This revelation alone is enough to damn the Justice Department under Alberto Gonzales. In fact, Goodling herself seems to have been chosen entirely on the merits of her ideology. Writes Milbank:
With the assistance of committee Democrats, Goodling quickly established that she had little preparation for the senior job she held at the Justice Department. Asked about her previous experience making personnel decisions, Goodling began her answer by noting she was student body president in college.
Yeah, that's the sort of career arc all successful people have, right? Student body president at a backwater college where 60% of graduates fail the bar, republican party op, then on to an senior position in the freakin' Justice Department. You'd think there'd be a paper route or a stint at McDonalds in there someplace.
Goodling denied she held the 'keys to the kingdom,' but clearly she did. She admitted to screening new hires for ideological purity, but denied screening them for religious beliefs. Frankly, I have my doubts about that. The motto of the law school she graduated from was 'Christian Leadership to Change the World' and, since 2001, 150 Regent grads were hired by Justice. Isn't hiring heavily from Pat Robertson's less than prestigious law school the same damned thing as hiring based on religious beliefs? I'm pretty sure that, other than a deep and abiding love for Republican Jesus, all it takes to get into Regent University is that you draw the cartoon turtle just like it looks on the matchbook.
If we look elsewhere, we see similar hiring practices. In 2004, the Washington Post revealed that the government was hiring young people with very little experience to direct the reconstruction in Iraq. Most had one 'qualification' in common -- "They had all posted their resumes at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank," WaPo revealed. 'Conservative-leaning' is putting it mildly -- Heritage is an organization for people who are so right wing that they've probably never seen themselves shamefully naked. Saying they're 'conservative-leaning' is like saying the Girl Scouts are 'female-leaning.'
What we're seeing here is an attempt to create a new generation of neocon robot leadership. They want to pad these kids' resumes with impressive job titles and experience. They want to reproduce their own ideology and project it into the future. In short, they put the neocon ideal first and the nation second.
Goodling admitted as much and, as a even a graduate of a third rate law school had to admit, she knew it was illegal.
John Nichols, The Nation:
Goodling was right to be concerned about incriminating herself. Under questioning from Democratic committee members, the former political commissar for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales repeatedly admitted to "crossing the line" that separates legal and illegal activities by federal officials. In so doing she offered another powerful insight into the way in which the Bush administration, to which Goodling says she was unquestioningly loyal, has replaced the rule of law with political calculations.
There's a word for this sort of thing -- this putting of political ideology above the good of the nation -- 'unamerican.' This cult of neocons has questioned every damned american value there is, from independence to liberty to fairness. Even justice and the rule of law are questioned by these phony patriots. They don't love this country, they love the christian fascism they want to change it into -- that's the country they adore and that's the ideal they serve. In their minds, this country needs to be fixed and that means dragging it as far to the right, into authoritarianism and unthinking nationalism, as is possible.
This is the neocons' 'generational struggle.' To pervert the american system and rig democracy. To seed the future with their own cultist visionaries. To change the political landscape in a way that allows them to rise again in the form of their ideological offspring.
Monica Goodling isn't just some peripheral player in a Washington scandal -- she represents the neocon plan for the future. They find people with the right ideology, place them in positions of power, and hope they'll continue to be players in the future. In other words, it's right wing bona fides first, experience second. They're not hiring people because of their experience, they're hiring the ideologues in order to give them the experience. Government agencies aren't serving the nation, they're a nursery for baby neocons.
What we have to do, from now until this generation of robots finally dies off, is make being a Bushie a career killer. We have to do to the term 'former Bush administration hire,' what conservatives did to the word 'liberal' in the '80s -- it has to be a political perjorative. A damning shorthand term meaning 'everything you don't like.' It has to become something that has to be lived down.
Because these people will all be back and they'll bring the neocon world-dom ideology with them. It's what they've been programmed to do.
Technorati tags: politics; Justice Department; Iraq; Bush; Alberto Gonzales; religious right; Pat Robertson; Meet Monica Goodling -- a glimpse into your neocon future