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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Attorney General Eric Holder infuriated Republicans earlier this month, when he claimed that he has faced “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly, and divisive adversity” throughout his tenure.

“You look at how the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House Committee,” Holder said during a speech at the National Action Network convention, in reference to his heated exchange with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). “What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”

Although Holder later elaborated that he was referring to a general “breakdown of civility in Washington,” his critics on the right immediately accused the attorney general of playing the race card.

“Liberalism has a kind of Tourette’s Syndrome these days. It’s just constantly saying the word ‘racism’ and ‘racist,’” conservative pundit George Will said on a recent edition of Fox News Sunday. “It’s an old saying in the law: If you have the law on your side, argue the law, if you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have neither, pound the table. This is pounding the table.”

Will’s complaint neatly summarizes the right’s charge against Holder: He is not being targeted or singled out, but is merely playing the victim for political gain.

As usual, however, the Republican majority in the House is here to screw up the messaging.

On Thursday, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) introduced the Contempt Act — a bill that would withhold the pay of any federal officials who have been held in contempt by Congress.

That would prevent exactly one member of the Obama administration from getting a paycheck: Eric Holder.

Conveniently, Farenthold’s bill would not require a federal court to convict the employee in order for his/her pay to be cut off — so the fact that the contempt vote against Holder was a thinly veiled partisan attack with little legal consequence would not stop House Republicans from penalizing the attorney general.

Upon announcing the bill, Farenthold did not bother to disguise the fact that his proposal was a targeted strike against the attorney general.

“In 2012, the House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting operation – despite this fact, he is still receiving his paycheck courtesy of American taxpayers,” the congressman said in a press release. “[M]y bill will at least prevent current and future federal employees, like Attorney General Holder, from continuing to collect their taxpayer-paid salaries while held in contempt of Congress.”

“The American people should not be footing the bill for federal employees who stonewall Congress or rewarding government officials’ bad behavior,” he added. “If the average American failed to do his or her job, he or she would hardly be rewarded. High-ranking government officials should be treated no differently than everyone else.”

Putting aside the fact that Farenthold — a particularly unproductive member of the least productive Congress in memory — still gets rewarded quite handsomely for his work, his bill should create a messaging problem for his party.

Republicans can either accuse Eric Holder of lying when he claims that he’s being singled out for unfair treatment, or they can vote on a bill specifically designed to single him out by withholding his — and only his — pay. They can’t do both.

Photo: Ryan J Reilly via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • elw

    GOP = “Stupider and Stupider”

    • Billie

      You got it.

  • Billie

    And the Craziness continues.

  • sigrid28

    George Will’s two-for attacks not only minorities on the basis of race but individuals with disabilities, specifically Tourette Syndrome (Refer to this disorder CORRECTLY while you are at it, Mr. Will):

    ” ‘Liberalism has a kind of Tourette’s Syndrome these days. It’s just constantly saying the word “racism” and “racist,” ‘ conservative pundit George Will said on a recent edition of Fox News Sunday.”

    Decker continues, pointing out how George Will echoes the right’s justification for its attack on the Attorney General: “He [Eric Holder] is not being targeted or singled out, but is merely playing the victim for political gain.”

    This proposed legislation should get wide publicity leading up to the 2014 election and 2016, particularly among minority voters who see right through these specious arguments. It is racial animus pure and simple.

    George Will’s attack on the disabled community is more subtle. Like most individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, I am tempted to overlook his remarks as well as those of the others posting on this comment thread, who use familiar descriptors of disabilities incorrectly or in a disparaging way (see how easily we call Republicans “stupid” and “crazy”). If I wanted to correct these commonplaces that disrespect people with disabilities as often as I come across them during a single day, I couldn’t even get to my far more rewarding tasks as a caregiver. While giving a call-out to the men I have known who are superb caregivers, there are a great many women like me who may overlook this sort of thing on a daily basis but will remember in the voting booth.

    The Republican party for all of its bleating about “playing the race card” isn’t convincing any except those within the Fox News bubble. No wonder it is becoming very well known for its disrespect of all protected groups within this country, not to mention women–a majority of voters.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      So where is Sarah Palin’s outrage this time? Oh, yeah. That’s right. It’s ok for Republicans to denounce Democrats as heaving mental and emotional disorders for saying what they believe is a lack of civility on the part of Republicans, but not for a Democrat to denounce a Republican proposal as retarted. Same logic that allowed her to parade her unwed pregnant daughter as proof of family values, but denounces Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy as a campaign ploy for her mother.

      • sigrid28

        Neither party has a leg to stand on when it resorts to name-calling based on insulting references to individuals who have developmental disabilities: let’s just agree on that. Further, individuals with Down Syndrome and their families cope with a lifelong disability that many more people understand now than before advances in treatment and diagnoses that occurred well into the twentieth century. Other, less visible developmental disabilities, are still misunderstood and, therefore, it seems, still far game for those without anything substantive to say on a subject.

  • FT66

    How far of craziness these people can go? They hold a big number of members in Congress. Their Approval Rating there doesn’t cross the line to 15%. It is under that. They continue to cash in their checks without doing anything. Still they want to stop the Check of the Attorney General who has been working like a donkey without any drop of drinking water!!!! Unbelievable.

    • The only thing Holder is working hard at is breaking Americas laws and bypassing the constitution. He is supposed to be our chief law enforcer, but he, like his master , the Emperor, think our laws and constitution are only “suggestions” for them to follow. Americans should be rebelling against this regime. It will happen sooner than later, and I hope we can undo the damage this regime has done to our country.

      • FT66

        Are you one of those people who are full of venom. Why didn’t you mention not even one single law the Attorney General is breaking? What law is he not enforcing? Look here Kenn, no one can try to see where the country should be by imposing hatred. That is something which will end up in a cesspit. Everyone understands very well why this Attorney General and the President is hated by people like you. They beat you twice and not once in two elections. Why can’t you come to terms and agree that it was the voice of people who put them in power? It is upon you and your Party to work hard and be elected, if at all it will ever happen.

        • My party? Hate to burst you bubble, but I’m a registered democrat. After voting for “hope and change” twice, I’m hoping we can survive the change from a republic to a third world communist state with a tyrant ruling over us. You need to wake up before you find yourself living in a country that looks very much like Nazi Germany.

          • Sand_Cat

            When did you register: 1860?

          • FT66

            He registered himself before he was born, Sand_Cat.

          • marriea

            Nazi Germany???..Do you really understand what Nazi Germany was like? Stop picking non-sense out of the air. Oh and by the way, many folks still Hope that Change will come, but not with the Congress we now have.

          • I do agree with you on replacing congress. We need to rid ourselves of the liberals and RINOs in Congress and replace them with people that will follow our laws and constitution. Hopefully, that will happen in November, but with the Emperor in charge, we most likely will get martial law.

          • marriea

            Babe, you give Obama much too much credit. Go read a book or maybe just the way things are run in this country. The legislative branch is the most powerful, next the courts and finally the executive branch. The emperors in charge are your Congress folks.

          • The Emperor doesn’t seem to care how the system is set up. He has flaunted our laws and sometimes refers to them as “suggestions”. Our government has become corrupt and self serving. This corrupt environment has fostered apathy and allowed someone like the Emperor to be placed in a position of power. I fear Americans will not sit by much longer while he and his minions destroy this country that many have sworn to protect with their lives. There will be a reckoning.

          • marriea

            And Obama has done all this, huh? Y

          • latebloomingrandma

            Since Obama can’t seem to get a lot of his ideas and policies passed (such as jobs bill), I think he is failing at being an emperor.

          • midway54

            So, communism and fascism exist at the same time?As a Democrat estranged from your party, have you decided to accept the conditions under which the Country finds itself as a Gilded Age II Plutocracy and vote next time for rightwing stooges who pander and grovel for the welfare of corporations and plutocrats”?

      • Sand_Cat

        You sound like you have to work hard to get out a coherent sentence, or do any thinking beyond repeating what the Fox tells you.

        • marriea

          Boy, you took the thoughts right out of my mind

      • Wayne Dooley

        Kenndeb, sounds like you have your administrations confused. Have developed dementia or are you deliberately forgetting the eight years of total buffoonery of the Bush years.

    • ps0rjl

      The GOP has turned the House into the most do-nothing congress we have ever had. Before they withhold Holder’s check, they need to withhold their own and even give back the pay they have already taken. As for Louie Gohmert, it is hard to have any respect for anything he has said. This is the same man who upbraided the National Park service for giving him a ticket for illegally parking. When he called the director of the National Park Service he upbraided him with the comment that he was Louie Gohmert and could not be ticketed. The man is a total ass.

  • jabber1

    Let’s hold the entire republiCON party in contempt and we’ll save some money.

  • charles king

    The Atty General should bring the Republicans and Democracts Do Nothingiers to court for not doing their jobs. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. P. S. I want to thank the President Obama and his Adminstration for a job well done for the People of this country and our Democracy. Mr. C. E. KING

  • mikem42

    Did he also drop in the hopper a bill that would help the unemployment situation? How about help for the returning veterans, or the single moms who need help with their nutrition needs for the children, infrastructure improvement, anything? And he is still getting paid, right?

  • mikem42

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to be George Will. The self loathing that comes through his writing and talk has for years amazed me. He sets himself up as better than everyone else, yet can’t enjoy life. He should look inward, and around his own circle of “friends” and realize how unkind and uncivil they are, and so unproductive in raising spirits in our Country.

    • ps0rjl

      I quit listening to the likes of George Will years ago. This is a media whore who couldn’t wait to gin up support for the Iraq invasion. I would personally love to confront him on his status as a neocon journalist. If you can call him a journalist. Look up the Chickenhawk database and his name will appear there.

  • charleo1

    An interesting comment I heard the other day. The point, I think explains a
    quite a bit of the outrageous, and unrelenting disrespect that continues to
    flow from across the isle, and across the Nation, to a democratically elected
    President, his appointees, the Democratic Party, and extends to all of us,
    who support the Democratic platform. And it goes to legitimacy. They, of the Republican Party at a very fundamental level, do not see Democrats as a political organization, even when elected, as deserving of, or entitled to be, allowed to govern. Point blank. If you support the Democratic Party’s Plat-
    form, you deserve to be cut out of the process. They feel therefore, if they
    make it more difficult for you to vote. If you’re likely to vote for a illegitimate Party, then your vote has no standing, no place, in a legitimate government.
    I don’t believe we Americans have come to grips with this. I know I don’t
    want to believe it’s true. And it hasn’t always been the case. But what else
    explains their behavior? They, the Republican Party in Congress, was as
    intent on obstructing, denying, and impeaching President Clinton, as they
    have been irrational, irresponsible, and unwilling under any circumstances
    to join with President Obama, and share the authority, and the duty to govern, the American people seen fit to divide among the two legislative
    branches, and the Presidency. Whatever their rhetoric, be it strident,
    outrageous, nonsensical, falsely premised, or just plain wrong. They stand
    on it, as if it were an order from the Almighty. But it all settles in the same
    basic place. The same rigid, uncompromising position. We will not govern
    with what we consider illegitimate, unsanctioned, and Un-American.

  • roguerunners

    This from a Congress that has not done one thing to earn their pay.

    • Lovefacts

      Amazing how the Republicans talk about takers and makers. Well, they’re art of the takers group. In 2013, they didn’t work a single five day week. They worked a total of 126 days with 239 days off and were paid $174,000/year. Oh, and the Speaker was paid $223,500 for the year and he set the schedule. Of course, Boehner needed the time off to play golf because working 126 days/year is so exhausting.

      • roguerunners

        “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

  • Steve Gore

    I can agree That Holder stops receiving a paycheck, along with every serving member of Congress and he Cabinet membes of the Omama administration. This is the government we get when we ted to vote straight party lines and continue to re-elect te same do nothings that we seem to al be complaining about.
    But thanks for the allowance to comment. Did not realize I was on a goof ball liberal site. Those of you who support the criminal Eric Holder, deserve every law and freedom he has taken from you. So when you joy ride is over don’t complain too loudy, you wanted it, now enjoy it.

    • Sand_Cat

      Speaking of goof balls, what sites do you usually bless with your erudition?

  • midway54

    It is difficult to decide who is the greater lunatic between Gohmert and Farenthold both of course from the Loon Star State of Texas, a large dusty piece of real estate that is home to too many low-information dupes who are polluting the (Animal) House and Senate with rightwing crazies. It is simply stunning how reliant Gohmert —incredibly a former judge given to outlandish utterances— and the porcine, ranting Farenthold are to make fools of themselves regularly.

  • midway54

    Will has apparently and mercifully left ABC’s Sunday morning crew and is over at Fox “News” where he is where he always belonged.

    • FT66

      He doesn’t belong anywhere, George Will is just an opportunist. He always smells where the honey is and sticks there like a bee and symphonys that honey very hard. What a man he is!

  • highpckts

    Seriously? Holder is stonewalling Congress? From doing what? They haven’t worked since Obama was elected! Maybe we should not pay them? That would get something done! If not, they could resign!!

  • Sand_Cat

    Yes, this is just how “liberals” have treated all GOP administration officials; no singling out of this one. The trolls are absolutely right. How could anyone even suggest the slightest whiff of something beyond partisanship, or suggest that this is greater partisanship than any case in recent memory, if not since Andrew Johnson’s impeachment?

  • mah101

    I, along with approximately 90% of Americans, find Congress contemptible. Can we stop their paychecks?

  • If every American was subject to losing pay due to contempt of Congress the GDP would halve.

  • Lynda Groom

    Yet another example of the childish behavior of the new GOP. Time and money wasting is what they do best.

  • majong13

    Eric Holder is absolutely correct. He is not “playing the race card”, he is stating facts. In all my years I have never heard such attacks from one party to either the President or the Attorney General. I believe all of these people need to see a psychiatrist to see where their racism comes from. Hopefully the next few elections that they continue to lose will teach them something. And if it does not, then in my book they are welcome to succeed from the United States. Oh, and by the way, I am white and a college professor.

    • chris

      … and while i agree with you, it (your post) would carry more “weight” if it was spelled correctly – secede not succeed “prof”!

      • majong13

        Thanks Chris: You are right. I was very tired when I wrote this.

  • Bill

    Every GOP in congress should have their pay withheld for their inability to get anything done, fifty some votes to repeal ACA doesn’t count, they were just a waste of time and money. They should have their pay withheld until the American People are paid back for their waste.

  • ThomasBonsell

    I wish Holder would release documents on the Fast-and-Furious campaign that would show the program began in the Bush administration under a different name and ATF agents were prevented from doing anything about the gun sales because of laws written by the National Rifle Association and enacted by the GOP.

  • techBob

    “If the average American failed to do his or her job, he or she would hardly be rewarded. High-ranking government officials should be treated no differently than everyone else.”
    Then the entire GOP Congress should have their pay withheld and clawed back to 2008 and then fired without Social Security benefits since they did not meet their
    contractual obligation to do the job they were hired to do.

  • George

    time to make congress a part time job with no benifits.. it appears they have nothing important to do…