HOLDER AND BLAGO.

The latest argument from right-wing bloggers against Eric Holder, other than the Marc Rich pardon and the return of Elian Gonzales to his father, is his appointment to the Illinois gaming board by Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich named Holder to be a special investigator, and the board rejected Holder based on their concerns that he wouldn't be independent from the governor. Holder omitted his interaction with Blagojevich on a recent questionnaire, which is leading some voices on the right to cry "cover-up."

It sounds to me unlikely that Holder "forgot" about almost getting a job with Blagojevich. But I'm not sure how the fact that he almost worked for Blago matters -- Holder wasn't accused of any wrongdoing, and there's no indication that he's ever been a party to corruption in Illinois. Blagojevich was looking for someone to fill a job, and he picked Holder. It's not clear to me what, beyond the disingenuous hand-wringing about "ties to Blagojevich," is objectionable here. Blagojevich was governor of the state of Illinois. He has connections to lots of people who are involved in politics in the state. Most of these people are not corrupt.

On the other hand, it is easy to see what the right would find objectionable about a vocal opponent of torture being appointed attorney general. Holder has his problems, as I've discussed before, but almost taking a job with  Blagojevich isn't one of the more compelling arguments against him.

-- A. Serwer

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