Don't Cry for Us, Monica Goodling

I swear, if Monica Goodling cries today when she testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about her role in the U.S. Attorney scandal I will be on the phone to Jon Stewart before Goodling's first tear hits the floor of the hearing room. She didn't cry for the good men and women within the Justice Department whom she helped get fired because they weren't "loyal Bushies" like her. She didn't cry for the subversion of justice that the firings (and her hiring decisions) represented. She didn't cry when her former boss, the Attorney General, stonewalled. But she is going to cry when Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) asks her a question? Please.

If Goodling truly wants to begin to rehabilitate herself and her place in history she can start today by dispensing with the drama and simply telling the Committee all that she knows about last year's prosecutor purge at the Justice Department. Who came up with the final list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired? Why were those particular federal prosecutors chosen? How involved was the White House in determining which prosecutors had to go? What did the Attorney General know and when did he know it? These are just a few of the legitimate and serious questions that so far have gone unanswered in this story and with her grant of immunity there is no reason in the world for Goodling not to help answer them. But there are other questions that Goodling should be pressed on as well.

First, she should be required to explain why she refused to hire for nonpartisan positions attorneys she considered too "liberal" while embracing other candidates who were and are considered "conservative." As the Washington Post's Dan Eggen put it: "When Jeffrey Taylor, interim U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wanted to hire a new career prosecutor last fall, he had to run the idea past Monica Goodling... The candidate was Seth Adam Meinero, a Howard University law-school graduate who had worked on civil-rights cases at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and had served as a special assistant prosecutor in Taylor's office. Goodling stalled the hiring, saying that Meinero was too 'liberal' for the nonpolitical position, said two sources familiar with the dispute. The tussle over Meinero, who was eventually hired at Taylor's insistence, led to a Justice Department investigation of whether Goodling improperly weighed political affiliation when reviewing applicants for rank-and-file prosecutor jobs, the sources said."

Second, Goodling should be required to explain the oddly instrumental role that her Pat Robertson-founded alma mater, Regent University, plays in the life of the Justice Department. As Richard Schmitt of the Los Angeles Times put it: "How a 33-year-old graduate of a little-known law school that teaches courses on the philosophy of punishing and controlling "sin" became such a powerful figure in the Justice Department is a key question for congressional investigators looking into charges that the department has been turned into a political tool of the Republican Party." Remember, Goodling had six months of undistinguished experience when she was hired.

Third, Goodling should be required to explain her vision of the Justice Department and tell us why she believes that justice is served by replacing professional, non-partisan lawyers within the Department with partisan loyalists like her. I would love to hear her tell the Committee, and by extension the rest of us, why she believes that a partisan Justice Department is better for America than a more neutral one. Now that might be tear-worthy.

By Andrew Cohen |  May 22, 2007; 9:32 PM ET agag
Previous: The Way Out of the Gonzales Mess | Next: Goodling Trashes McNulty; Mum on Gonzales

Comments

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Andrew, I am disappointed in your column today. Although you make very valid points about what kinds of questions Ms. Goodling should be made to answer, your personal attack on her crying episode is mean-spirited and unprofessional. I'd expect to read such things in a gossip column, but not here. Whether she has performed admirably as an attorney or not (I vote "not"), she is still a member of the Bar (for now) and is entitled to professional courtesy from other members of the Bar.

Criticize her actions. Condemn her conduct. But don't make fun of her for breaking down at the moment when she realized that a) she screwed up, and b) she'd been had by Gonzales and the White House. You owe her an apology.

Posted by: Nellie | May 23, 2007 09:05 AM

He absolutely does not owe an apology. Goodling's defense team has been telegraphing for all to see that this young woman who was put in a position of tremendous influence and used that influence to hire and fire countless public servants on political whims is going to try to play herself off as an overwhelmed, innocent young thing being bullied by the nasty old Democrats who cannot pick on someone their own size. It's typical Bush administration theatrics and the Judiciary Commitee would be well served to tell her to cut the crap if she tries it.

Posted by: GTS | May 23, 2007 09:11 AM

I disagree. I believe his comments are on the money. I'm tired of these Bush folks "discovering" their conscience after the fact. If you're going to make controversial decisions with a partisan agenda, go ahead, but be prepared to face the consequences. This "stop me before I fire again!" attitude the "loyal Bushies" have is disgusting.

Goodling had no problem destroying other people's live and careers. She should have no problem with people trying to destroy hers. Good riddance!

Posted by: Scott | May 23, 2007 09:17 AM

You don't owe her any apology. This is a woman who has helped to make a mockery of of the DoJ. She owes the American people an explanation. She stone-walled Congress until she could get an immunity deal because she was afraid of committing perjury. Why would she even need to commit perjury? I think somewhere in the Bible it mentions something about bearing false witness, and I am sure that Biblical law was taught at that joke of a law school she went to.

Posted by: utrocketman | May 23, 2007 09:17 AM

I doubt she will say a thing anyway. No matter what happens Gonzo is not going anywhere. I believe it is because Bush cannot afford to have an independent attorney general who will not look away when he does his illegal acts. A new attorney general will discover all the sleazy, illegal garbage he has done and expose it. So he would rather look stupid and incompetent, and stubborn that have that happen. Congress should impeach Gonzo now!

Posted by: Narnia | May 23, 2007 09:27 AM

I'm not sure I agree with Nellie. Although the end of Eggen's article might be exaggerating when it reports that Goodling cried for 30 to 40 minutes before resigning, bawling to your superior because you've made a colossal mistake is not admirable behavior. The part I find chilling is that an anonymous source is allowed to so thoroughly trash her reputation at no cost to his/her own.

Goodling got in way over her head at Justice. While Cohen's piece might be a little bit spiteful, its main point is valid: Goodling shouldn't be able to hide behind whatever regret/fear/embarrassment made her break down before. She's an adult and until recently one with tremendous responsibilities. We should be able to expect her to be professional before Congress.

Posted by: ester | May 23, 2007 09:28 AM

Seems to me she might and it may be more than that a breakdown possibly, I am questioning her mental health in general these folks seem to have been chosen because of who they are, weak willed unqualified inadequate and so they will bend and blinding follow the teaching of GBII. They obviously rationalize their actions if what has been reported is true, believing anyone who dose not worship at the alter of GBII is a bad person and not entitled to have gainful employment in a field where they worked to become educated and qualified and the American People would benefit from their public services, or they are RNC political operatives placed in a position to corrupt our system of justice for political purposes, could be either probably both. Remember the tears did work for Alito, poor little persons, bad Democratic Congressman wanted me testify truthfully. What she is wearing will tell you from get go. If there is a bow or soft girly color watch out...boo hoo, boo hoo.

Posted by: Pepper | May 23, 2007 09:30 AM

Oh, let her cry her eyes out - on the way to prison! Stupid cow gets everything she deserves.

Posted by: WayneDean | May 23, 2007 09:32 AM

I'm interested in finding out what she says her job was.

was she just operating on criteria established by someone else? How much decision making authority did she really have?

Posted by: pensfans | May 23, 2007 09:39 AM

This woman should be in jail. Her gutless whinning about testifying before Congress takes the cake. There have been plenty of witnesses in bad situation who have stood up and defended themselves. Her cowardice is emblematic of this administration. How such an incompetent got such a job speaks volumes of the contempt this DOJ holds for the American people. This is a mere tip of the iceburg. People thought this administration was bad, actually it is worse.

Posted by: Justice | May 23, 2007 09:40 AM

Like all GOPers, she does not have the honesty to tell the truth. Telling lies is a professional requirement for GOP members. Liberty University appears to teach that lying for the advancement of religious values is Godly and doing God's work. I have just the opposite view. Lying is corrupt and using lies in purpuse of religion values is a sin against God.

Let all the GOP and their supporters be judged here and now. We can not rest until all are removed from our government and political system. Jerry Falwell's death is a good start, keep up the good work GOD!

Posted by: Ron England | May 23, 2007 09:40 AM

Don't cry for me Monicia!

I don't expect tears; she's going to be talking to D's in Congress. She likely regards them as Satan's minions in human form. I expect she'll adopt the haughty attitude of Lurita Doan but be more forthright in her answers. You can be sure that she's been extensively coached by at least one attorney.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 23, 2007 09:48 AM

Don't make fun of her?! Huh?! This is one of the co-conspirators to the dismantling of what was the DOJ's reputation. She deserves prison time. Getting ridiculed for crying is NOTHING compared to what she SHOULD GET. Yeah Monica, cry you arrogant little sycophant. CRY A LOT. Because of what you and your criminal gang did to our country, I want to cry. Instead, I will LAUGH today as I watch your life fall apart even more. Did you care about the lives of the people you fired? No? I didn't think so. I'm just hoping that you will follow the lead of your friends and lie to Congress. It would be so nice to see you rotting in prison.

Posted by: Frank | May 23, 2007 09:57 AM

I doubt seriously that she will break down. I'm sure that she has received considerable support from the wingnuts and from her mentors at her law school. She undoubtedly now feels that she was in the right, did nothing wrong, and is the victim of a vendetta by the Democrats. It wouldn't surprise me if she's robotic, defiant, and when necessary, forgetful.

Posted by: upperdeck4 | May 23, 2007 10:00 AM

Upperdeck, you're probably right. She may even break Gonzo's record of claiming "I can't recall." But, that could probably land her in jail if there is enough proof that she CAN recall. Of course, Rove and the others are betting that Congress won't send a woman to prison.

And, for those who scream IMPEACH, that can be dicey. Besides, this whole mess is shining a very bright light on the corruption of the whole administration.

Posted by: Frank | May 23, 2007 10:05 AM

All of this is highly reminiscent of the sort of arrogance, manipulation and abuse of power that brought down the Nixon administration. It is clear that Ms. Goodling and other loyal "Bushies" were--like their master, George W. Bush--simply full of themselves having just come off the 2004 campaign victoriously.

I am convinced that the this entire mess is grounded in a massive overinterpretation of the 2004 GOP victory as a mandate for some sort of religious takeover of our government by the very sort of people who came out of the same religious academic community as Ms. Goodling. All of these people are born agains just like Bush himself. I am convinced that it was a matter of all of these like minded religious zealots allowing themselves to be carried away with this arrogant, hubristic notion that they were going to remake the entire US Government along George W. Bush's silly, born again religious viewpoints--the same sort of viewpoint incidentally that got us into Iraq.

Posted by: Jaxas | May 23, 2007 10:07 AM

Shave her head and send her into the streets with a sign of "Collaborator".

Posted by: Rickabilly | May 23, 2007 10:12 AM

Andrew, I am trying to understand why you should apologize for your article. The contrast of Monica Goodling's 30 minutes of self serving tears with her cold hearted decisions about who stays and who goes at the DOJ is revealing. You have done an excellent job of showing the utter mean spiritite immaturity of this woman and by extension the entire Bush administration. Rarely is a journalist given such a opportunity to capture the larger issues at stake through the actions of a single individual. Having said that, one can't help but to feel sad for a person caught in the web of their own making. One wonders if Pat Robertson's law school teaches that part of the Bible that says, "Judge not, lets ye be judged."

Posted by: Dean | May 23, 2007 10:12 AM

We all should be crying for how Goodling pimped out the Department. If she did cry, I doubt it was out of remorse for having performed poorly for the Department. It was for having become a political failure for her master, King George II. Whether she cries or not today, her appearance will have been a carefully orchestrated effort to belittle the inquiry into the scandal and to continue to defend Gonzales and the administration.

Posted by: ExAUSA | May 23, 2007 10:20 AM

Today is Shavuot, a biblical festival during which Jews commemorate the giving of the 10 Commandments at Mt. Sinai. Among them is "thou shalt not bear false witness".
In their after-the-fact rationalization for the dismissal of the 8 U.S. Attorneys, Ms Goodling and her cell of co-conspirators chose to denigrate, without justification, the work of those individuals. If she is not a total hypocrite, she should be on her knees today, apologizing and begging forgiveness from the people she slandered.

Posted by: Fred K. | May 23, 2007 10:23 AM

Ron England writes: "Liberty University appears to teach that lying for the advancement of religious values is Godly and doing God's work." This is hardly confined to Liberty U. Many evangelicals interpret 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 as a license for lying, provided the lie can be rationalized as a means to "save some" souls.

Posted by: penalcolony | May 23, 2007 10:24 AM

How can someone like this have even been given such a position in DoJ? She graduated from one of the worst law schools in the country. I have a hard time understanding how she even qualified for the position, absent someone deciding that religious bonafides and loyalty to Bush were more important than competency.

And she's 33. She's a grown woman. She's responsible for her actions, and if she starts crying during her testimony, I hope the women on the committee rip her a new one.

Posted by: Kate | May 23, 2007 10:26 AM

Obey the Law and Tell the Truth. Seems like such a simple concept, but one that is beyond the comprehension of so many self-serving Government employees. There are so many today that are hired, not for their experience or professionalism, but for their "diversity" status combined with a willingness to lie, mislead or make decisions designed to advance themselves personnal or professionally. Inexperienced and/or incompetent candidates are so much easier to mold and will surely cut throats while lapping at the feet of this criminal administration. She isn't an anomoly and neither is DOJ. Every level of leadership within our Government today is incompetent, grossly negligent and self-serving. Cry your eyes out baby and spend the rest of your miserable life knowing that you are nothing more than a foot-note to a failed administration.

Posted by: fsecoman | May 23, 2007 10:27 AM

Don't look for the truth from Monica Goodling or anyone else in Bushworld, the swampy portions of planet Beltway. The truth would be like pounding a wooden stake through the heart of this misadministration.

Posted by: Redman | May 23, 2007 10:29 AM

Given the connection with Regent University, I would like to know if Goodling had not only a political litmus test for also a religious litmus test for DOJ jobs. Was there an agenda by some in the Administration and DOJ to carry out Regent's stated mission to rewrite American law according to Christian doctrine?

Posted by: Tonio | May 23, 2007 10:32 AM

Let's see what her testimony is. She could surprise us all. Okay, maybe not, but still let's denounce her for her testimony, not for what we hope her testimony will be.

Posted by: Andy | May 23, 2007 10:34 AM

Oh, and if you haven't seen it, check out the op-ed by David Iglesias in today's LA Times, calling on the AG to "cowboy up."

Posted by: ExAUSA | May 23, 2007 10:38 AM

It was good to have Nellie's devil's advocate comment leading off. All of the subsequent comments were spot on. Everyone pretty much knew that compassionate conservatism was an empty phrase. What a surprise it actually means greedy numb scull incompetence.

Posted by: Dave | May 23, 2007 10:45 AM

Monica Goodling came from 2 institutions of "learning"--Messiah College and Regent University--that provide graduates to feed into the Bush/Cheney master plan of making the US into a theocracy. The only ones crying should be we Americans for allowing this travesty to continue.

Posted by: questionauthority | May 23, 2007 10:46 AM

Andrew, no apologies needed re criticizing reports of her bawling.

In the Post article today re Taylor, there's a statement that Goodling's attempts to stonewall Meneiro because he was "liberal" would be a violation of "federal law" (hereinafter referred to as the "Act"). The article doesn't state what federal law this would violate and this is way out of my area of law.

I am not a criminal lawyer and only have a general idea of how these immunity deals work but would the immunity cover criminal acts that come to light only after the agreement is signed? Would an immunity agreement such as this be limited to crimes she disclosed (i.e. specific violations with names, dates etc.) or any violation of the Act whether or not disclosed? I know or have read that this immunity agreement excludes immunity from perjury, but I don't otherwise know the scope of the immunity (timewise or substantive law wise). Will we ever get to see this agreement?

Also, Andrew, I don't think Ms. Goodling had any "vision for the DOJ". She had the Bush blinders on and I don't think she could have cared less about the DOJ.

Reatty

Posted by: Reatty | May 23, 2007 10:58 AM

ExAUSA, I just read the Iglesias article. Thanks. It IS good!

Posted by: Frank | May 23, 2007 11:02 AM

QuestionAuthority, I don't know who in the Administration has a theocratic agenda. But there is definitely a powerful stench of mendacity here. The Air Force Academy was turned into a kind of Jesus Camp a few years ago, and the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives favored fundamentalist Christian charities at the expense of others. Was the latter simply an attempt to curry favor with fundamentalist voters? Was the hiring of the Regent grads simply a political favor to Pat Robertson? Or are these part of a broader agenda?

Posted by: Tonio | May 23, 2007 11:02 AM

Forget about all of the USA's she helped remove...I am more ceoncerned by her blatant violation of the law in not allowing employees to be hired in career positions because of their political affilliations. That is despicable to me.

Posted by: DoJEmployee | May 23, 2007 11:06 AM

What's interesting here is, given Ms. Goodling's background, and the background of many young hirees into the Bush Administration, how Newt Gingrich, can, with a straight face, claim that Christianity is under attack in America - it seems to me that those that promote a theocracy have been dealt a good hand, and now that the chips are falling where they should, they are now "under attack"!

Posted by: John D in Houston | May 23, 2007 11:24 AM

Again, comments accuse *all GOPers* as lying scum. Excuse me? This kind of prejudiced characterization of whole groups of people in other instances would be called racism, anti-semitism, sexism--take your pick. All it shows is lack intellectual honesty and seriousness. Facile demonization does not constitute an argument. Grow up.

Posted by: M.A. George | May 23, 2007 11:33 AM

Hey Nellie, give us a freaking break, will you?

Posted by: Jack | May 23, 2007 11:34 AM

Give us a break, Nellie. Just because you are manipulated by Goodling's tears doesn't mean the rest of us should be.

Posted by: Andrew | May 23, 2007 11:34 AM

AP: "The Justice Department's former White House liaison denied Wednesday that she played a major role in the firings of U.S. attorneys last year and blamed Deputy Attorney General PAUL MCNULTY for misleading Congress about the dismissals."

Wow. Quelle surprise.

I think Chiaramente's posts have been saying this now FOR WEEKS, haven't they?

Paul McNulty don't like Chiaramente, and the feeling is MUTUAL- 'cuz he's a LIAR AND CONCEALER OF INFORMATION.

Jerry Markon, SO SORRY you and Cohen are so easily duped. Little kitties, lapping up your bowls of milk like the brontosaurus brained creatures that you, and your fellow media brethren truly are!

Posted by: chiaramente | May 23, 2007 11:53 AM

From what I've read, Nellie and I usually see pretty eye to eye, but I thought Andrew was actually very funny and totally valid regarding his well-founded doubt about Monica's sincerity; look at the reasons he gives. If the other actions were done without qualm, and she "breaks down" now, isn't that worse than disingenuous, but deliberatley calculating? We all know such acts are most easy to do, and are done, at will. When in substantive matters no scruple was considered, one is supposed automatically to "respect" an easily-put on display, which would be the unlikely anomaly with the rest of her involvement?

Posted by: Jack | May 23, 2007 11:55 AM

Nellie, go back to your hole at the American Enterprise Institute. I notice you have posted nothing in defense of your comments after others have cut them to pieces. Get a life.

Posted by: JCW | May 23, 2007 11:58 AM

Andrew- Thank you for your biting intro:nice of you to signal early on that you were abandoning all attempts at objectivity.
Dave- Don't you think you should spell 'skull' correctly when attacking someone else's competence?
penalcolony- 'Many' evangelicals? I've hung out with a lot of them and yours is the first parsing of that Scripture in that fashion that I've seen.
Ron England- Thank you for not wasting the time to make distinctions based on political party.
The only tears to be shed here are for the departure of reasoned discourse.

Posted by: gary | May 23, 2007 12:03 PM

Jaxas: There's no way Nixon's admin could have been like this; it seems a totally different character from whimsical license without conscience. I have a hard time conceiving of actions of this flagrant nature could have occurred even in the early 70's.

Posted by: Randi | May 23, 2007 12:04 PM

They should stop the hearing. She is clearly not being truthful-- her constructions are those of one trying to avoid the truth through fine parsing, not those of one being open. Don't let her immunity grow.

Posted by: wrb | May 23, 2007 12:08 PM

Randi, perhaps the key difference between the Nixon and Bush administrations is that the first limited its definition of holy war to the re-election of its chief.

Having said that, I wonder if Goodling is comparable to James McCord or Jeb Stuart Magruder in terms of her place in the scandal hierarchy. I'm waiting for the Bush Administration of John Dean to spill his guts.

Posted by: Tonio | May 23, 2007 12:12 PM

Amen, M.A. George, there is nothing worse than sweeping generalizations.

Those comments MUST be qualified.
1. Those comments relate primarily to Bush Republicanism.

2. Further there must be distinctions made between the leadership and the rank and file members.

The description based on widely available empirical data, and peer reviewed studies has revealed:
GOP leadership = generally corrupt, dishonest, manipulative.
GOP followers = good, well-meaning, and niave, with a nasty tendency to reward corrupt leaders. Less able to distinguish between the "packaging" and the "product". (e.g. thinks if man uses moral platitudes, wraps himself in the American flag that the person must be moral and Patriotic; does not look at mitigating factors such as past performance or other objective criteria. Thinks that Fox News and Limbaugh have their best interests in mind).

Posted by: JP2 | May 23, 2007 12:14 PM

Oops, that should be "waiting for the Bush Administration equivalent of John Dean to spill his guts."

Posted by: Tonio | May 23, 2007 12:16 PM

C'mon Nellie/even Ester: if the stated facts are true (which is the main issue),she was callously indifferent when not accepting lawyers she had no problem dismissing as " too liberal"-again she had NO PROBLEM with that if as alleged, but she can innately always have the trump card of sympathy? IF TRUE, such conduct is not only not believable, but the lack of inhibition to further manipulate would indicate callousness and lack of regret, which might be there to the point of unhesitant compliance with further abuses. To me that is not merely an issue of believability, but actually quite worthy of condemnation. All conditional on "if as claimed", however.

Posted by: Mel | May 23, 2007 12:18 PM

JCW, that's uncalled for. I completely disagree with Nellie's point, but if you'd read previous installments of this issue, you would see her statements are substantive and open-minded otherwise.

Posted by: Ron | May 23, 2007 12:22 PM

>Again, comments accuse *all GOPers* as lying scum. Excuse me?<

It is overbroad, but it is accurate wiuth respect to GOP representatives who are trying to obstruct the uncovery of the truth. Cannon's performance, for example, was remarkable.

Except for Hactch, the GOP Senators seemed to have ethics, however.

Posted by: | May 23, 2007 12:33 PM

Many of you have pointed out how undistinguished Pat Robertson's college and law school are, and how inexperienced and warped Bush administration hirelings from Regent are. But just yesterday the White House rep at the Falwell funeral had the poor taste to praise Falwell's Liberty University for all of the incompetents the Bush administration has reaped from there. And then there is the notorious Patrick Henry College which has two-thirds of all the White House internships--TWO-THIRDS for one miserable, god-constipated, home-school based theocratic-committed college! It's amazing.

Posted by: orray | May 23, 2007 12:33 PM

That's exactly how they operate. Frankly, hypocrisy is nothing new in theology; it even may be something of its raison d'etre!

(how the church's doctrines have kept being decisively disproved since 1900, and yet it simply sticks around by any means, incorporating discoveries/technologies/arguments it had nothing to do with and which disproved its previous doctrines, and acts as if it was consistent all along! But those who wish can continue to believe what they like, as long as it isn't more generally imposed. Unfortunately that is what many of such ilk seek to do, under the guise of special interest validity for themselves.)

Posted by: Shelley | May 23, 2007 12:34 PM

wow, issa, don't serve her softballs or anything. i mean, she might trip over herself trying to kiss your butt...

Posted by: iammrben | May 23, 2007 12:43 PM

Jax:It's rather more than arrogant or silly. I don't know how one gets more final than life or death.

If acting that a 2.4 % difference in the popular vote (not to mention Ohio) was a mandate (!), I think that"overinterpreting" is a major understatement. (not meaning to quibble about wording, but sometimes it makes a big difference; choosing a controlling label/reaction for a situation is a big reason events have been enabled as they have, and not questioned).

Posted by: Al | May 23, 2007 12:46 PM

Gentlemen! You aren't gentle at all. It's said that one shouldn't hurt a woman even with a rose. Let her break your neck and ruin your career with a simple stroke of her magic political wand.

Posted by: IMSOTI | May 23, 2007 12:48 PM

In uncovering the shape and extent a conspiracy tentative pattern recognition followed by testing is key. Before this hearing I made a list of characteristics likely if she was within a White House centered conspiracy, and those likely if she was without it.

She's fitting "within" perfectly. Focusing blame narrowly (McNulty), not remembering no matter how unbelievable, obfuscating and trying to be a complete firewall against connection to the White House- again no matter how unbelievable.

Posted by: wrb | May 23, 2007 12:53 PM

Doj: It is despicable, but allowed because somehow they think that many agree with them that the "personal" is a legitimate criterion. And this is done widely: people are chosen in society who accord with one's views/prejudices to give one a sense of comfort, in the name of greater effectiveness/unity. Hell, that has been vigorusly pushed for to be legitimized. That is what more widely should be addressed. We just complain now that the attitude has inevitably been applied to the last bastion of integrity in government, which is supposed to be different and immune.

Posted by: Bud | May 23, 2007 12:57 PM

Doj: It is despicable, but allowed because somehow they think that many agree with them that the "personal" is a legitimate criterion. And this is done widely: people are chosen in society who accord with one's views/prejudices to give one a sense of comfort, in the name of greater effectiveness/unity. Hell, that has been vigorusly pushed for to be legitimized. That is what more widely should be addressed. We just complain now that the attitude has inevitably been applied to the last bastion of integrity in government, which is supposed to be different and immune.

Posted by: Bud h. | May 23, 2007 12:57 PM

Apologize to her? She's is an airhead that
thinks crying will make everything all right. If she can't take the heat , why
was she in the kitchen?

Posted by: larry gregory | May 23, 2007 01:06 PM

Apologize to her? She's is an airhead that
thinks crying will make everything all right. If she can't take the heat , why
was she in the kitchen?

Posted by: larry gregory | May 23, 2007 01:07 PM

Apologize to her? She's is an airhead that
thinks crying will make everything all right. If she can't take the heat , why
was she in the kitchen?

Posted by: larry gregory | May 23, 2007 01:07 PM

Apologize to her? She's is an airhead that
thinks crying will make everything all right. If she can't take the heat , why
was she in the kitchen?

Posted by: larry gregory | May 23, 2007 01:07 PM

Apologize to her? She's is an airhead that
thinks crying will make everything all right. If she can't take the heat , why
was she in the kitchen?

Posted by: larry gregory | May 23, 2007 01:07 PM

Tonio: Holy war for reelection I can handle A LOT, I repeat, A LOT, BETTER. I can understand people wanting to be reelected; no one was killed.

Are the ideologues ever going to say enough, and are they ever going to stop getting followers?

Posted by: Randi | May 23, 2007 01:09 PM

I heard a brief portion of Monica Goodling's testimony this morning and I found the questioning(?) by the Republicans shameful. There is no effort whatsoever to get to the truth. Their questions barely qualify as questions at all; they are primarily statements of praise of the DOJ's procedures and the goodwill of the political leadership. Ms. Goodling also doesn't remember nearly enough for an attorney. And although her title was White House Liaison, she says she had no interaction with the White House. So far, she hasn't shed a tear . . .

Posted by: Gardenia | May 23, 2007 01:14 PM

Chiaramente:"Paul Mcnulty don't like chiaramente" Who are you, chiaramente?

Posted by: Poco chiaro | May 23, 2007 01:17 PM

Excellent points, Randi. The late Molly Ivins once said that fundamentalists aren't evil, they're scared. They really believe America would be a better place if public schools required students to pray and to learn Genesis as science. When they harassed and vilified non-Christian cadets at Colorado Springs, they really believed they were doing the Lord's work. I find that much scarier than if they were motivated by lust for power.

Posted by: Tonio | May 23, 2007 01:20 PM

I've been watching Ms. Goodling testify for about 3 hours now on C-Span 3 and find her to be a more impressive witness than any of her bossess, Messrs. Gonzales, McNulty, and Sampson. I'm just one 'juror' in a cast of thousands, but if she's lying or trying to deceive the Committee or the public, she's doing a great job because I sure can't see it. Her testimony is prepared but doesn't seem to be particularly rehearsed. She doesn't hesitate before she responds to questions (something her counsel might prefer her to do) and doesn't appear to carefully choose her words the way her bosses did. There can't be many people who are more disgusted by the Bush administration, his political operatives, and his Uriah Heep Attorney General than I am, but so far, my impression is that Ms. Goodling has been treated too harshly. Mr. Cohen's focusing on the fact that she cried when her work and to some extent her government career had blown up in her face is, it seems to be, a bit sexist and unworthy of his blog. The attacks on her choices of undergraduate and legal education institutions are in large measure elitist, witness Representative Cohen's represhensible hectoring of Ms. Goodling this morning. Focusing all sorts of venomous attacks on Monica Goodling rather than the "big boys", Bush and Rove and Gonzales and probably McNulty, reminds me of convicting Lindy England for the prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib while Bush, Cheney, Tenet, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Yoo all get a pass.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | May 23, 2007 01:24 PM

Gary: so objectivity and reasoned discourse to you mean agreeing with you? And the perception of "biting" tone blinded you to the factual reasons given after? Not surprise that as you say you have "hung out with many evangelicals".

Posted by: Todd K. | May 23, 2007 01:27 PM

Bosley S: I wouldn't call A's statements venomous, sexist, elitist etc.. They were all valid and justified if the statements about her involvement are true, which is the all-governing proviso. M also has been expertly prepared for a long time, and a free delivery can also be prepared. Let's not throw away everything we do know on impressions. (No, doesn't mean just because the higher ups weren't held accoutable as they should have been, that the private was free from blame.)

Posted by: Rex | May 23, 2007 01:54 PM

Reagan's administration had many lawyers from Catholic University: just advancing the tradition further.

Posted by: Aron | May 23, 2007 01:57 PM

Bogsley, the criticism of Regent University does not necessarily reflect on Goodling's choice to enroll there. While I don't know what is in her head, I can imagine her choosing Regent simply out of devotion to her faith. My concern is with the agenda of the school itself, and it is not elitist to criticize Regent's stated goal of commingling secular law with Biblical doctrine.

Posted by: Tonio | May 23, 2007 02:01 PM

The Democrats' seeming strategy of softpedaling this in apparent hopes of it paying off in votes later I am sure is mistaken. American people in large part follow the lead of the final result; contrary to Democrat hopes, replaying this in election time will seem like opportunistic harping, and I am sure will backfire. TAKE INITIATIVE NOW, IF THE EVIDENCE SUPPORTS IT.

Posted by: Hector | May 23, 2007 02:06 PM

Todd K- other than my name you missed the point of my post entirely.
Gardenia- I wouldn't be too discouraged by the Republican questioning. Part of the purpose of legislative hearings is the one area of bi-partisan agreement: political posturing as theater. It takes a little discernment to pick out the kernels of interest in the testimony from the witness, as opposed to the hot air gusting from the legislators.

Posted by: gary | May 23, 2007 02:09 PM

Tonio, it was the questioning of Congressman Cohen that prompted my comments. They were offensive both with respect to the religious mission of Regent U. and to the bar passage rates. He suggested, not so subtly, that Ms. Goodling was a product of an inferior academic background and somehow unadmirable because of her religious faith. If one checked the mission statements and other public pronouncements of other religious institutions, Catholic, Baptist, etc., one would find many statements that are akin to those of Regent University. It's hard to believe that a witness would get the same treatment if the witness had attended Notre Dame, or Baylor, or SMU or any of the many Jesuit colleges that make a point of marketing their religiosity. I think Pat Robertson is a lunatic but I understand that many people disagree and they shouldn't be abused by a congressman because of it. As for Congressman Cohen's implied suggestion that the country would be better off with the Justice Department filled with graduates of Harvard and Yale, forgive me if I am not prepared to concede that point.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | May 23, 2007 03:07 PM

"If one checked the mission statements and other public pronouncements of other religious institutions, Catholic, Baptist, etc., one would find many statements that are akin to those of Regent University."

Bosley, are you saying most religious universities seek to legislate from the Bible? That would be unimaginably scary.

Posted by: Tonio | May 23, 2007 03:34 PM

I guess I stirred up a hornet's nest with my opening comment. I just thought Cohen's crybaby comments were a cheap shot. Lord knows that there is more than enough material to thoroughly flay Goodling without resorting to that.

And JCW, the reason I haven't been back to this blog until now is because I HAVE a life. Consulting with experts and preparing for trials keeps me pretty busy.

And finally, to anyone out there in cyberland who thinks I am some sort of Bushco sycophant, you obviously haven't been paying attention to my many contributions to this blog over the past several months. I'd like nothing more than to see indictments handed down from a Grand Jury from McNulty on up as high as they can go. This administration has held itself above the law for far too long.

Posted by: Nellie | May 23, 2007 03:49 PM

P. Bosley:

There is a HUGE difference between Catholic University Law and Regent. Catholic has been highly regarded academically for decades. Moreover, it has employed Catholic dissidents, at least until they become so noisy that the Vatican gets involved (e.g. Charlie Curran).

Regent, on the other hand, exists for the sole purpose of eliminating the secular from our society.

Posted by: Nellie | May 23, 2007 04:04 PM

The proper spelling of Bushies is Bushzi's.

Posted by: | May 23, 2007 04:08 PM

Gary: Really ? I only read your words (five sentences to 4 different people, and one final sentence basically rephrasing a point previously made; I don't know how I missed it). Please elaborate if so inclined.

Posted by: Todd K | May 23, 2007 04:15 PM

Nellie: No harm done. I have otherwise liked and usually agree with what you have said (so far), including in considering possible Chiaramente's alternate viewpoint,
so please continue.

(different Jack from "freaking break" Jack)

Posted by: Jack | May 23, 2007 04:23 PM

Slogley:
Ah, HLS and Yale Law suck now. Maybe we should recruit from overseas .(definitely not from Boalt)

Posted by: Astro | May 23, 2007 04:52 PM

Tonio and Nellie: I wasn't trying to equate any other religious institution with Regent University, certainly not on academic grounds. I also did not intend to endorse it in any way, which I tried to make clear by my intemperate if true statement that I think Pat Robertson is a lunatic. But as one who attended Catholic schools for 19 years (elementary, high school, college and law school) and who taught at a Catholic university for more than 20 years, I get more than a little nervous about making light of or throwing stones at other peoples' religions. I get even more nervous when the subject is the relationship between a person's religion and her right to participate in civil government. I remember the brouhaha over JFK's religion and we are seeing the process repeated now with Mr. Romney. This is dangerous territory and I thought that Congressman Cohen crossed the line of propriety this morning. It was offensive and his questioning was the only interrogation that drew audible groans from other members of the Committee.
And Nellie, I don't want to stir up another mini-hornets' nest, but before one leans too hard on the "employing of dissidents" reed at Catholic colleges and university, one should consider carefully John Paul II's encyclical "Ex Corde Ecclesiae" and the insightful book "From the Heart of the American Church." (I can't recall (call me Gonzo!) the name of the author of that book as I write this.) Regarding the sole purpose of Regent being to eliminate the secular from our society, I can't concede or gainsay your statement but again I suggest that any dispassionate study of the history of my religion, i.e., Roman Catholicism, would reveal some pretty nasty instances of intolerance of "the secular." There is still a strong tradition among churchmen that "error has no rights." American Catholic lay people have a long tradition of tolerance of those with different religious beliefs but that tolerance isn't necessarily found in other parts of the Catholic world.
Further Slogthrop saith not.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | May 23, 2007 09:42 PM

I see exactly where you are coming from on that one SLugthrop.

For me the Regent question comes down to this question: If she had after graduating from Regent done anything to distinguish herself in the field of law would she make me as upset regaurding her qualis? And if a Harvard or Yale graduate had gotten the same position with a similar resume would it have been much more acceptable?

The answer is no to both questions. Where the religion question gets messed up is in the fact that Robertson's church is one of those who have dedicated their time and effort into making the religious right reliable republican voters. So I view the path of Regent-RNC-Justice to be about equal to College Republicans-RNC-Justice, both of which represent cronyism in her hire in the first place. I don't like cronyism and I like even less that an avenue of cronyism is passing through an institution run by Pat Robertson.

Posted by: bluemeanies | May 24, 2007 05:19 PM

Bluemeanies, I agree with you. In my earlier post, I didn't mean to suggest that Ms. Goodling's Regent connection is meaningless. It is troubling, in part for the same reasons that Pat Robertson and his brand of 'Christianity' are troubling. Having religious zealots running our government is scary. What I objected to was the abusive line of questioning by Congressman Steve (?) Cohen. He referred to the mission statement of Regent University referencing "the will of God," and then asked Ms. Goodling to describe "the will of God." That was a chickens**t question, intended simply to embarass and mock the witness. Then he made reference to the bar exam failure rate among the witness' classmates, even though the witness passed the bar exam on the first taking. That too was chickens**t. Finally he asked her about the number of Regent grads working int the federal government and had some dismissive response to her reply that there were a lot more Harvard and Yale grads. Congressman Cohen is a graduate of Memphis State Law School which, for all I know, is a fine law school as are most of the law schools in this country. But based on his witness examination skills and forensic ethics, he is in no position to be throwing stones at graduates of any other law school, including Regent.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | May 25, 2007 07:56 AM

Nellie, I don't need to research all of your past comments in order to respond to one of them. And I consider what Goodling and her ilk have done as much worse than anything that might have been said by Andrew Cohen--nobody owes Goodling an apology for anything. In fact, she owes everyone subject to the laws of the United States an apology for subverting our system of justice in the name of her god and her party. Screw professional courtesy.

Posted by: JCW | May 25, 2007 12:55 PM

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