In a walkout led by the Congressional Black Caucus, more than a hundred Democrats left the House chamber in protest, rather than staying to officially register their disapproval. The C.B.C. and the Democrats who joined them said the walkout wasn’t about Holder’s race, and, indeed, they were just repeating a similar stunt that House Republicans pulled when Democrats voted on contempt charges for two Bush Administration officials. And yet there’s a decent case to be made that the whole thing—the vote, the walkout, the investigation of Fast and Furious, all of it—comes down, in the end, to race.
There’s a reason that Holder is, next to the President himself, the member of the Obama Administration that the right most loves to hate. It’s not necessarily racism—not stemming, that is, from a belief that Holder is somehow inferior or ill-willed because he’s black—but that doesn’t mean it’s not about race.