‘If Democrats are to have any hope of winning next fall, we need our presidential contenders to do better…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As a waning pool of Democratic candidates prepared to take the stage again on Thursday for another debate, former President Barack Obama’s top “wingman” took them to the carpet for their past criticisms.
Eric Holder—Obama’s first attorney general and designated attack-dog when it is necessary to “kick” people instead of “go high“—was dispatched to convey the erstwhile administration’s displeasure with the 2020 hopefuls for going after his old boss.
“If Democrats are to have any hope of winning next fall, we need our presidential contenders to do better,” Holder wrote in an opinion piece for CNN.
“Falling short of our policy ideals is not the same as affirmatively and deliberately harming innocent families, and it’s counterproductive—even offensive—to suggest otherwise,” he said.
In an effort to deflate former Vice President Joe Biden‘s invoking of the Obama administration during the last round of debates, several candidates flanked the front-runner with attacks from the left, including what they dubiously claimed was a hard-line approach by Obama to enforcing illegal immigration laws.
“You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign,” Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, said while confronting Biden. “You can’t do it when it’s convenient and then dodge it when it’s not.”
Holder chastised the leftists via Twitter in the debate’s immediate aftermath.
To my fellow Democrats. Be wary of attacking the Obama record. Build on it. Expand it. But there is little to be gained – for you or the party – by attacking a very successful and still popular Democratic President.
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) August 1, 2019
Holder, who frequently deployed bullying tactics during his tenure in the Justice Department to force policy changes where legislative action fell short of the Obama agenda, sounded less menacing in his latest missive.
He conceded that “[a]ny critique of our most recent President is, of course, fair game—even if … it doesn’t amount to a sound political strategy or a good use of precious speaking time during a debate.”
Still, the thin-skinned ex-campaign bundler offered his unsolicited advice to the candidates, assuring them that any effort to question the previous administration would backfire.
“[W]ith polls suggesting, at this early stage, that victory could potentially be within reach for virtually any candidate,” Holder wrote, “when I tune in this Thursday, the most important question on my mind will be which Democrat is the most effective advocate not only for her or himself, but for the record, vision and values of the Democratic Party of today and years past.”
He dismissed attacks on fellow Democrats’ records as “wonkish hair-splitting” that bored viewers and were “missing the forest for the trees” by failing to focus on the Trump administration.
“Many candidates spent too much time in the weeds, developing ‘gotcha’ moments or straining to draw personal or policy distinctions—at once testing viewers’ patience,” Holder said.
Now overseeing the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a well-funded activist group designed to enahance Democrats’ post-census gerrymandering efforts by forcing red states to redraw their maps, Holder plugged his current work in the CNN commentary.
“Where Republicans stand for voter suppression and gerrymandering that allows politicians to pick their voters (rather than the other way around), Democrats support voting rights and fair elections,” he claimed, contrary to evidence including his own acknowledgement of the group’s true mission.
“Where Republicans support minor changes to the criminal justice system, Democrats support the broad changes that are required to make the system more just,” he said.
Holder, who also asserted in March that America was never “great,” appealed to Democrats’ sense of their own past—while seeming to ignore or forget the party’s deeply troubling legacy of slavery, racism and other injustices.
“Advocating hard for the broader Democratic agenda that is rooted in our history as a party should be our candidates’ major focus on Thursday night,” he said.
Several candidates, however, previously attacked the Democrats’ racist legacy, honing in on Biden’s controversial comments that he was able to work cooperatively with pro-segregationist Democratic legislators early in his career.
“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland. He never called me boy, he always called me son,” Biden said at a Manhattan speech in June.
“A guy like Herman Talmadge, one of the meanest guys I ever knew,” he continued. “You go down the list of all these guys—well, guess what? At least there was some civility.”