Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Were Attorney Firings Driven by Supply or Demand?

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While it was overshadowed by her admission of playing politics with hiring practices at DOJ, her implication of the AG for witness tampering, and her implication of the DAG for perjury, there was another brief moment during Monica Goodling’s House testimony that deserves a bit more attention.

As she was being questioned by Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Goodling revealed that Rachel Paulose, the bible spouting, self aggrandizing, US Attorney from Minnesota who drove out her entire senior staff after being appointed to an interim USA position with no management experience (and who then tried to blame the defection on sour grapes by older lawyers who "had difficulty dealing with a young, aggressive woman”), is considered a candidate for presidential nomination!

Heres the direct quote from the WAPO transcript:
GOODLING:Rachel Paulose was selected based on her qualifications overall.And we did include the fact that she might be able to be a candidate for the presidential nomination.We sometimes thought if we had somebody that we could put in to be an interim U.S. attorney who also had the opportunity to be considered for the presidential nomination, then that was a factor.
A bit premature, don’t you think? That is, unless the DOJ was simply being used to pad the resumes of young, up-and-coming, “loyal Bushies” for future political placement. Much like Regent University was set up to provide an army of young, Christian conservatives with law degrees (if not the ability to know that “crossing the line of the law” and “doing something illegal” are the same damned thing), it seems that the Bush Administration decided to use the DOJ to arm those same individuals with the “experience” necessary to achieve greater political power and influence in the future.

Is it possible that the reason everyone involved in the scandal talks about “collaborative effort” on the firings but none can explain the actual reasons for them, is that they were driven more by the list of “loyal Bushies” they wanted to appoint, than by the list of “poor performing” prosecutors they wanted to replace?

Tim Griffin in Arkansas certainly seems to fit that mold. Paulose too, although placing her did not necessitate a firing, as her predecessor retired suddenly on his own volition. In fact, the firing list seems to have been revised so frequently, quickly and carelessly that the revisions could have been prompted more from who was available on deck for each position than from the actual attorneys on the job.

At this point, I would be quite interested to know if there is a list of “loyal Bushies” waiting in the wings to be placed in positions like federal prosecutor, where they could be “groomed” for future higher profile roles such as judges, legislators, or President of the United States!

(note: the image represents the author's conception of the supply of "loyal Bushies.")

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