WaPo religion correspondent whitewashes Monica Goodling's self-admitted lawbreaking
Funny. From reading this story, you'd never know that Monica had to take the Fifth--or why. Unbelievable, even for a Pulitzer-light newspaper like the Post--Charlie Savage got one, for actually covering the news--which put Sally Quinn in charge of an entire new religion section. WaPo:
Regent has had 150 of its graduates working in the White House; the school estimates that one-sixth of its alumni are in government work. Call them the Goodlings: scrubbed young ideologues, ready to serve their nation, the right's version of the Peace Corps generation.
Monica "scrubbed"? I'd say she was filthy as hell. From the testimony, watch Monica evade, deny, crawfish, filibuster and finally admit what we all know. She broke the law (shit, that's why she got lawyered up for the immunity deal!):
Mr. Scott: In your testimony, you indicated that you have "may have taken inappropriate political considerations into account on some occasions." Do you believe that those political considerations were not just inappropriate, but in fact illegal?
Ms. Goodling: That’s not a conclusion for me to make. I know I was acting ...
Mr. Scott: Do you believe that were legal or illegal for you to take those political considerations in mind? Not whether they were legal or illegal, what do you believe? Do you believe that they were illegal?
Ms. Goodling: I don’t believe I intended to commit a crime.
Mr. Scott: Did you break the law? Is it against the law to take those political considerations into account? You have civil service laws, you have obstruction of justice, any laws that you could have broken by taking political consideration into account, "on some occasions."
Ms. Goodling: The best that I can say is that I took political considerations into account on some occasions.
Mr. Scott: Was that legal?
Ms. Goodling: Sir, I’m not able to answer that question. I know I crossed the line.
Mr. Scott: What line? Legal?
Ms. Goodling: I crossed the line of the civil service rules.
Mr. Scott: Rules? Laws? You crossed the law on civil service laws. You crossed the line on civil service laws. Is that right?
Ms. Goodling: I believe I crossed the law—lines. But I didn’t mean to.
"I didn't mean to." For Monica, "I didn’t mean to" is all important. To them, their inner, spiritual state--as self-perceived, that is--is all-important ("We create our own reality"). It's a miniature version of Nixon's authoritarianism--"If the President does it, it is not illegal."
For Monica, and the rest of the Christianists now infesting our government, "If a Christianist does it, it is not illegal." So much for the rule of law. The Christianists would say they are following a higher law, God's law, and that's worked out so well in the past, hasn't it?
But don't cry for Monica! I'm sure things will work out very well for her. The Christianist talk show circuit can be quite lucrative, I understand, and no doubt the VRWC will throw some money her way by making her a "scholar" at some second-rate think tank. And admitting you broke the law is no bar to getting a job in a Republican administration, so her government career is by no means over.
It's really a shame. Now that the Republicans have completely polluted the professional civil service with Christianists, I'm going to have to find out whether I'm dealing with one before having any dealings (heaven forfend) with the government.
Because after Monica, it's clear not non-Christianists, and non-Republicans, will never get a fair shake from a Christianist.
NOTE The lead is cute, too. It starts out with the old Bush hatred lie:
To the Bush haters of America....
It's a slick rhetorical move: Anything negative said about Monica, or about the Christianists, can be deflected onto "hatred."
Actually, I hate what Bush and his authoritarian regime have done to the country. I reserve hatred of people for those with stature.
UPDATE The author of the article is Hanna Rosin. I dropped her a polite note:
One would never know, from your article, that Monica got herself a lawyer, took the Fifth, got an immunity deal, and then testified she broke the law.
However, I'm sure that your book will do very well, so that will be a consolation for you. Good luck with it, and if you're even more lucky, you can become a TV commentator. I understand that's quite lucrative.
My light touch with irony seems to have deserted me these days....
UPDATE Why am I not surprised that Hannah Rosin worked for the New Republic? The incomparable archives at the Daily Howler have more.