Usually Steve Benen is to my mind one of the most clear-sighted observers of the DC scene. Yet, in an item on Eric Holder's GOP Friends in which he correctly notes that Holder will get confirmed with votes to spare, Steve writes,
I'm struggling to wrap my head around the Republican gameplan on this. Their caucus has 41 members, and even if the GOP were to filibuster Holder's nomination, which seems unlikely, they'd lose.
Why then, he wonders, beat up on the guy?
From out here the answer seems obvious: it's a two-fer. First, the Justice Dept. is one of the bureaus that can really hurt the GOP if it starts to investigate what's been doing these past eight years. There's no harm, and much gain, to bloodying up the Attorney General as much as possible in order to attempt to diminish his credibility, and it sets up future accusations of partisanship and/or attempted payback if prosecutors get frisky.
Second, think of the TV: a well-spoken black lawyer in the dock being accused of unethical conduct. Plus, a chance to hyperventilate about links to Clinton sleaze. Might splash back on the President in some eyes? Can't hurt to try.