Politics Over Prosecutors -- by Eugene Robinson
With Wall Street's fate hanging in the balance, and with Sarah Palin's incoherence sparking interest in Thursday's vice presidential debate, it was easy to overlook a major story that got less attention than it deserved yesterday. The Justice Department released a nearly 400-page report with this jaw-dropping bottom line:
"Our investigation found significant evidence that political partisan considerations were an important factor in the removal of several . . . U.S. attorneys."
Remember the controversy over the sudden dismissals of nine U.S. attorneys? Remember the allegation that the Bush administration had sullied the long-held principle that justice should be administered in an impartial, nonpartisan way? Remember the questions about what then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales knew and when he knew it? Remember Kyle Sampson, the Gonzales aide who played a key role in the firings? Remember Monica Goodling, the Justice Department's liaison to the White House, who went so far as to ask prospective Justice appointees to wax eloquent about why they wanted to "serve" George W. Bush?
The people who have been running our government for the past eight years have nothing but contempt for government. They believe only in politics and ideology, in that order. First, win elections by any means necessary. Second, once in a position to act in the public good, govern with the ideological conviction that government is either irrelevant or harmful to the public interest.
You can draw a straight line between firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons and turning a blind eye to the ruinous excesses of Wall Street. What's impartial justice against the possibility of gaining political advantage? Why shackle the hallowed free market with government oversight?
And, if you want to draw the line a little further, who cares if the prospective vice president appears to know nothing about anything?
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Yep. If all we want is a puppet government, who the hell cares who we put in charge of it?