Thursday evening, Governor Sarah Palin posted a new note on Facebook tackling the fiasco of operation Fast and Furious, and calling upon President Obama to fire his Attorney General, Eric Holder, for his sheer malfeasance in this case. Gov. Palin makes a thoroughly compelling argument for the immediate removal of Eric Holder for having been incompetent, lazy or dishonest(or all three,) and she is right: There is no plausible explanation for why Eric Holder is being permitted to maintain his position as the Attorney General of the United States. Whether singly, or in combination, the three competing(or overlapping) explanations for Holder’s behavior in this scandal as outlined by Palin are quite enough to warrant his immediate dismissal. The stated motives for this program simply defy logic. Lying to Congress is a serious matter, and so is dereliction of duty. The only thing I would respectfully add is this: Obama should fire Eric Holder, and follow that up by tendering his own resignation.
It’s true that a President can’t know the inner workings and minute details of every agency and department under his or her command, but it is nevertheless true that a President should endeavor to know enough to prevent and prohibit those agencies from running wild. A President is responsible for appointing the heads of these departments and agencies, and everything they do is an expression of the authority of the office of the executive. In short, Obama had a duty to appoint people who were not incompetent, lazy and/or dishonest, but in having done so, he exposed his own malfeasance. One of the criticisms of Richard Nixon that persisted long after his humiliating resignation of the office of President had been the fact that whatever virtues he might have possessed, he nullified them by surrounding himself with people of questionable character, diligence, and veracity. In short, Watergate was a scandal conceived in a bungled burglary by third-rate hacks, but ultimately birthed in the intransigence of a President to face up to those who had acted badly without his knowledge. In short, “it was the cover-up, stupid!”
In permitting Holder to continue at the Department of Justice, Obama is himself nurturing a similar environment. In that sense, Obama’s role in the Fast and Furious scandal is analogous to Nixon’s role in Watergate: Knowing there is a serious problem, Obama has a duty to act in diligence, and swiftly, to clean up this mess, and by “clean up,” I do not mean “cover-up.” If Obama were to promptly act on Palin’s demand, and remove Holder from his office at the DoJ, he might provide himself some separation from the incident and operation in question, but by allowing Holder to continue at Justice, all he is doing is to provide the linkage necessary to tie his official affirmation to Holder, operation Fast and Furious, and the whole sorry affair.
Governor Palin aptly noted:
Holder conceded this week, “I have ultimate responsibility for what happens in the department.” He can prove it by resigning. And if he refuses to resign, then President Obama – with whom the bucks ultimately stop – can prove that he respects honesty, transparency, and accountability in his administration by firing Holder.
Implied, but not made entirely explicit is this: If the buck stops with President Obama, and it does, then a failure to act by removing Holder leaves Obama subject to that same fate. Contrary to the media’s attempt to sweep this calamity under the rug, this has been a serious matter and with serious and long-lasting consequences. As Palin reminds us, we’ve lost at least one agent to this lapse in judgment, and at least 200 Mexican citizens have paid with their lives for this program’s alleged aims. It’s clear that this program may have had a more nefarious purpose, and the President demonstrates his support of those purposes by his inaction on the matter of Eric Holder.
Sarah Palin is right: Eric Holder must go. If President Obama won’t fire Holder, then he too must be held to account. This sweeping betrayal of the American people is simply one more instance of Obama ignoring his oath of office. I believe there is virtually no chance that Obama will fire Holder, let alone resign from office himself, but the case must be made to the American people that come next November, we must remove Obama by ordinary means with our ballots. That is the one way to be certain we get rid of Holder: We must fire his boss.