The Labor Secretary shouldn’t be supported by labor

President Obama has selected Thomas Perez to be Secretary of Labor. This fact:

The 51-year-old Perez is popular throughout the labor movement and earned prominence as Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s labor secretary.

means that he’s going to be opposed by Republicans. Of course they can’t just say that, so they’ll come up with something else. Right now it looks to be the New Black Panther Party thing:

He is sure to be questioned during his confirmation hearings about his time as head of Justice’s civil rights division, especially after a report from the department’s inspector general questioned his testimony in a recent civil rights lawsuit.

The report said Perez gave incomplete testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights when he said the department’s political leadership was not involved in the decision to dismiss three of the four defendants in a lawsuit the Bush administration brought against the New Black Panther Party.

Hmm, let’s see what Adam Serwer has noted from that report:

the Inspector General’s report, like a previous OPR report, found that the decision to narrow the New Black Panther case was “based on a good faith assessment of the law and facts of the case,” not on anti-white racism or corruption. The report also concludes that the political leadership at Justice did influence the handling of the New Black Panther case—but not improperly—by insisting that that the case could not be dismissed outright.

So, Republicans will complain that the Black Panther thing was influenced by political leadership under Obama without noting that they influenced it in a way that Republicans were pushing for–further investigation. This could make for an interesting story, in the unlikely event that the reporters actually tell the whole story.

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