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Archive for Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bush White House can’t quit campaigning

August 3, 2008

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"What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?"

I have gone forward and back for a while now trying to figure out where today's rant should begin, but I find that I cannot get past that question. It was posed by Monica Goodling, an aide to then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, to job seekers at the Department of Justice.

"What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?"

Is it me, or doesn't she sound less like a job interviewer than like an adolescent girl splayed out on her bed, giggling with her girlfriend about some hottie actor they both adore? I mean, what, exactly, was an applicant expected to say?

"I adore his strong chin?"

"That crinkly smile really turns me on?"

"I can't resist the manly twinkle in his eyes when he mispronounces 'nuclear?'"

Presumably, Goodling is somewhere doodling the president's name and hers inside Valentine hearts while she awaits her fate. You see, she faces possible professional sanctions for violations of both civil service law and the DOJ's own policy. As detailed last week in a Justice Department report, she and other aides systematically schemed to fill non-political positions with Bush loyalists.

It wasn't just that she asked a question that would have been more at home on the cover of Tiger Beat. It was that she passed over a respected prosecutor with almost 20 years of experience for an important counterterrorism job because his wife was active in Democratic politics, hiring instead a Republican with three years' experience. And that she denied one applicant on the suspicion - the "suspicion," mind you - that she was a lesbian. And that she jettisoned yet another because he was a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. And that she ran Internet searches to determine applicants' political views. And that one of her interview questions was: "Why are you a Republican?"

It goes on. And on. Goodling's priority was not experience, talent or competence. Rather, she was looking for, as she put it in a note, applicants who were suitably conservative on "god, guns + gays."

Yes, every president is entitled to fill political positions with loyalists. But these were "not," I repeat, political positions. Rather they were, or were supposed to have been, career, non-partisan jobs: immigration judges, assistant U.S. attorneys, trial attorneys.

The problem is, in this administration, there's no such thing as a non-partisan job. For them, the campaign never ends.

Just last month another report found applicants for DOJ internships and honors programs being turned away for political reasons. Then there's Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book, "Imperial Life in the Emerald City," which recounts how people interviewing to work in the Green Zone in Iraq were asked their opinion of Roe v. Wade, among other conservative litmus tests.

What does abortion politics have to do with turning on the electricity in Baghdad? Hey, you got me.

This administration prizes ideological purity above ability. As a result, it has driven the presidency off a cliff, the country following close behind. These are not people who came to government to govern. No, these are true believers who came to government to institutionalize true belief, to make it permanent as a stain.

There is something Stepford, something robotic and chilling, in the glassy-eyed, ends-justifies-the-means faith of these young Bush aides in their own righteousness. Forget credibility. Forget competence. Just give us your answer, please: "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?"

It is a telling question. Apparently, these people have forgotten or never even knew: it wasn't George W. Bush they were supposed to serve.

- Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Comments

scott3460 5 years, 8 months ago

Note: The following comment contains high levels of sarcasm. It is intended to be appreciated by all, but readers of a certain political persuasion (i.e. wrong) may fail to grasp the ironic humor and sarcastic intent. Will President bush and the rest of the no-tax mafia be speaking out against Senator McCain most recent flip flop on raising taxes? McCain has indicated a willingness to raise payroll taxes for Social Security after pledging as recently as July 7: "Sen. Obama will raise your taxes, I won't." Strange how the corporate media is focused more on tightening the horse race than highlighting what has been a pretty major issue to the core conservative wing of the republican party. I wonder why that is. Would Obama be treated in the same way. And where is the outrage amongst the conservatives. I thought you folks were against any taxes being raised.

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jaywalker 5 years, 8 months ago

JHOK32:Enough already. I've read that post of yours on three different strings. For the love.....Give it a rest, Exxon ain't the bogey man, they're making about 7.5 cents per dollar. U.S. manufacturing has a higher profit margin.Pitt's article is disturbing. I heard a little about the possible sanctions, but if those are the questions and that was the consistent MO of the administration, then it was a lot worse than I'd believed. I don't think anyone should ever be asked their position on Roe v. Wade, this isn't Russia.This isn't Russia, is it Danny? (left field Caddyshack reference)

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cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

Jonas, please don't claim that 1029's lame attempts at half-baked sarcasm are not immediately recognizable by anyone with even minimal intelligence, which applies to you. Apparently it was lost on Marc and Scott.

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dandelion 5 years, 8 months ago

Cato and his buddies have all read the article. They are using their tactic of changing the subject. Civil servants serve the US government and the people of the US. The civil service was set up to keep their jobs from being political. There are political appointment jobs that have nothing to do with the civil service, and are appointed, but these weren't the jobs. Bush and company have made a mockery of our government, but they will soon be gone, and I hope at least their little martyr, Monica will go to jail. She'll be rewarded for her loyalty with a job at Helliburton when she gets out. After all she is going to take the blame, so her lords will not be touched. Of course, hopefully, Helliburton will be bankrupt by the time she gets out.

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jonas 5 years, 8 months ago

Marc, Scott, cato can probably only say that because bea and I pointed it out a week or two ago. He's much more talented than cato is capable of giving credit too, since he's obviously lampooning the sacred creed.

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cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

Marc, Marc, Marc. Scott, Scott, Scott. You don't even get where 1029 is coming from - you're taking him (or her) seriously, and don't even recognize the attempted sarcasm - although I will acknowledge that 1029's attempts at sarcasm are always poorly executed, which could, I suppose, get you off the hook to a small extent.

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scott3460 5 years, 8 months ago

"Right on, OriginalCA! While Republicans are continuously working hard and thinking of ways to make this country greater, Democrats are wasting their time campaigning and making bumper stickers. I for one have been sick for many years of all the Democrats stickers and slogans. Democratic propaganda and liberal bias are everywhere and it's time we do something about it."Don't worry , 1029, when President Obama takes office with a 57 Senator advantage you are going to see a whole lot less on the bumpers. If you cannot wait that long, let me suggest moving to bush's new successful democracy in Iraq.

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spiderman 5 years, 8 months ago

bush and the alabama national guard dutyvideo parody on youtubehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOKaBrlcoCY

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spiderman 5 years, 8 months ago

bill maher on the Bush / Cheney 'traitors'....youtubevideohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlDfYN...

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JHOK32 5 years, 8 months ago

How about voting for Obama? He will return $1000 to each MIDDLE class family that Bush and the big oil companies have stolen from us (Exxon-Mobil just reported a whopping $11 Billion dollar profit - the highest in U.S. history!).

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spiderman 5 years, 8 months ago

very sicki have a friend who is a 20+ year veteran of the National Park Service - he says that since 2000 anyone who speaks up even slightly against the Bush / Cheney regime is immediately fired.and this administration doesn't recruit the right people and is in effect disassembling all of the career professional staff from the National Park Service.

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marcdeveraux 5 years, 8 months ago

1029 has apparently been in a coma for the past 8 years, how sad. I guess these zombies are not interested in the facts, just blind support of the mindless leader of this once great country.

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JohnBrown 5 years, 8 months ago

It's obvious that Cato and the others don't believe in the rule of law, only in the promulgation of their narrow beliefs and it's enforcement upon others to the point of disabling governmental functions.

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cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

To the committed leftists who immediately berated Solutions101, anyone who has followed Pitts' columns since 2000 knows that he has continually been in the forefront of those who refuse to accept the fact that George Bush won the 2000 election, and has never hesitated to say so. While Pitts is capable of writing thought-provoking columns in which both sides are considered, that seldom, if ever, occurs when he writes about the president or his administration. In large part because of Pitts' personal ties to Florida, he has never gotten over the fact that the Gore camp was unable to steal the 2000 election. As a result, ever since then he has never hesitated in his columns to criticize, or lend little or no support to, the president and his administration, no matter what the topic. While on its face this column purports to concern Ms. Goodling's conduct, it's nothing but another warmed-over can of Bush-Bashing, which Solutions correctly recognized. If you doubt me, just read the headline.

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1029 5 years, 8 months ago

Right on, OriginalCA! While Republicans are continuously working hard and thinking of ways to make this country greater, Democrats are wasting their time campaigning and making bumper stickers. I for one have been sick for many years of all the Democrats stickers and slogans. Democratic propaganda and liberal bias are everywhere and it's time we do something about it. A good place to start would be by voting Republican no matter what.

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i_tching 5 years, 8 months ago

Incompetent people will always choose other incompetents to serve under them.

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Defender 5 years, 8 months ago

"Reublicans of propaganda, but yet it is the Democrats who have a never ending onslaught of bumper stickers and slogans."Guess you only look at cars that democrats drive. Sorry, but that is completely silly and unsupportable.

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jonas 5 years, 8 months ago

Did you make it past the headline, OriginalCA?

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TheOriginalCA 5 years, 8 months ago

I find this quite humorous, the Clintonista's campaigned the entire time they were in orrifice. Sebelius is doing the exact same thing. Democrats accuse Reublicans of propaganda, but yet it is the Democrats who have a never ending onslaught of bumper stickers and slogans.

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feeble 5 years, 8 months ago

Solutions101 said "An employer may hire whom he/she wishes and some believe ethics and morals are eminent attributes to the future employee."=============================You should spend some time reading the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. I recommend Section 2301 (b) (1) and (2), (8) (A). These positions are explicitly non-partisan. Politizing the selection and review process was a gross deviation from civil law, as laid out in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.The laws specifically spell out that these are non-political positions, and should be awarded based on merit and ability, not political leaning or moral identity. To do otherwise is unethical and illegal.

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jonas 5 years, 8 months ago

Is that where the Gore reference came from? I was just assuming that they didn't really read the column and just wrote whatever they first thought of. That's what usually happens.Solutions101 (Anonymous) says:"An employer may hire whom he/she wishes and some believe ethics and morals are eminent attributes to the future employee."Some aren't publicly funded. And let's leave ethics out of this. There is some support for this being a morals issue if your definition of morals is thin and frozen enough, I guess, but there is nothing ethical about anything in this issue.

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Corey Williams 5 years, 8 months ago

"It is a telling question. Apparently, these people have forgotten or never even knew: it wasn't George W. Bush they were supposed to serve."What Solutions101 and, of course, the everpresent Cato the elder misread into that line was completely wrong. Maybe it was just a little bit early for them. Maybe they're starting to suffer a little bit of ODS. Either way, the people in question weren't supposed to serve W because they were supposed to be serving the American people.

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OnlyTheOne 5 years, 8 months ago

Don't be so sure, "Nature (and "GW") will find a way." Paraphrased from "Jurassic Park."

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

"What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?"His lease is up ( and I've been paying the rent, anyway )...Eviction notice served.

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marcdeveraux 5 years, 8 months ago

I read and reread this article, I saw nothing about gore. The first two letters were written by emotionally retarded boobs who can not seem to focus very well. Republican zombies.

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scott3460 5 years, 8 months ago

169 days until george w. bush is not, and can never again be, President.

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scott3460 5 years, 8 months ago

"An employer may hire whom he/she wishes and some believe ethics and morals are eminent attributes to the future employee. One should note the costs to have an employee with the many benefits required such as health insurance. It is not absurd for an employer to ensure that his investment in this employee is the best decision."How many employers require fidelity to a boss as part of the interview screening process? I cannot think of a single one. And since this is government, not mere a mere employer, how about if one of the usual apologists defends the practice for us, rather than simply blindly defending the actors in the 7+ year ordeal of misgovernment. Also, funny note, those who seemed best at blind allegiance to the President, Alberto, Harriet, Condi, Scooter, McCllellan haven't been particularly effective soldiers in bush's regime. Should the American people ever be so foolish to allow this ilk to control the government again, the Rethugs ought to take the lesson that it is the real heartless, SOB's with a brain or two (cheney, rove) that do the most damage.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 8 months ago

"It is a telling question. Apparently, these people have forgotten or never even knew: it wasn't George W. Bush they were supposed to serve."This final line is something the Bush sycophants above, and those to follow, need to wrap their little brains around.

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cato_the_elder 5 years, 8 months ago

Solutions, "Amen" to the third paragraph of your post.

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Solutions101 5 years, 8 months ago

An employer may hire whom he/she wishes and some believe ethics and morals are eminent attributes to the future employee. One should note the costs to have an employee with the many benefits required such as health insurance. It is not absurd for an employer to ensure that his investment in this employee is the best decision. As with choosing the best qualified employee, how about discuss affirmative action, which is sex and racial discrimination in the working class? People need to lay off the "Gore was supposed to have been President" line of thought. It's really old and gets you nowhere with that ignorant and pessimistic viewpoint. He is not and has not been, nor will he ever be, our President. End of Story.

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