Fifteen and a half pages.
That's the length of Arizona's controversial new immigration enforcement law. And that's at 14-point font. With normal type (12-point), it's more like 10.
Yet Attorney General Eric Holder, who took to the TV airwaves last weekend to offer what he called grave "Constitutional concerns" over the law, has never read it.
Speaking before a House Judiciary Committee Thursday, Holder was asked nonchalantly by Republican House Rep. Ted Poe of Texas, whether he had read the law. Poe was clearly not expecting Holder's response:
I have not had a chance to -- I've glanced at it ... I've only made the comments that I've made on the basis of things that I've been able to glean by reading newspaper accounts, obviously, television, talking to people who are on the review panel ... looking at the law.
"Newspaper accounts." Sure.
Even liberal-leaning publications like the Washington Post seem shocked by Holder's admission. The conservatives I've talked to, however, aren't all that surprised.
After all, Holder has made some serious miscalculations since taking office last year. From the beginning, he showed he was unafraid to court controversy (his reference to America as a "nation of cowards" should have been a red flag). But he has also shown a startling lack of political savvy on a number of issues. Holder gleefully took up the persecution of the CIA after his boss, President Barack Obama, announced a desire to investigate the interrogation methods they employed in the wake of 9/11 (an investigation that, upon further reflection, has either gotten very little press or, more likely, gone nowhere). Holder's highly questionable decision to try the Gitmo detainees in New York City was clearly conducted without much thought or deliberation. Meanwhile, decisions he's made recently regarding Miranda warnings has caused some to question whether he's trying to move the country's national security initiatives back to where they were before 9/11.
The list goes on.
So, no. Conservatives were not surprised by Holder's admission that he hadn't read the new Arizona law. In fact, many of us suspected as much when we began to hear his comments about how the law was unconstitutional, how it encouraged racial profiling and how he was strongly considering filing a lawsuit to block the law's enactment. His propagation of liberal misinformation even prompted me to put together a fact sheet about the law.
Holder says he plans to spend "a good evening" reading up on the law, and that's good. But it is also quite telling for anyone interested in how things work at the Obama Administration:
Apparently, you read the White House talking points first and worry about the facts later.
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