by Max Brantley
We've become so accustomed to corruption and incompetence in the Bush administration that Justice Department confirmation of illegal political partisanship in Justice Department hiring was ignored by two of the major TV networks last night and mentioned only briefly on a third.
The out-of-control religious and partisan zealot Monica Goodling was no singular bad apple in the Bush administration, but merely one of many uncovered doing the Lord's work over the dark Bush years.
Somebody who knows well about this is Bud Cummins, the former U.S. attorney in Little Rock shoved out of his job to make way for a true blue Bushie, Tim Griffin. The whistle was blown and, ultimately, the decayed carcass of Mother Justice was laid bare.
Cummins, however, believes the buck stops with underlings like Goodling. He absolves Bush, the attorney generals, Karl Rove, etc., of complicity. I believe he believes that. I don't happen to believe it myself. How could the likes Goodling believe she held such a broad portfolio without explicit approval from superiors? How could the actions have stretched so far and into so many U.S. attorney offices without at least tacit approval from on high? The circumstantial evidence of broad involvement is just too great. Cummins sees it differently in writing a first-hand account today on Anderson Cooper/'s 360 on CNN.
The story is simple. Several political operatives worked hard on the campaign trail and then hung around long enough to be rewarded with jobs for which they were not ready. They lacked the experience, judgment and temperament for the positions they attained and the decisions that went with them. They were unsupervised by grown-ups. They screwed up.
Nope. I'm not buying. Nothing happens by chance in the Bush administration. The malevolent scheming knows no limits, not even unto the final day of sabotaging family planning and stuffing ill-gotten money into favored vendors' pockets. It is absolutely scary to think about what they'd have gotten away with had the war not gone so badly and it suddenly became legal again in America to criticize the president.