Eric Holder was on the hot seat ever since he became U.S. Attorney General at the onset of Barack Obama’s presidency. That he resigned only recently, shortly after arguably the high point of his career, easing tensions in racially divided Feguson, MO after the controversial Michael Brown shooting there, made political sense: go out on a high note.
Some of the rabid dogs that pass themselves off as politicians these days won’t leave well enough alone, and they are obsessed with digging up more dirt on him. Can’t we just agree that he wasn’t a good choice to begin with, say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” and be done with it? Why add insult to injury?
More important now is who his successor is going to be. Over the past six years, I’ve given Obama mixed reviews, including on his choice of Cabinet members. Something tells me he won’t do the right thing and choose someone good to replace Holder, but here’s to hoping.
An Attorney General, you see, is many things. The guardian of civil rights is one of them. Civil rights, by the way, means more than the very worthy cause of combatting racial discrimination. Eliminating the ugly scourge of racism from the fiber of American culture once and for all, as if it were smallpox, is essential to our evolution as a nation. But it is not the only component of civil rights and, in turn, civil rights is not the only component about what an attorney general ought to be.
When John F. Kennedy was president, he chose his brother, Bobby, to be his attorney general. Attorney General Kennedy, almost singlemindedly and surely obsessively, made it his life’s work to fight against organized crime. Surely no one thought, the darling of post-World War II liberalism, was insensitive to civil rights. Quite the opposite. When Martin Luther King was assassinated, the nation turned to Bobby, a white man, to calm the masses of demoralized and apoplectic African-Americans. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t something higher up on his radar screen: bringing down the mob.
Forty years later, high atop America’s radar screen ought to be the pandemic far more lethal than Ebola: illegal immigration.
If the knee-jerk politically correct crowd would stop crying “racism” and “xenophobia” for a minute to pay attention to the facts, the issues remain indisputable: first of all, there are tens of thousands of individuals and families seeking to enter or remain in the United States as immigrants or nonimmigrants, legally. The illegal aliens, by cutting in front of them on line, have completely disrespected their very existence – as if they didn’t even count.
Second, every illegal alien takes away a job, a seat in school, an apartment, a hospital bed, a government benefit, and even a parking space specifically reserved for American citizens and legal aliens. Third, though the majority of illegal aliens want nothing more than a chance to put in a hard and honest day’s work, and are often willing to work for paltry wages, our porous borders and immigration tracking systems make it easier for groups like ISIS to install terrorist cells on our home soil. Finally, as if the threat of terrorist cells wasn’t enough, perhaps the Ebola outbreak might scare Americans into wanting to secure the borders to prevent Ebola-infected illegal aliens from entering and spreading that disease here in large numbers.
This is where a new sheriff is needed, in the form of an attorney general. Someone with Bobby Kennedy’s singlemindedness, to focus on zero tolerance regarding illegal immigration. Someone who will focus not only on the illegal aliens themselves, but from their American enablers: the landlord who rents them an apartment; the school district that admits their children into its classrooms; and the countless numbers of employers, which include not only the restaurateurs who give them an apron and hire them in droves to wash dishes in the back kitchen, but also the average homeowner, looking to save a buck and hire the cheapest plumber, painter or roofer, paying no mind to matters like immigration status.
Naturally, if Obama extends yet another olive branch to the GOP and picks a tough-as-nails, no-nonsense, kick-some-tail-and-take-names-later kind of attorney general, the Republicans will politely applaud for a minute, and then go back to bashing Obama the following day. But presidents of the United States are unique. The presidency is a rare, exalted status and presidents must rise above the fray.
This is no time to play politics or worry about legacy. Ironically, however, by doing the right thing, Obama still has a chance of going down as one of America’s greatest presidents – something history won’t figure out for at least another 20 years or so.
How? By having the courage to appoint an attorney general who will combat illegal immigration so tenaciously, he, or she, will make Bobby Kennedy seem like a Girl Scout by comparison.