Friday, June 22, 2007

Politicization At Justice? We're Shocked!

Democrats in Congress continue to dig into claims that the Bush administration has politicized staffing at the Justice Department, probably because it's a lot of fun and there is a treasure trove of information establishing the charge.

But anyone who's been around Washington for the past six years is not at all surprised. If you live here, you know people who work in the government, or who have applied for jobs. We're not talking about political appointments--the kind that require Senate confirmation. Rather, these are just plain old government jobs, trying to keep things functioning and putting good people to work doing the People's business.

Yet, what you hear time and time again is that for practically ANY job in this administration there is political commissar, directly connected to Karl Rove's operation in the White House, charged with vetting the purity of EVERY applicant. It's a bit like the old days of the Soviet Union, when anyone without a good record as a Communist Party apparatchik would have no chance of getting a government job.

So, if Karl Rove's goons can find evidence that, for example, you--god forbid--supported McCain in the 2000 Republican race, you're highly suspect. Of course, if there's evidence that you're a Democrat, then forget about it. This is not the way regular government jobs have been filled in Washington in the past, in either Democratic or Republican administrations, and it's not the way it should be done.

Of course, when you make political loyalty the number one qualification for a job, you'll fill those jobs with a bunch of hacks who don't happen to be particularly good at the job in question. And that's what has happened--not just at the Justice Department--but throughout the government, at all kinds of agencies that have real responsibilities to the People. The government is now filled with Monica Goodlings (the Justice Dept. lawyer with an undergrad degree from Messiah University and a J.D. from Pat Robertson's Regent University, whose job it was to screen Justice Dept. hires.)

It's one of the reasons this administration has been so incompetent.

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