Holder Rips Disrespectul Republicans

I wrote yesterday that as I tuned in to the end of the Fast and Furious hearing yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder was castigating some Republican who had just questioned him, calling the Republican disrespectful.

Here's the text of Holder's comments in response to some of the questions. Holder isn't the only one who should be disgusted by these Republicans. Everyone should be. Good for Holder for showing some backbone and ripping into them: [More...]

Offender #1: Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y.

“So let me ask it this way: How many more Border Patrol agents would have had to die as a part of Operation Fast and Furious for you to take responsibility?”

Holder's Response :

“You know, I mean, really, is that the way in which you want to be seen, you want to be known? You know, I should be held accountable for, certainly, my role in whatever I did or didn’t do in connection with the supervision of Fast and Furious, but I’m attorney general of the United States and I should also be accountable and perhaps even given some credit — imagine that — given some credit for the things that this Justice Department has done under my leadership, whether it deals with national security, revitalized antitrust, revitalized civil rights enforcement effort. And so one has to balance all of these things.

“I get up every day and try to do the best job that I can. I have great faith in the people who work in the department. And, you know, that kind of question, I think, is, frankly — and again, respectfully — I think that’s beneath a member of Congress,”

Despite the hearing's topic being Fast and Furious, some Republicans took the opportunity to accuse Holder of misconduct concerning the Marc Rich pardon.

Offender #2 Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich.

Walberg blasted Holder for his handling of the Marc Rich pardon and for Holder’s decision to reopen a criminal investigation into abuse and torture of terrorism detainees by CIA operatives and interrogators.

Holder's Response:

“Given the decision to almost engage in character assassination, I’m going to respond to at least some of that....“I’m the attorney general of the United States. OK? And when it comes to deciding what I’m going to investigate, how I’m going to investigate, I take into account a wide variety of things. The decision I made to open up those CIA matters — and I was aware that this was something that was opposed by a great many people … that investigation has run its course. We are at a point where we are about to close those investigations.”

The prize goes to:

Offender #3: Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. (He's the one Holder was responding to when I tuned in.) Labrador called Holder a liar and incompetent and then "showed the committee a series of statements Holder had made about the Marc Rich pardon."

Holder's response:

That was among the worst things I think I’ve ever seen in Congress...You took a whole series of statements out of context, with no context. The Marc Rich thing was considered in my confirmation, talked about it then.

There is a whole bunch of things that I could say about what you just did, and maybe this is the way you do things, you know, in Idaho or wherever you’re from. But understand something. What I’ve done — I’m proud of the work that I’ve done as attorney general of the United States. And looked at fairly– I think that I’ve done, you know, a pretty good job. Have I been perfect? No. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Do I treat the members of this committee with respect? I always hope that I do.

And what you have just done is, if nothing else, disrespectful. And if you don’t like me, that’s one thing, but you should respect the fact that I hold an office that is deserving of respect. And, you know, maybe you’re new to this committee. I don’t know. I don’t know how long you’ve been here. But my hope would be that, you know, we can get beyond that kind of interaction, that kind of treatment of a witness, whether it’s me or somebody else, because I think in some ways what you did was fundamentally unfair, just not right.”

I am hardly a cheerleader for the Department of Justice or its prosecutors, but I'm glad Holder wiped the floor with these low-rent Republicans.

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  • Display: Sort:
    While I'm glad Holder (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 12:27:53 AM EST
    didn't take much guff from these amoral morons, I'm not sure that "maybe this is the way you do things, you know, in Idaho or wherever you're from" is the way an attorney general ought to put things, no matter how he's been provoked.  Just sayin'.

    i noticed that too (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 12:57:22 AM EST
    that, & Holder's repeating 3 times, "I'm the Attorney General of the United States" and demanding respect

    lord knows those Republicans are ugly, but clearly they know who Holder is, & obviously they do not respect him or the office (unless it's occupied by a wingnut like them)

    i sympathize with Holder & am glad he spoke up at all, but to me his response seemed defensive & weak, almost whiny - admittedly, though, it would be very difficult to respond in the moment with presence of mind & perfect pitch to such astonishing & bald-faced insolence


    It's not as if they haven't (none / 0) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Feb 04, 2012 at 12:12:56 AM EST
    been doing this to him for the last however many dozen hearings they've dragged him to.

    And I'd sure like to know why the "Fast and Furious" thing is still such a mystery.  I have to think the JDept. is stonewalling about what they know (they HAVE to know by now who was behind the colossal botch job), and I just hope it's because there's some major national security secret they don't want to share with the GOP Congress or something.

    I doubt it, but I can't figure out what the heck Holder is doing otherwise.


    Holder (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by lentinel on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 06:35:46 AM EST
    lost my respect years ago.

    When he regains respect for the Constitution and individual rights, I'll gain a little respect for him.

    Until then, I could care less if he is pilloried by Republicans or anyone else.

    Ditto on Walberg (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by peon on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 08:06:37 AM EST
    I am in the 7th as well and cringe every time Walberg opens his spiteful, idiotic mouth. More than being from the 7th district I am from the heart of Walberg country, Hillsdale County, home to Hillsdale College. Walberg panders to the Christianist Tea Party people in the area that consistently vote against their own economic interests. Hillsdale County has been riddled by Republic economic policy, factories are closed, those that reopened slashed wages, schools are underfunded and being bled by charter schools. Homes are in foreclosure,city is starved for revenue, the road commission doesn't have the revenue to keep the roads up. But it is all the fault of the godless liberals who run this country and advocate for gay sex, abortion, and destroy good conservative family values.
    If you say those words they will elect Genghis  Khan for their rep and to run the country. These are my neighbors and friends but in this area they are brain damaged by too much Fox News.  

    Hall of Shame is too good (none / 0) (#3)
    by cal1942 on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 03:24:26 AM EST
    for Tim Walberg.  I live in the 7th district and unfortunately Walberg is the "representative" of the 7th district.

    I refuse to say he's my Congressman.  I don't recognize that piece of dung as a member of the human race.

    But the real blame for Walberg is the voters of the 7th district for totally ignoring his despicable record in the Michigan Legislature and in the 110th Congress.

    Unfortunately we're stuck with Walberg for some time to come.  The Republican Legislature's redistricting removed a county on the west to get rid of a Walberg competitor and added a county to the east.  They didn't gain many Republican voters but they did insure that a decent Democrat (Mark Shauer) was out of the district.

    I have to give Holder credit for such restraint.  I would have degenerated into an absolute fury if I were treated with such disrespect from such a god awful excuse for a ...  I can't say human being. Walberg, a former 'man of the cloth,' hasn't qualified for such a label and never will qualify.

    Walberg is nothing but the lowest form of trash.

    Sorry for the rant.  

    Thanks to you and peon for the context (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 09:00:11 AM EST
    on Walberg. Never heard of him, which I guess is the point - these guys want to make a name for themselves.

    I go back to the hearings I listened to when the worthless AG Alberto Gonzales was in the witness chair. Cannot remember heaingr the Dems treat him this way. They managed to confine their questions to his work in the Bush administration.


    Now now cal... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 09:41:31 AM EST
    we must respect these offices, or so we've been told.

    Nah...f8ck that, I'm with you...respect is earned, even by "offices".  When the offices start respecting us we can talk.  Halls of power has become synonymous with halls of shame.


    If they were castigating Holder (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 08:02:20 AM EST
    for prosecuting Bush, Cheney et all for torture and war crimes I'd be glad too that Holder wiped the floor with these low-rent Republicans....