April 1, 2007 Leave a comment
Nothing George Bush does in terms of incompetence or corruption actually surprises me in the least anymore. Yet, with Democrats now in control of Congress and an emboldened press corps, it seems that every last place you search for corruption or incompetence within this administration you find it. At every single turn, loyalty to Bush is valued over actual competence for your job– even in the vast majority of positions that are not supposed to be political. The most extreme and ridiculous case of this was nicely detailed by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (Imperial Life in the Emerald City) in his reporting about Iraq. No matter what one things of the war, we can pretty much all agree we would want the most competent people involved in reconstruction. Alas, the Coalition Provisional Authority was staffed with hacks and lackeys chosen for their opposition to gay marriage and abortion, not that they might actually have any clue on how to rebuild Iraq. Anyway, that's old news. Today, a Washington Post story detailed how, not surprisingly, Bush has politicized the appointment of US Attorneys like no other modern president.
About one-third of the nearly four dozen U.S. attorney's
jobs that have changed hands since President Bush began his second term
have been filled by the White House and the Justice Department with
trusted administration insiders.
The people chosen as chief federal prosecutors on a temporary or
permanent basis since early 2005 include 10 senior aides to Attorney
General Alberto R. Gonzales, according to an analysis of government
records. Several came from the White House or other government
agencies. Some lacked experience as prosecutors or had no connection to
the districts in which they were sent to work, the records and
biographical information show.
….No other administration in contemporary times has had such a
clear pattern of filling chief prosecutors' jobs with its own staff
members, said experts on U.S. attorney's offices.
As I opined last week, this is just sadly further evidence of the pattern of using government to further partisan ends at all costs which gave 19th century American politics such a bad name. Its one thing to be a president in the 1880's and be this corrupt, but George W. Bush seems to have set the course of democracy in American back a little more than 100 years. Gives yet further credence to the argument made some time ago by Historian Sean Wilentz, that Bush is perhaps the worst president in history.