Moderation, Obama-Style

Eric Holder--Top Law Enforcement Official in the Nation?
Eric Holder–Top Law Enforcement Official in the Nation?

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how moderate Obama’s personnel picks have turned out to be. Does that count Attorney General-designate Eric Holder?

In his previous service in the Clinton administration, Holder was in the forefront of approving pardons as Bill Clinton left office. One of those he approved was Marc Rich, who had fled the country over his illegal financial doings. Rich was granted a pardon apparently because his wife contributed a lot of money to the Clinton Library.

 Holder, as an official in the Justice Department, saw nothing wrong with the way Justice handled the Elian Gonzalez case. Remember that one? A boy picked up in the ocean as his mother tried to flee Cuba. She died, and Elian was living with relatives in Florida. Cuba demanded him back, and Justice agreed. As Byron York of National Review recalls,

In the period before armed agents seized the child, the Justice Department had been leaking its intention to avoid any sort of armed intervention.  It would all be done quietly, they suggested.  When top Department officials were asked about it, they said nothing to change that impression.  About two weeks before the raid, Tim Russert asked Holder, “You wouldn’t send a SWAT team in the dark of night to kidnap the child, in effect?”  Holder answered, “No, we don’t expect anything like that to happen.”  Then the Department did precisely that. The day after the seizure, Holder appeared again with Russert, who asked, “Why such a dramatic change in position?” “I’m not sure I’d call it a dramatic change,” Holder answered.  “We waited ’til five in the morning, just before dawn.”

Here’s that famous photo of this “quiet” intervention.

Federal Agents Seizing Elian Gonzalez from His Relatives

Federal Agents Seizing Elian Gonzalez from His Relatives

On top of all that, Holder apparently has never seen a gun control bill he hasn’t loved. He has promoted federal licensing of handgun owners, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, and national gun registration.

This is the person Obama wants to be the chief law enforcement officer in the federal government. This is moderation?