Saturday, March 31, 2007

Monica Goodling: faith-based incompetence in the Bush administration

Few memes are so accepted as Common Wisdom, (within the progressive community anyway) as that of Bush's faith-based government. The ubiquitous response on the left has been its proud allegiance to the "reality-based" community, and Stephen Colbert's witty formulation that, "reality has a well known liberal bias".

But few, and certainly few of the MSM, have really investigated the depth with which the Bush administration has been infiltrated by literal members of the aforesaid faith-based community. Unti now.

One of the oddest little tidbits of information about Monica Goodling, the DoJ deputy who is taking the fifth rather than testify before congress about her role in Gonzogate, was the identity of her law school, Pat Robertson's Regent University School of Law.

And despite the fact that no-one outside the evangelical community has ever before heard of this institution of higher (much higher, heavenly you might say) learning, apparently it's had a huge impact on the nuts and bolts operation of the Bush administration.

As Max Blumenthal, posting at HuffingtonPost points out, our Republican Monica, is not alone in calling Regent her alma mater:

Goodling's involvement in Attorneygate is not the only aspect of her role in the Bush administration that bears examination. Her membership in a cadre of 150 graduates of Pat Robertson's Regent University currently serving in the administration is another, equally revealing component of the White House's political program.

Goodling earned her law degree from Regent, an institution founded by Robertson "to produce Christian leaders who will make a difference, who will change the world." Helping to purge politically disloyal federal prosecutors is just one way Goodling has helped fulfill Robertson's revolutionary goals.

And Regent is far from the only source of holier-than-thou Bush appointments. As Garry Willis makes clear in his extensively backgrounded article in the New York Review of Books, such agents of reaction were placed specifically in an effort to assuage Bush's evangelical supporters. In fact, just as Bush put corporate shills in positions of power on his economic deprtments, he put evangelicals in charge of his social bureaucracies.

How? From Mr. Willis:

The head of the White House Office of Personnel was Kay Coles James, a former dean of Pat Robertson's Regent University and a former vice-president of Gary Bauer's Family Research Council, the conservative Christian lobbying group that had been set up as the Washington branch of James Dobson's Focus on the Family. She knew whom to put where, or knew the religious right people who knew. An evangelical was in charge of placing evangelicals throughout the bureaucracy. The head lobbyist for the Family Research Council boasted that "a lot of FRC people are in place" in the administration. The evangelicals knew which positions could affect their agenda, whom to replace, and whom they wanted appointed. This was true for the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, and Health and Human Services—agencies that would rule on or administer matters dear to the evangelical causes. [Emphasis mine-CK]

Mr. Willis' article should be read in full to appreciate the full depth to which Bush appointees, selected for their adherence to his particularly narrow view of faith rather than say, competence, have penetrated the various executive branch agencies.

The scope of this infiltration is truly breathtaking, though hardly surprising to those of us who've been watching how this wretched administration has trashed this great nation's cities, environment, and military.

More surprising is how the MSM, which now is engaged with much hand-wringing over BushCorp™ incompetence, refuses to talk about exactly why this is so.

[Big hat tip to Digby for pointing me to the Willis article]

No comments: