Friday, May 25, 2007

Governing for God

By Libby

I haven't weighed in on the Justice Dept. scandal in a while and since Monica Goodling is on my mind, it seems a good time for a little review. I said from the beginning that the attorney purge was just the key that would open a door revealing widespread malfeasance and Monica's testimony certainly widens the scope of inquiry. That the Justice Dept was wrongfully politicized is now beyond the doubt of any reasonable, objective assessment.

Over and above using a political loyalty test for career employees, Monica, without being asked, volunteered a confession of impropriety on the hiring of Immigration Judges, clearly to extend her immunity to that act. That doesn't sound to me like someone who "thinks" she "may have" crossed the line. It sounds more like someone who knows she did something illegal.

And it doesn't appear she's going to be willing to fall on her sword for the party, what with the coy mention of her discomfort when Gonzales "comforted her" by reviewing his version of the events leading to the investigation. Her testimony also makes clear that Gonzales was aware he improperly attempted to influence her testimony. Why else would he lie to Congress about it?

But beyond the subversion of Justice into a political tool for the GOP, the evangelicalization of our entire government troubles me the most. Goodling harks from the ranks of eager Christian graduates who "no longer aim to create a parallel subculture" but rather seek to be "Christian leaders to change the world," and remake it in their own image -- not merely as simple Christians of faith, but as Christians of only their own brand of faith. The scary part is, under this administration, they're succeeding.
It used to be that being 33 and in charge of 93 U.S. attorneys would mean you'd been top of your class at Harvard or Yale or clerked at the Supreme Court. Now, Christian schools are joining that mix. Regent has had 150 of its graduates working in the White House; the school estimates that one-sixth of its alumni are in government work.
Think about that for a minute. Monica got caught but there's 150 other little Goodling ideologues that have been setting policy for this country's government. Little wonder competency has suffered when religiosity trumps academic achievement. One doubts many of those Regent grads could have cut it at Yale or Harvard. And how far are these young Christian warriors willing to go to fulfil their mission for God?
While testifying this week, Goodling admitted that she had asked inappropriately partisan questions of applicants for civil service jobs. But she never asked about religion, she said.
That may be true but it's not inconceivable she conducted some undercover oppo research to get the answers to that question. I somehow doubt very many atheists were hired on her watch.

Of course, that's just one of many questions still unanswered in this scandal, the primary one being who gave Goodling her orders? She claimed to be in charge of nothing, as has Sampson and McNulty and even Gonzales. So who was at the top of this perverse chain of command? It's a question the Congress seems very slow in pursuing.

Meanwhile, the only certain thing is Bush is going to stand by his man Fredo as he continues to insist the disgraced AG is doing a heckva job.
"If there's wrongdoing, it will be taken care of," Bush said.
Yeah, it will taken care of all right, in the typical White House manner that every scandal from Abu Ghraib to Katrina to the Plame leak has been taken care of; by stalling and obfuscating until they can figure out who to throw under the bus to take the blame.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought you might like to hear about the God and Governing conference coming up at Trinity Law School.

All the best,

Christopher Neiswonger

3:52:00 PM  

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