So, former Attorney General Eric Holder has said he is considering running for President. If he is elected, we may have more than our Second Amendment rights at stake.
Long before he was Attorney General, he was targeting the Second Amendment as the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Deputy Attorney General, and in private practice. He compared exercising our Second Amendment rights to smoking cigarettes. He said that there was a need to “brainwash” people against the Second Amendment. He tried to uphold the District of Columbia’s handgun ban. But his time as Attorney General is what ought to raise far bigger questions.
We are not just talking Operation Fast and Furious, although that is bad in and of itself. Holder’s efforts to whitewash that scandal show a great degree of moral arrogance and such certainty of his own rectitude that he is above being questioned, especially by those who don’t agree with him on issues like gun control. His defiance led him to be cited for contempt of Congress, the first cabinet-level official to achieve that dubious distinction. That is a bad combination of character traits for a president to have.
What is worse is Operation Choke Point. This was the Justice Department under Holder teaming up with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to pressure banks into not doing business with a number of legal businesses that were somehow deemed to be at risk of fraud and money laundering. Somehow, businesses that helped people exercise their Second Amendment rights – selling firearms and ammunition – ended up on that list.
Whether it was covering up the incompetence (at best) in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives that got Customs and Border Patrol agent Brian Terry killed, or coordinating the abusive Operation Choke Point, what is worse is Holder’s criticism of the Justice Department settling cases with the Tea Party groups that Lois Lerner used her power to try to squelch. Holder whitewashed that abuse of power by the IRS for Obama, and his comments about the settlements are no less than a green light for an army of Lois Lerners to target the First Amendment rights of those seeking to defend the Second Amendment with intrusive demands for documents.
But it goes further. As part of the IRS abuse of Tea Party groups, the Justice Department while under Holder improperly received 1.25 million pages of tax documents as Lerner met with FBI and DOJ officials to discuss pursuing criminal cases against certain groups. The crime? Expressing opposition to then-President Barack Obama’s agenda. It was part and parcel of an attempt by bureaucrats to circumvent the Citizens United ruling. Given that Holder’s Justice Department argued that they had the right to ban books or movies if they advocated for the election of or defeat of a political candidate, we should be frightened that Citizens United was only a 5-4 ruling.
In 1999, then-Representative Barney Frank, who hasn’t been good on the Second Amendment, admitted to the Washington Post after the NRA beat back an effort to wipe out gun shows that the NRA did “the best job of any group in lobbying members” and practiced “just good, straight democracy.” In essence, we use our First Amendment rights to defend the Second Amendment. While in the past, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission have tried to outlaw talk radio and muzzle other conservative media outlets, and Democratic attorneys general and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse have sought criminal charges against so-called “climate change deniers,” Eric Holder has gone beyond that.
He actively argued for giving the government power to silence certain voices before an election. He whitewashed and covered up for those who abused their power against Barack Obama’s political appointments. The prospect of him as President of the United States should frighten any supporter of the Second Amendment, or for that matter the Constitution of the United States.