It may seem presumptuous to give advice to members of the Justice Department because, after all, its staff is thought to have training and experience that qualifies them for their positions. At least that has always been the assumption regarding those who serve in that department. Still, this administration has been inclined to view all appointees through a narrow political lens, and this tendency often leads to unfortunate, even ludicrous, missteps.
But dear Monica Goodling, if you are ever called upon testify again before Congress or elsewhere about your qualifications to serve as an important liaison or decider-at-Justice it would be best if you didn’t wander too far afield in your answers. The fact that you filled positions of leadership when you were in college, for example, does not in most people’s minds make you a slam dunk to participate in big-league-governmental decision making. It would have been best simply to say you had good training and a keen awareness of what is required for appointing US Attorneys, even if you did occasionally “step over the line.”
As to the legality of your actions, not having done it ‘on purpose’ is an obviously transparent attempt to excuse improper behavior by claiming ignorance, for surely if you understand that you stepped over the line you must also have been aware at the time that you did so because you subscribed to a particular agenda. At least you kept the “I don’t recalls” to a minimum in your testimony which put you a step or two ahead of your former boss.
But aside from the simple issue of the firings at Justice, the sheer lack of intellect, experience and adequate training is glaring proof once again that the country is in the hands of monumental partisan incompetence. There seems to be no shame at the White House for its intransigence and clear involvement in an attempt to staff departments and make appointments that conform to the strictures of its political handbook.
And there is far too little outrage from the general public and most resoundingly from Republican supporters of the president. Even Democratic candidate Bill Richardson has voiced his support for Alberto Gonzales because he’s a friend and an Hispanic. Isn’t it time for that sort of blind affiliation to end?
The old stories about other politicians and other administrations from Bush apologists are shocking in their ignorance of just what is going on here. We are, after all, talking about our Justice Department and the very real possibility that it has been used as a political arm of the Executive branch of government. It isn’t “political theatre” as the president suggests, nor is it a waste of time and money as others have claimed. It is a disturbing and utterly outrageous but revelatory moment that defines the kind of people currently in charge of our country.
No-one should be dismissive about the issues framing investigations into the reasons behind the firings at Justice because they are indicators of something deeply disturbing about the state of our union. There will always be partisan ploys on both sides of the political divide because that is the way our government runs. But our country was established according to standards laid down in The Constitution and upheld and enforced by a code of justice intended to constrain the baser impulses of party loyalties.
If we lose faith in our government as an instrument of fair and impartial jurisprudence we will have lost the very basis upon which our nation was founded.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *