Abolish the Kiddie Korps

Josh Marshall has a piece on the politization of the Justice Department that sheds some light on the magical "Doofus Factor" that seems to characterize so many loyal Bushies. Bush's Justice placed heavy emphasis on recruiting ideologically correct employees, especially for the Civil Rights division. This emphasis came at the expense of qualifications. Previously, employees had been recruited mainly from elite law schools. Bush lawyers come mainly from right-wing diploma mills (60% of Monica Goodlings class at Regent's University flunked the bar exam on their first try.)

Evidently, Monica's Christian education didn't instill enough ethics for her to avoid the legal jeopardy that led to her invoking the fifth amendment.

The Democrats could take a giant step forward if they would propose legislation that would prevent this from happening again. Abolishing the vast majority of political appointees in the Justice Department and replace them with senior civil servants would do the trick. This should go all the way up to the Attorney General, who would become, in effect, a minister of justice, analogous to such positions in most parlimentary governments. I discussed Alan Dershowitz's suggestion in this regard in a previous post.

A first step would be converting the US Attorney post's to civil service status. This would be painful for Democrats, since this is a traditional element of political patronage that they are likely to gain control of in 2008 - but it would be good for the country and would show our good faith in rooting out corruption.


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