Thursday, March 22, 2007

Abu Gonzalez' US Attorney purge and the degeneration of the Republican Party

Cracker legend Theodore Bilbo

Josh Marshall, whose TalkingPointsMemo blog operation has taken a key role in driving the US Attorneys purge story, wrote in
a post of 03/21/07:

Back up a bit from the sparks flying over executive privilege and congressional testimony and you realize that these are textbook cases of the party in power interfering or obstructing the administration of justice for narrowly partisan purposes. It's a direct attack on the rule of law.

This much is already clear in the record. ... But in this case [the Executive privelege claim] is being used as no more than a shield to keep the full extent of the president's perversion of the rule of law from becoming known.

It's yet another example of how far this White House has gone in normalizing behavior that we've been raised to associate with third-world countries where democracy has never successfully taken root and the rule of law is unknown. At most points in our history the idea that an Attorney General could stay in office after having overseen such an effort would be unthinkable. The most telling part of this episode is that they're not even really denying the wrongdoing. They're ignoring the point or at least pleading 'no contest' and saying it's okay. (my emphasis)
But there was a time and a place where this kind of behavior was the norm in the United States: the crassy politicized justice, ignoring the rule of law, rampant crony capitalism, massive governmental corruption, rank dishonesty in government, and swaggering arrogance on the part of public executives.

It was in the American South during the segregation decades. The governments of Mississippi under Ross Barnett, or Arkansas under Orville Faubus, to take just two examples, operated much like this. But it's not that they were exceptional in that. It was more-or-less the way that segregation governments worked. Those with notably more integrity were the exceptions.

Today's Republican Party is the hell-spawn of the marriage of Nixonian cynicism to segregationist cracker politics, the mature result of Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy" started nearly four decades ago.

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