Human Events Blog

Attorney General Holder briefs black pastors on election law

Attorney General Eric Holder is much too busy to respond to that mountain of “Operation Fast and Furious” subpoenas he’s been dodging.  For that matter, as he tried to explain to Congress during hearings into that murderous outrage, he’s too busy to read everything that gets dumped into his in-box. 

He hasn’t found time to meet with the family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, killed by a border-hopping gang equipped with guns from the Obama Administration’s inter-agency gun-running program.  He attended no memorials for Agent Terry.  He couldn’t even make time to apologize for Terry’s death, until catching intense heat for his refusal to do so during one of his unhappy subcommittee appearances, almost a year after the murder.  No grass grows beneath his shoes!

What Eric Holder does have time for is teaching groups of black pastors how to stay on the right side of election law and preserve their tax-exempt status while they’re assisting the Obama re-election campaign.  As reported by the Washington Examiner:

“We will have representatives from nine denominations who actually pastor somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10 million people, and we’re going to first of all equip them with the information they need to know about what they can say and what they cannot say in the church that would violate their 501c3 status with the IRS,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., told MSNBC today.

“In fact, we’re going to have the IRS administrator there, we’re going to have the Attorney General Eric Holder there, we’re going to have the lawyers’ organization from around the country, the ACLU — all giving ministers guidance about what they can and cannot do,” he noted.

Cleaver said they would not tell pastors which candidate to support. They will let them know who to regard as the bad guys, though (hint: not Democrats). “We’re going to talk about some of the draconian laws that have cropped up around the country as a result of the 17 percent increase in African American votes,” Cleaver said, describing voter ID laws as a form of Jim Crow-style “poll tax” on seniors and black voters.

The CBC chairman is confident that “President Obama is going to get 95 percent of the [African American] vote,” and wants to keep that turnout high. “We want to let them know that there is a theological responsibility to participate in the political process, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition,” he said.

Thank heavens they didn’t explicitly tell the pastors the first and last names of the candidates they’re supposed to stump for!  That would have made this whole thing so… tawdry.

Has Eric Holder scheduled his training seminar for white religious leaders yet?  I assume any white pastor in the country can request such a meeting, with IRS administrators and representatives from legal organizations in attendance, plus maybe the Susan B. Anthony List instead of the ACLU.  Rep. Cleaver can probably come too, if he wants.

I’m not sure if pastors from other ethnic backgrounds would get separate meetings with high officials of the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service, or if they’d be expected to sit in with the white pastors.  For that matter, I don’t understand why they weren’t all invited to join the black pastors.  Is there some reason black pastors require particularly intensive education about the fine points of campaign law?  Admittedly, it’s a complicated topic, but the “don’t deliver political speeches from behind your pulpit if you want to keep your tax-exempt status” part is relatively straightforward. 

Isn’t it more urgently necessary to teach Catholic clergy how to modify scripture so it complies with ObamaCare?  A sermon telling the laity that paying for other people’s birth control is immoral would conflict with President Obama’s decree that such payments are mandatory for all citizens.  Yesterday’s expression of religious freedom is today’s possibly illegal attack on our wondrous new health-care law!

Here’s the note of calm, responsible, non-partisan, inclusive come-togetherness that AG Holder struck at the meeting:

“I’ve heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who — often for the first time in their lives — now have reason to believe that . . . some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement could now hang in the balance,” Holder said in his prepared remarks. He cited “the all-too-common deceptive practices we’ve been fighting for years”  in addition to “more recent fears and frustrations about some of the state-level voting law changes we’ve seen this legislative season.”

Holder went on to criticize the South Carolina voter ID law, which Democrats often portray as an act of Republican racism designed to hurt President Obama by disenfranchising black voters.

That’s why we can’t make do without Eric Holder, folks.  It takes a lot of self-discipline to avoid turning an important office like Attorney General into a gushing fountain of political hackery.  

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