Monday, July 24, 2006


Cronyism, falling standards, neglect of the poor, lawlessness: threads from the same corrupt cloth

Avedon Carol's Sideshow (see also Allspinzone) brings to our attention one of the most important stories of this era: The Bush Administration is filling the government with partisan operatives specifically to undermine the laws they are sworn to enforce. The specific story she refers us to is one by Charlie Savage in the Boston Globe regarding changes in hiring practices in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department: The documents show that only 42 percent of the lawyers hired since 2003, after the administration changed the rules to give political appointees more influence in the hiring process, have civil rights experience. In the two years before the change [i.e., under Republican rule but before the political loyalty oaths were required], 77 percent of those who were hired had civil rights backgrounds. In an acknowledgment of the department's special need to be politically neutral, hiring for career jobs in the Civil Rights Division under all recent administrations, Democratic and Republican, had been handled by civil servants -- not political appointees. But in the fall of 2002, then-attorney general John Ashcroft changed the procedures. The Civil Rights Division disbanded the hiring committees made up of veteran career lawyers.... Meanwhile, conservative credentials have risen sharply. Since 2003 the three sections have hired 11 lawyers who said they were members of the conservative Federalist Society. Seven hires in the three sections are listed as members of the Republican National Lawyers Association, including two who volunteered for Bush-Cheney campaigns.... At the same time, the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians. ... The academic credentials of the lawyers hired into the division also underwent a shift at this time, the documents show. Attorneys hired by the career hiring committees largely came from Eastern law schools with elite reputations, while a greater proportion of the political appointees' hires instead attended Southern and Midwestern law schools with conservative reputations.The average US News & World Report ranking for the law school attended by successful applicants hired in 2001 and 2002 was 34, while the average law school rank dropped to 44 for those hired after 2003. Political cronyism. A decline in standards. A failure to defend the less powerful. A failure to obey the law. They are all woven from the same cloth of moral corruption. This is being done all through government. The courts are being filled with reliable partisans who place loyalty to party over their oaths of office. Scientists are being muzzled, or even displaced by industry advocates. IRS auditors who know how to find fraud in the returns of the wealthy are being removed. The Pentagon is being filled with faux-evangelicals on a mission from Hell; they've already turned Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon into their understanding of democratic paradises. What this means in a practical sense is that reformers can win election after election and not a lot will change. The bureaucrats, judges, military officers and so on-- all in lifetime positions-- will refuse to enforce the law. Under normal procedures, it could take 30 or 40 years to flush this toilet. Indeed, this is a graver form of the situation that FDR faced. With a third of the nation unemployed, and a third of the businesses shuttered-- the entire nation turned into a giant East St. Louis-- the Republican courts refused to admit that the federal FDR at least faced bureaucracies that had been formed by considerations of merit. Nor were the Republicans as a whole under the cult-like thrall of perverted Christianity: they were just greedy, hard-hearted, small-minded little b------ds. This is why I predict that we will eventually decide to dissolve the American Republic and, through a Constitutional Convention, re-form ourselves as the Second Republic. The dangers we face from global warming, economic decline, not to mention a billion p--sed off Muslims are so serious that we may not have a lot of time to resolve our differences. It's not that anyone wants to admit that our traditional form of government has failed, nor endure the uncertainty and loss that such a major transition would involve. But it may be the only way to save our nation from permanent eclipse, after an eternity of being led by bad shepherds.
Laws and rules are inconvenient obstacles to be overcome, disregarded, or worked around.

Unless the Democrats are in power, of course.
I dunno, Eli. The Pubs also did a pretty good job of torching the laws while Clinton was top dog. Gingrich won power in 1994 by systematically breaking the tax laws. I wouldn't be surprised if they stole some of those elections. As Carville showed, switch around a few thousand votes and the Dems would have held the House.
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