Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Meddling ... for Political Reasons"?

Perish the thought. Key quote:
As it does peerlessly, the Times has crafted the template for mainstream-media coverage of this saga. Loyalty to Bush and Gonzales — could anything be more sinister? That’s why, we’re told in yet another breathless dispatch, “Congressional Democrats … are investigating whether the White House was meddling in Justice Department affairs for political reasons.”

The storyline makes great theater. It is also absurd. You might as well ask whether Congress is proposing legislation for political reasons, or whether loyalty to the party leaders might have had a teensy-weensy bit to do with what bills got voted.
Indeed. Democratic indignation here is a bit hard to swallow. And furthermore:
So let’s be clear. The prosecution of individual cases proceeds in accordance with constitutional and statutory protections for the individual. It is inherently a legal, not a political, process. Politics ought never intrude on it. But the same is decidedly not true of prosecution in the macro sense of setting enforcement priorities.
However, we're learning now that Karl Rove has played a big hand in deciding on these and other firings, to a level beyond what I would expect is normal. This strikes me as inappropriate, although again, there's no real evidence that anyone was fired for their political beliefs and not because of a reluctance to pursue Administration priorities. We're also learning that, in sworn testimony, the Attorney General gave inaccurate information to Congress about the White House's involvement in these firings. Gonzales' chief of staff resigned because of this, and that may be all that's needed. But maybe not.

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