Does the traditional second-term curse for Presidents start with a bang or a whimper? As scandal engulfs the Obama Administration, many of the roads intersect at the office of Attorney General Eric Holder. While Republicans have long called for Holder to step aside, Obama’s Democrats have largely defended the embattled AG, until now. On Friday, WV Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin told Bloomberg News that Holder should at least “consider resigning.”
“Whenever you feel that you have lost your effectiveness or may be losing your effectiveness to the detriment of the job that you do … you have to evaluate that and make a decision,” Manchin said. “And I think we’re at the time now where decisions have to be made.”
Prior to the latest scandal revelations, Holder had already been held in contempt by Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the botched “Fast and Furious” operation. He has stifled civil rights election cases and pushed to treat suspected terrorists as criminal suspects. Many of these, however, could be said to arise out of legitimate policy differences.
Recent revelations of DOJ spying on the phone and email communications of dozens of journalists, however, suggests an Executive Branch run amok. While many Democrats are criticizing the expansive surveillance policies of the Obama Administration, Manchin is the first to suggest that Holder should step down as a result.
The current Obama scandals are too numerous and too obviously wrong for there not to be consequences. Manchin’s comments are, in a way, a trail balloon. Holder is being screen-tested for the role of fall guy for the Administration’s current troubles. It is a role he was probably destined to fill.