WASHINGTON WATCH ROUNDTABLE: Attorney Eric Holder Held In Contempt, Pres. Obama To Speak At The National Urban League (VIDEO)

Roland Martin and the Washington Watch roundtable discuss Attorney Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress. Plus, President Obama is scheduled to speak at the National Urban League. What should Pres. Obama say in regards to African Americans?

This week’s Washington Watch roundtable features, Karen Finney, Dr. Chris Metzler, Cornell Belcher and Joe Madsion.

MR. MARTIN:  All right, folks.  Welcome back.

Another big mess we saw this week was the contempt vote in the House for Attorney General Eric Holder.  Frankly, it was a complete waste of time.  It took place on the same day, of course, as the healthcare decision.

Not like a lot of people were really paying attention to that whole deal.  Totally – totally political theater.  Was there any benefit from it?  Anything?


MR. MARTIN:  Chris?

MR. BELCHER:  — Republicans, yeah.  For – ’cause – ’cause the – the National – you know, the Rifle Association wa- — was grading them on this.  So, if you’re a Republican, you had to stand up and take this vote, or you were going to get a bad grade –

MR. MARTIN:  And, of course –

MR. BELCHER:  — from the – from the –

MR. MARTIN:  — some –

MR. BELCHER:  — [crosstalk].

MR. MARTIN:  — some Democrats.


MS. FINNEY:  Well –

DR. METZLER:  Seventeen –

MS. FINNEY:  — right.

DR. METZLER:  — Democrats who – who all were endorsed by the NRA.  So, yeah, they had to do that.

But here’s – here’s the – here’s the other –

MR. MARTIN:  And they were scared – scared of the NRA.

DR. METZLER:  — yeah, well –

MR. MARTIN:  Period.


MS. FINNEY:  Yes, and shame on them!

DR. METZLER:  — yeah, bu- —

MS. FINNEY:  And shame on them!

DR. METZLER:  — but here’s the other part of this.  Again, looking at this from pure political theater, if the President is to be reelected, there is some discussion that, in fact, Eric Holder will be a candidate for the next vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States.  If that’s the case –

MR. MARTIN:  Man, he is not trying to go –

DR. METZLER:  — n- —

MR. MARTIN:  — for that job!

MR. BELCHER:  [Laughs.]


MR. MARTIN:  Er- — Eric tryin’ to go get paid!

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]

DR. METZLER:  — listen.

MR. MARTIN:  I’m just lettin’ you know!

DR. METZLER:  Listen to what I’m – [chuckles] – sayin’.

MR. MARTIN:  [Looks into the camera.]  Sha- — Sharon Malone – Eric’s wife –


MR. MARTIN:  — don’t listen to Chris.

DR. METZLER:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  He’s tryin’ to get paid.  He ain’t tryin’ to get that lil’ –

DR. METZLER:  [Claps his hands and chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  — that lil’ – he don’t need a lifetime job.  He need a bigger check!

DR. METZLER:  Hey, well – but – but –

MR. MARTIN:  Go ’head.  I’m sorry.  My –

DR. METZLER:  — so, assuming –

MR. MARTIN:  — [chuckles].

DR. METZLER:  — that my theory is right – it may be wrong, but assuming – [chuckles] – that my theory is right, this taints him as someone who, in fact, has been held in contempt of – of Congress.

Now, absolutely, pure political theater.  It was politics.  Poli- — politicians playing politics?

MR. MARTIN:  Okay.

MS. FINNEY:  But think –

DR. METZLER:  Surprise.

MS. FINNEY:  — about the specter of what we saw yesterday.  When Democrats had control of Congress, we did something that hadn’t been attempted, that has been trying to be done since Truman:  passed healthcare reform.  When Republicans have control of Congress, what are they going to do?  They’re going to waste our tax dollars on a bogus investigation, and at the same time – and you know they’re going to keep pushing this theory – this ridiculous theory that the Obama Administration actually let guns go over the border to foment violence in Mexico.  Why?  For political power –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MS. FINNEY:  — and get –

MR. MARTIN:  And that – that –

MS. FINNEY:  — the assault weapon ban – [crosstalk]?

MR. MARTIN:  — that – that’s just so illogical.  I mean –

MS. FINNEY:  I mean –


MR. MADISON:  And – and –

MS. FINNEY:  — how about just being –

MR. MADISON:  And no- – and –

MS. FINNEY:  — concerned about gun control –

MR. MADISON:  — and –

MS. FINNEY:  — period?

MR. MADISON:  — and not allow – and not allow the Democrats one witness to come in –

MS. FINNEY:  That’s right.

MR. MADISON:  — from the other side.  Th- — now, here – here’s what happened all week long.  One, Eric Holder is not going to prosecute himself.  The Justice Department, even though they are –


MR. MADISON:  — independent, they’re not going to prosecute him.  And Congress is not going to handcuff him and have marshals sent –


MR. MADISON:  — to get him and put him in jail under the – the jail under the Capitol.

MR. BELCHER:  It’ll be interesting –


MR. BELCHER:  — theater

MR. MADISON:  — two –

MR. BELCHER:  — though.

MR. MADISON:  — yeah.  Two –


MR. MADISON:  — and three, the other, third effort is – is a – a civil lawsuit.  That would not happen until way after the November –


MR. MADISON:  — election.  This was, as you say, an attempt to taint a man who had a brilliant, stellar career, no matter what he wanted –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. MADISON:  — to do, and becomes the first cabinet member in the history of the United States –

DR. METZLER:  To be held in contempt.

MR. MADISON:  — to be – to be held in contempt.

Here’s the other thing.  We – let’s go back to the repealing healthcare just for a –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. MADISON:  — moment.

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. MADISON:  Excuse me.  That is just crazy, because you know – and I know – they got the votes in the House.  They don’t have it in the Senate.


MR. MADISON:  It’ll never reach the –

MS. FINNEY:  Right.

MR. MADISON:  — it’ll never get out of Congress, so it’s nothing but –


MR. MADISON:  — gamesmanship and stupidity –

MS. FINNEY:  And –

MR. MADISON:  — and – and then –

DR. METZLER:  There’s going to be –

MR. MADISON:  — they – and –

DR. METZLER:  — no attempt to –

MR. MADISON:  — then they wait ’til the last minute –

DR. METZLER:  — yeah, that – that –

MR. MADISON:  — to pass a bill to put people to work.

MR. MARTIN:  One second.  Before I get to “The Biggest Damn Lie,” Pres. Obama announced this week he’s going to speak to the National Urban League.  What should the Urban League be asking of the President?  We talk about this “What’s the Ask?”  I’m sure he’s going to come there and say, “This is what I’ve done that has helped Black folks in the last three, four years,” but an election is about the next four years.


MR. MARTIN:  What should Black –


MR. MARTIN:  — folk specifically ask him –


MR. MARTIN:  — for?

MR. MADISON:  Jobs – job training.  Jobs – job –

MS. FINNEY:  Targeted.

MR. MADISON:  — training.

MS. FINNEY:  But ta- — a targeted approach to jobs, not –


MS. FINNEY:  — just – there’s –

MR. MADISON:  Yes, yes.

MS. FINNEY:  — been a lot of talk about jobs broadly, but let’s target where we know –


MS. FINNEY:  — communities of color in particular can benefit and actually have the need.

MR. BELCHER:  An urban Marshall Plan.

MR. MADISON:  That’s a good point.

MR. BELCHER:  You know.  We need an –

MR. MADISON:  Right.

MR. BELCHER:  — urban Mar- — a[n] urban Marshall Plan, ’cause it would not only help minorities, but it would help this cou- — it would help –

MR. MADISON:  [Crosstalk.]

MR. BELCHER:  — all the – all the country rebuild our – our urban infrastructure.  That’s what we need.  It wou- — it would create jobs in those areas immediately, and it would help the country, long term.


MR. MARTIN:  Chris?

DR. METZLER:  No, absolutely.  The – jobs and the economy.  That’s it.  I mean I – tha- — that’s – I – the urban Marshall Plan makes a whole lot of sense to me.

MR. MARTIN:  I also believe that, first of all, African-Americans have done extremely well in terms of those minority firms using those – those TARP dollars in terms of investment.  That needs to be absolutely expanded.  Black folks have – did their –

MR. BELCHER:  They cu- —

MR. MARTIN:  — part.

MR. BELCHER:  — they did a cutout for that – for them in – in that – [crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  Yeah, but – yeah –


MR. MARTIN:  — but – but they did better than the other firms.  And I’m saying you should say, “Fine.  If you did better, fine.  Step it up.”  But again, I don’t want to hear the President talk about just what “we have done” –

OFF CAMERA:  Absolutely.

MR. MARTIN:  — and then also broadly.  I want to hear a specific speech directed to a Black audience that deals with the economic issues, because here’s the deal.  When he went and spoke to Latino elected officials, th- — that was a specific speech.  And when he speaks to –


MR. MARTIN:  Human Rights Watch, that’s a specific speech.  I’m saying not broadly.  Let’s go specific –

MR. MADISON:  Do – do at –

MR. MARTIN:  — [crosstalk] –

MR. MADISON:  — the Urban League what you did this week for healthcare.  That was 1, 2, 3, 4 and, “Here’s what we’re going to get.  Here’s what we need to do,” and I think he’ll be okay.

MR. BELCHER:  Well, I think you’re hearing that from – from all sectors – that he s- — needs to talk about so – what he’s done[?] for the future.

But look.  Let’s be clear.  The stimulus pulled us out of the recession.  Check.  Bin Laden:  got ’im.  Check.  Universal healthcare reform:  check.  He has done –

MR. MARTIN:  No, no, no.  That’s fine.

MR. BELCHER:  — a fabulous job –

MR. MARTIN:  What I’m s- —

MR. BELCHER:  — but now, talk about the future.

MR. MARTIN:  — bu- — no, no.  What I’m –

MR. BELCHER:  [Crosstalk] –

MR. MARTIN:  — saying, though –

MR. BELCHER:  — talk about the future.

MR. MARTIN:  — [is] when he spoke to the Latino elected officials, he didn’t bring that stuff up.


MR. MARTIN:  It was a specific agenda to Latin- — to the Latino community.  I’m saying if the President can be specific with everybody else, he can be –

MR. MADISON:  Right.

MR. MARTIN:  — specific with Black folks.

MR. MADISON:  Right.

MR. MARTIN:  That’s what I’m sayin’.

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]

DR. METZLER:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  All right?

MR. MADISON:  No, exactly!

MR. BELCHER:  [Chuckles.]

MR. MARTIN:  Just simply sayin’.  I – I mean come on!  You get 96 percent of the Black vote.  It’s called “return on investment.”

All right!