Must Read: How Republicans Hacked The Justice Department

The March issue of Harper’s Magazine has an essay by Scott Horton, a New York City attorney and regular contributor, detailing how, and how profoundly, the Republicans have corrupted the Justice Department to serve the Republican Party’s electoral and ideological ends. It’s a damning indictment.

If you’re a subscriber it’s available online at the Harper’s site. If not, it’s the March issue. Read it at the library, buy it at the bookstore, but read it.

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10 Responses

  1. The damage that the Shrubs have done to this country is incalculable. This administration is arguably the most corrupt administration in American history. It may even be a contender for one of the most corrupt governments in world history.

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  2. I agree, Chappie. I feel uncomfortable when people call the Shrubs incompetent. No question they are incompetent as far as effectively running the government, but that’s not what they have been trying to do. I think their two-fold mission is transfer as much wealth to the rich and big business as possible and make sure that a majority of American’s think that government cannot be trusted with anything (and thus we need Halliburton to do the deed (on a no-bid contract, of course)).

    They are corrupt, but only incompetent if you think they are TRYING to govern the country.

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  3. () –

    I have to disagree. Their goal was to take over the government and create a permanent conservative, or radical conservative system. Instead they have in the matter of a few years put the Republican Party, and all its parts, in danger of annihilation. If the Democrats gain the White House with significant majorities in both Houses, it is likely that the Republicans will be revealed fully as the corrupt and anti-American party that they truly are. Their greed and lust for power have brought them to this pass, and demonstrates their incompetence. They’ve done the people wrong and they’ll pay the price. Had they not let themselves be blinded by their ideology and its flaws, and not been greedy, they might well have, in time, achieved their goals. So in seeking to achieve their central aspiration, they were incompetent. Part of that incompetence was that they failed to give a damn about the effects of their actions – the dismantling of FEMA, handing it to political hacks, and the resulting disaster of Katrina and Rita, for example – and that sort of thing began to peel away the curtains, exposing them.

    I think the most important question is how far are these people willing to go to save right wing control of the government. Therein lies the present danger. If they feel they can salvage the right by attacking Iran, or committing some other evil, they are likely to do it.

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  4. Ric: I apologize. I don’t think I was clear (it was written late at night while watching the Memphis-Tennessee game).

    No question that the long-term strategy of the conservative Republicans is a complete takeover of the government for the forseeable future. However, one of the tactics which they are using is incomptence. Here’s my reasoning:

    By slashing revenue, downsizing agencies and incompetizing (new word) other agencies, the Republicans have made it difficult, if not impossible, for the federal government to provide services which the American people expect: funding for roads and schools; safety of products, foods and medicines; preservation of historic and natural sites; disaster response. Increasingly, these missions are being outsourced (often under no-bid contracts (or, if the agency shows that the civil servants are the most cost-effective way of doing the job, the job is rebid)) to a few private corporations (KB&R, Halliburton, Northrop-Grumman, etc.). The hope is that (should the Republicans lose control) the professional and institutional memory (the experience of the federal workers) will be gone. This will mean a permanent reduction in the federal government’s competence, no matter who is in charge.

    This tactic does a couple of things. It provides massive federal welfare for corporations willing to do the bidding of the conservative movement (which, of course, pours more money into the coffers for advertising and swift-boating). It removes many of the most dedicated bureacrats (and no, that is NOT an oxymoron) from positions of responsibility where experience counts. And last, but certainly not least, if feeds the public perception that conservatives are correct when they say that government is the problem, not the solution (locally, I already saw one letter to the editor saying “would you want a health care plan by the same people who brought New Orleans Katrina?”).

    I agree wholeheartedly that conservatives are attempting an overthrow of America’s established system in order to replace it with a democratic oligarchy (or oligarchical democracy, not sure which). I also agree wholeheartedly that they have failed, massively, in running the government. I think, however, that this incompetancy may, just may, be a tactic (intentional or not, I’m not sure there (but they are certainly willing to use the effects of that incompetence in a tactical way to pursue their long-term strategy)) in the conservative war on government.

    Sorry for the long post. This thought is not an easy one to put in writing. Its kinda counterintuitive, ya know?

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  5. () –

    No problem, I understand what they’re doing. But they have been so convinced of their righteousness that they ignored that people don’t like what they’re doing, don’t like the threats that they see, and have turned against them. Had they taken their time, planned better, and accounted for all the people instead of just the true believers, they could have ultimately succeeded. They may yet. But the damage they’ve done to the country, which is, as you indicate, intentional, is not only incalculable, it is also noticed. My point is that they have incompetently carried out their plan, and damaged themselves in the process.

    Put it this way. If I hit you with a baseball bat on Main Street in the middle of the day and take your wallet, I’m likely to get busted. But if I slip some valium into your coffee at Starbucks every day for a couple of years, and treat you like a friend, I can take your wallet, your savings, your house, your car, your wife, your kids – umm, you keep the kids – and you likely won’t notice or care all that much.

    The radicals decided on the baseball bat, but they thought they were using valium.

    Also, I think you can’t have a democratic oligarchy, or vice versa. You might be able to create the appearance of such a beast, but in fact only a small handful of people would rule and a parliament/congress would rubber stamp – much like the last eight years in the United States.

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  6. Yeah. You’re right. They used the blinkin’ baseball bat.

    Oh, and the kids? They’re headed for college, so if you take the wallet, house, car (I have a hard time picturing you in a minivan), etc., you must take the kids. Or at least pay for college. Actually, you don’t have to take anything. You can just pay for college. Deal?

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  7. And the baseball bat itself is a further demonstration of their incompetence. A good bat is a lot more expensive than valium.

    As for wallet, house, car (right, skip the minivan), wife, kids, etcetera, send pix and I’ll let a committee of the cats decide how, or if, they want to proceed. 🙂 (I leave all the important decisions to the cats. They’re smarter than me.)

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  8. P.S. I use only one school for sending American students to college – Pablo Garcia’s University of Poverty Schooling and Window Installation, in downtown Mexico City. Tuition is $25 a year. Four years gets a diploma in philosophy and a useful trade. Good deal, eh?

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  9. Are you going to take our cats, too? We’ve got four (though the one that weighs 26 pounds counts for two or three).

    PGUPSWI, huh? Damn. And he’s already accepted at Clarion University (planning to major in secondary education, history, minor in anthropology). Never thought of installing windows in poverty schools.

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  10. You’re on your own with the cats. I have eight and they refuse to take in any more boarders. You could look at them at my website, but the site is down until I get a new host.

    Too bad about PGUPSWI. Then again, maybe the kid wouldn’t want to go to a school whose sports teams are known as the Guppies.

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