It explains a lot. Critics have chalked up Eric Holder’s chronically strange behavior to cluelessness. In reality, he’s been asleep for a very long time like Rip van Winkle, the Washington Irving character who slept for 20 years. But, instead of sleeping peacefully like van Winkle, Rip van Holder is a chatty somnambulist.

His secret was discovered earlier this week during a presentation at Georgetown University Law Center. The subject was the re-enfranchisement of felons. According to Holder, reinstating the right to vote in federal elections lowers the recidivism rate while persisting in withholding the vote is racist.

This sounds all well and good as far as it goes. The trouble is, thirty-nine of our fifty states reinstated the right to vote to non-violent felons years ago, a fact Holder neglected to mention. His omission gave away his condition. He slept through the re-enfranchisement enactments in these states, so he believes that he’s living in the time before the changes became law.

In the same presentation, Holder praised a former Governor of Virginia for signing a state law that restored felon voting rights. The law was passed barely in the nick of time for the ex-Governor as Holder’s Justice Department just indicted him on several felony counts. Rip Van Holder must have snoozed his way right through the indictment and the accompanying publicity.

One editorial on Holder’s Georgetown speech opined that the Attorney General’s motivation was less civil rights and more political. Two university studies reported that the 2000 presidential election probably would have gone to the Dems but for the disenfranchisement of felons. These studies are based on, among other things, the likelihood that felons will vote Democrat rather than Republican.

Felons swaying elections is not new, of course. But setting up a connection from prison cell to voting booth seems to require more dexterity than sleepy Eric can manage. Just in case he is trying to manage it, he gets this week’s Lame Spin Award.

In retrospect, Holder has been sending signals of his chronic sleep state for quite a while. And it isn’t merely his sleep-inducing lack of dynamism. He obviously snoozed through the law school class that teaches the fundamental difference between conduct committed by military combatants and civilian criminals. Otherwise, he would stop trying to prosecute terrorists in civilian courts and let military justice take its course.

Who can forget the Fast & Furious debacle? Holder denied knowledge of the idiotic yet deadly scheme until after the first damage had been done. He’s probably right. It is difficult for reality to intrude when you’ve got a first class seat on the dreamland train.

Holder refused to file terrorism charges in the Fort Hood massacre case, despite the clearer than glass motive. Sleeping through the years when terrorism hit our shores has that effect. But, the Attorney General was bothered enough by persistent newsgathering efforts that he pursued investigations into the Associated Press and Fox News Reporter James Rosen. Naturally, he denied any knowledge of those efforts. More cases of sleeping at the office.

Even before he became Attorney General Holder was asleep at the wheel. Back then, he insisted before the U.S. Supreme Court that the Second Amendment right to bear arms only protects state militias, not individuals. Definitely Revolutionary War flashback time.

We could go on and on but we’re getting very sleepy.