Let's Check What Holder Had To Do With Carter's Bungled Iranian Hostage Rescue!
I know that the right is trying to make an example of Eric Holder, but going back to questioning his role in the Elian Gonzales case and his support of the Brady Bill (???) just makes them look completely ridiculous. If the goal is to stop the Holder nomination, or even to paint him as a tool of liberal special interests, dredging up things that are 9 and 10 years old is not going to help. This rebounds back on them more than anything.
However, I think Marcy Wheeler is on to something. The goal is to slow down the Holder nomination with countless challenges enough to delay the time that he gets his hands on the opinions approving torture and warrantless wiretapping produced by the OLC (Office of Legal Counsel). There's a lot of incriminating material in those opinions, which the Bush Administration hasthus far held from the Obama transition team as well as Patrick Leahy, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Why would the delay be so important to Bush and company? Maybe to just keep the programs going for a little while longer. Or, maybe to give more time to impress upon Obama that he needs these radical powers:
In an interview with Rush Limbaugh (via Politico), Vice President Dick Cheney predicted that the next president will appreciate the way he and George Bush expanded executive power.
"Once they get here and they're faced with the same problems we deal with every day, then they will appreciate some of the things we've put in place," Cheney said.
"We did not exceed our constitutional authority, as some have suggested," Cheney added. "The President believes, I believe very deeply, in a strong executive, and I think that's essential in this day and age. And I think the Obama administration is not likely to cede that authority back to the Congress. I think they'll find that given a challenge they face, they'll need all the authority they can muster."
Cheney has been practically bursting with pride over invading a country with no real rationale and waterboarding terror suspects. I'm certain he's delusional enough to believe that everyone is as psychotic as he is, and once given supreme unitary executive powers they won't want to relinquish them. Delaying Holder ensures that Obama at least has a few months to test out the new tools. Now, he has repeatedly promised to close Gitmo and end torture (on wiretapping he hasn't been completely clear, and he voted for the awful FISA bill), so I don't think this is such a good bet. But once you give someone powers, it's not always likely that they willingly give them up.