Monday, April 30, 2007

What saddens me

What saddens me about the attorney purge scandal is that it wasn't until Bush administration efforts to establish loyalty to republican party operatives (as distinct from republican party traditions say) as the sole criteria for evaluating people and adherence to republican party priorities the sole criteria for evaluating a theory, idea, or policy within the Justice Department that they came up against any forceful resistance.

Neither the media nor the military nor the congress resisted them. With the exception of McLatchy and a few marginalized congressmen and senators and some parts of the state department, these institutions allowed the administration and the republican party the last word on everything, WMDs, troop levels, in the run-up to the Iraq war. When Katrina happened and commentators were presented with the easiest judgement to make--that the gov't had failed in every way--they did not say so.

Only the justice department asserted loyalty to something (anything) other than the administration when the time came.

There's an irony in this, in that there's this sort of meme out there that beuracracy is terrible in a sort of metaphysical, "kafka-esque" sense, yet it was only the strength of the justice department as an institution that repelled the efforts of an administration whose political power was to some extent achieved by professing an ideology whose core tenents include the idea that government and government professionalism are almost always bad, and certainly inferior to some extent to the commen sense of ordinary citizens (forgetting for the moment that republican party leaders in the bush mold are anything but ordinary citizens).

It was the speech and actions of Republican prosecutors that brought to the fore a standard for political action that transcends even the soft-politicization of everything behind which many mindless conservative commentators are trying, or were trying, to obscure the Stalinesque abuses of political power perpetrated by the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States.

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