Wednesday, November 12, 2014

President Obama recently had the task of choosing a new Attorney General. He chose  a black woman who is from the New York area. She is Brooklyn based Federal Prosecutor Loretta Lynch. She is an excellent and historic choice but I hope she wasn’t picked along racial lines. She has won twice before Senate confirmations and because of that she should have a smooth path to the nation’s top law enforcement job. She will become the first African-American woman Attorney General . Was she also picked to test Republicans?

If the party would choose to block her from the position would they be contradicting their very public choice  when party leaders have professed a desire to do more to appeal to African Americans, women and Hispanics? As a country are we really going to go there? A person’s ability means nothing? What you look like in the mirror should reflect more about you as a ethical fair person? I hope not, but like in corporate jobs, everyone wants the safe approach to things rather than the right things. Yes, looks are superficial but yet they are very important in the corporate world. The companies want to have a full hand in their poker game. Hire a woman, Hispanic, black, old person and Asian. That is your 5 cards. But if you can find a competent black woman who is a lesbian who adopted Asian children, well that combination right there trumps any other cards in your employee hands. Sigh!

Top Republicans are also insisting that she divulge whether she supports the President’s plan to act without Congress on immigration amnesty. Whose side is she on? Let them die at the border or give the people some kind of visa? I say, don’t tell anyone how you will rule future problems. Let them hire you based on your past accomplishments. They are all like bullies in a ballpark. We won’t let you on the field unless we know what team you want to play on. Life should be easier and fairer than that.

Lynch’s career shows close familiarity with the nuts and bolts of justice. She is seasoned and experienced. It makes you wonder why she wasn’t picked for the job even earlier? Eric Holder, who is also Black  who had a highly dubious history being in the Clinton Administration, was nominated ahead of Lynch in the past. I guess back then a Black man trumped a Black woman.  All men did. Sigh. The answer is politics. Politics is again playing a role in all this. Lynch was certainly chosen not just for her qualifications but also to insulate Obama from a tough confirmation hearing.

Jeffrey Toobin from CNN pointed out that, “Holder moved carefully but steadily to reduce federal prosecutions of low-level narcotics offenses, especially marijuana. Holder also started plans to lower the sentences of federal inmates who were convicted under those laws. Lynch has no public track record on these policy issues, though she has prosecuted aggressively narcotics offenders in Brooklyn. This area offers a possible route for cooperation with some Republicans, like Senator Rand Paul, who was sympathetic to Holder on these issues.”

Time will tell how tough this woman is in terms of drugs, race relations and immigration which is three hot topics that need clear direction in terms of what to prosecute. Good Luck Loretta Lynch.  

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