Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.”     Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

March 22, 2007

A Pox On Both Their Houses

by Doug Mataconis

Writing in today’s New York Times (firewalled behind their TimesSelect thingy), David Brooks says there’s been bad behavior from both parties over the U.S. Attorney firings:

When you look at the prosecutors who were fired by the Bush administration, you see some who were fired for proper political reasons and some who were fired for improper ones. Carol Lam seems to have been properly let go because she did not share the president’s priorities on illegal immigration cases. David Iglesias seems to have been improperly let go because he offended some members of the president’s party.

But what’s striking in reading through the Justice Department e-mail messages is that senior people in that agency seem never to have thought about the proper role of politics in their decision-making. They reacted like chickens with their heads cut off when this scandal broke because they could not articulate the differences between a proper political firing and an improper one.

Moreover, they had no coherent sense of honor. Alberto Gonzales apparently never communicated a code of conduct to guide them as they wrestled with various political pressures. That’s a grievous failure of leadership.

The bad behavior has not stopped there. The Democrats, apparently out of legislative ideas after only 11 weeks in the majority, have gone into full scandal mode, professing to be shocked because politics played a role in prosecutorial priorities. They and those on their media food chain have made wild accusations far in advance of the evidence, producing enough cacophonous demagoguery to make rational discussion nearly impossible

This is what our political system has come down to. Instead of actually running the country, our leaders spend their time engaged in partisan bickering. It happened during the Reagan Administration when the Demorats held Congress, it happened during the Clinton Administration when Republicans were in power, and it’s happening again now. The only good thing about it is that they can’t do any real harm to the country when they’re distract by nonsense like this.

I maintain my position, articulated here, that this whole “scandal” is much ado about nothing, but Brooks is right when he points out that the Bush Administration is partly to blame for all of this thanks to the inept way they handled it.

H/T: Ann Althouse


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