. I'll give you my copy of it, if you would like to -- to have a copy. Even though you haven't read the law, do you have an opinion as to whether it's constitutional

HOLDER: I have not really -- I have not been briefed yet. We, as I said, have had underway a review of the law. I have not been briefed by the people who have been responsible -- who are responsible for that review.

POE: Are you going to read the law?

HOLDER: I'm sure I will read the law in anticipation of that briefing. I know that they will put that in front of me, and I'll spend a good evening reading that law.

POE: Well, I've gone through it. And it's pretty simple. It takes the federal law and makes it -- enacts it in a state statute, although makes it much more refined in that it actually says in one of the sections that no state or subdivision may consider race, color, national origin in implementing the requirements of any subsection of this law.

It seems to outlaw racial profiling in the law. I know there's been a lot of media hype about the -- the legislation. Do you see a difference in the constitutionality of a statute and the constitutionality of the application of that statute? Do you see there's a difference in those two?

HOLDER: Sure, there is a potential for challenging a law on its face and then challenging a law as it is applied. So there are two bases for challenging a particular statute.

POE: And when do you think you will have an opinion as to whether the law is constitutional?

HOLDER: I've used this term a lot, but I think this is -- I think relatively soon. I think that we have to -- there has been much discussion about this. The review is underway. The Department of Justice along with the Department of Homeland Security is involved in this review. And I would expect it -- our view of the law will be expressed relatively soon.

POE: You have some concerns about the statute. And it's -- it's hard for me to understand how you would have concerns about something being unconstitutional if you hadn't even read the law.

It seems like you wouldn't make a judgment about whether it violates civil rights statutes, whether it violates federal preemption concepts if you haven't read the law. So can you help me out there a little bit, how you can make a judgment call on -- on that, but you haven't read the law and determined whether it's constitutional or not?

HOLDER: Well, what I've said is that I've not made up my mind. I've only made -- made the comments that I've made on the basis of things that I've been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, television, talking to people who are on the review panel, on the review team looking at the law.

But I've not reached any conclusions as yet with regard to -- I've just expressed concerns on the basis of what I've heard about the law. But I'm not in a position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with the people who are doing the review, exactly what my position is.

(End of excerpt)

There is nothing I can add to this—after watching this I was honestly not sure if I should laugh or cry.

In selecting and nominating Mr. Holder for Attorney General the President and the Senate based their opinions on his very impressive resume. Selecting someone for any position is a difficult thing to do. Anyone who has been in management and had to hire people can tell you that. Sometimes the people who, on paper, seem to be the best qualified turn out to be anything but qualified. I have made more than one mistake like that over the years. The real test of leadership is how fast you are able to identify the mistake and remedy it. In this case the President can demonstrate his competence and management skill by moving quickly to replace Mr. Holder in this extremely important post. If the President fails to do that he will have to assume direct responsibility for the resulting incompetent handling of the Justice Department.


Added Comment: After drafting this blog and before publishing it this morning I decided to do a little research just for my own edification. A quick check of the news videos on the internet revealed that, at the time I was getting upset about Mr. Holder, acting as Attorney General, making proclamations about a law he has never read, --Janet Napalitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, was doing the same thing and she had not read it yet either! Then, to my utter horrification, it turned out that even Barack Obama, our President, is guilty of the same behavior! Just what the hell is wrong with these people? Even arrogance is not enough to explain such blatantly amateurish conduct!

It is just unforgivable that the major people involved in the Administration would insult and degrade an entire state of the union over a piece of legislation that they have never read! Mr. Obama needs to stop playing at being President and start acting like a real leader, or he should admit that he too is incompetent and should simply resign before he embarrasses us further.




Ted Leddy said...

There is no doubt Holder is a liability to the Obama administration. I can't see him lasting much longer. I don't have a problem with the administrations decision to change some of the language in the fight against terrorism. It is always unwise to unecessarily alientate allies, or potential allies. However it truly is amazing that the Attorney General never read the controversial Arizona bill (all ten pages of it)


Gary said...

Yes it is -especially considering that he must have known he was going to be questioned about it at the Congressional Hearing. It demonstrates either a total incompetence or an astounding level of arrogance.
As for using the word terrorism, I agree it should be used carefully but applying it to organizations such as the Pakistani Taliban that openly brag about using it as one of their methods should certainly be appropriate.