May 20, 2010

Sun-Times report: time for Obama Cabinet repair

A report in the Chicago Sun-Times reminds us that in every presidency, a couple of Cabinet officials usually emerge as lightning rods for criticism of administration policy because of their handling of key issues.

In the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder (upper photo) and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (lower photo) find themselves playing that role on the volatile issues of terrorism and immigration.

The administration's determination to separate itself from the Bush-era attitudes on terrorism and its failure to secure the border have thrown Holder and Napolitano on the defensive.

Even before considering recent events, one remembers the cavalier attitude by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano when the “underwear bomber” nearly blew up an airliner over Chicago. Her first knee-jerk reaction was to say, “the system worked.”

And then there was the criticism of the Arizona immigration law by Attorney General Eric Holder who admitted he hadn’t even read the law.

Back to the Sun-Times article:

It was embarrassing for the nation to watch Holder last week dance around a simple question about whether radical Islam could have played a role in recent attempted terrorist attacks.

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas tried something like nine times to get a straight answer. Holder dodged again and again, saying "there are a variety of reasons why people do things," and that he didn't want to say anything negative about a religion.

Congressman Smith wasn't asking Holder about the mainstream Islam of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

He was asking about Islamism, the radical and violent medieval political religion that promotes suicide jihadism killing civilians, threatens free speech by targeting for death its practitioners like novelist Salman Rushdie and Danish cartoonists, and is committed to endless war on modern civilization.

More here.