Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Surprise Department: White House and Justice Officials Play Politics In Recruiting

George W. Bush entered the White House with a righteous agenda. He and his conservative followers would clean up the mess left by the Clintons and the ethically challenged liberals. 

Fast forward seven-and-a-half years later: It hasn't worked out that way. Despite their ideals and conservative values, the Bush team was corrupted by their own ideology and the desire for greater power. 

That explains the findings of a new report on the hiring scandal at the Justice Department, which was systematically politicized by Bush appointees. Counter to a long tradition of nonpartisan hiring, their goal was to screen out any hint of liberalism or independent thinking in new Justice Department hires. 

Here's the way the Seattle Times summed up the scandal in today's edition: 

WASHINGTON—Justice Department officials illegally used "political or ideological" factors in elite recruiting programs in recent years, tapping law-school graduates with conservative credentials over more qualified candidates with liberal-sounding resumes, an internal report found Tuesday. 

Note the language here: You don't have to actually be a liberal; you just have to "sound" like one. 

So much for ethical conservative leadership. In the Bush years, Rovian thinking rules. It's all about the grab for power

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