One of the moments that hasn't really been talked about much is the question posed to Mitt Romney in that donor's dinner about Eric Holder. At least, it hasn't been talked about much until now. The question itself was right out of Fox News' talking points. I would love to know who asked it. Here's the relevant part, via Mother Jones' transcript:
I think one of the aspects about hope and change that worked well for Obama four years ago was he promised to bring us more honest, transparent governance in Washington. I've been around politics—the first campaign I worked for was Barry Goldwater in 1964. I've gotta be the oldest Republican in [unintelligible]. But from what I've seen, particularly in the last seven months because of my own personal involvement in an issue, is the government in Washington right now is just permeated by cronyism, outright corruption.
You know, you had cases like Solyndra and [unintelligible] that I've talked about and gotten involved in. You have Eric Holder who is probably the most corrupt attorney general that we had ever in American history. And I think it's something that if spun the right way in simple terms can actually resonate with the American people. Obama did not keep his promises. Nancy Pelosi was supposed to give us an honest Congress and has given us just the opposite as speaker. And I think that's a campaign issue that can work well. I'm optimistic that you'll be elected president. And my recommendation would be clean house, immediately. The SEC, the CFEC are disaster areas.
I'm guessing this person might be someone involved in finance or something. But that crack about Eric Holder? Where does that come from?
Lawrence explains, and he does it with appropriate emphasis. After completely undoing the assertion that Eric Holder is the "most corrupt attorney general...in American history" by reminding the audience about John Mitchell, Nixon's attorney general and the first-ever attorney general to serve a prison sentence. But wait, there's more.
John Mitchell was succeeded by the forgettable Richard Kleindeinst, who resigned on the same day John Dean was fired and Erlichman and Haldeman quit. He was right in the center of the Watergate scandal, too.
Moving on to the Reagan administration, we had Edwin Meese, who resigned because of his association with a Bechtel pipeline. Meese's fingerprints are all over the right-wing non-profit organizations that cause so much grief today, by the way.
On and on it goes. John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales, for example.
But to this megabucks donor, Eric Holder is the most corrupt US Attorney General in history, which is only possible if you use Google searches or watch Fox News, because the right wing has gamed search results to spit out his name if you search on any combination of words like Attorney General and corrupt.
What has Eric Holder done to earn such a distinction? Well, let's see. As a young attorney at the Department of Justice he worked to uncover and prosecute government corruption. That was, by the way, in the mid-1970s, when shards of Nixon's corruption were still embedded in bureaucratic agencies. President Reagan appointed him to the bench of the Superior Court during his term, President Clinton appointed him Washington, DC US Attorney and Deputy Attorney General, and briefly served as Acting Attorney General under President Bush before he went into private practice.
In his years in government practice, he created a domestic violence unit, wrote health care enforcement regulations, and also created a program to restrict some guns and bolster gun safety laws.
Lawrence will explain it better, but really it comes to this: Eric Holder is the NRA's most hated man, and he's black, too.