Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eric Holder

I like the idea of Eric Holder for Attorney General, and not just because he would be the first African-American to hold the position. The buzz around him brings up 2 valuable points.

1. A lot of progressives are grumbling, saying that "change means a lot of people from the Clinton Administration," to paraphrase.

What did people expect? Although I didn't particularly like Clinton, he hired a lot of great people. In an unrelated post earlier today, Ezra Klein stressed the important of management and bureaucracy in running a government. Experience matters. Hiring competent people from the Clinton administration is probably a good thing.

2. People are worried because Holder got caught up in Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich. They fear this will come up in confirmation hearings.

Probably. But after W gets done with his pardons, this will not be an issue. He'll start with Ted Stevens, move to Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay, and go from there. These pardons are going to be so egregious that the name of Marc Rich will go back into obscurity, stripped of its power to outrage.

Both Clinton and the impending Bush pardons also make me question whether presidents should have this power.