Democrats & Liberals Archives

Robertson and His Fifth-Column Theocrats

Who’s the power behind the mess in the Justice Department? Gonzales? Sampson? Goodling? Rove? Yes, they all did their part. But the real power behind it all, the covert power trying to transform the U.S. Justice Department is Pat Robertson. Robertson seeks to make the Constitution subject to the laws of God - as Robertson interprets them. To this end Robertson has established a fifth column of theocrats throughout the U.S. government.

Pat Robertson established the Regent University School of Law to provide

Christian leadership to change the world.

As a law university it is not very good. According to the Boston Globe, Regent

ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place.

When they say "tier four" they are comparing Regent with law schools that teach American law. But the purpose of Regent is to make sure God's law (Robertson version) is followed. And in this Regent excels. It also excels in placing graduates throughout the American government. According to the university's own statistics it places 1 out of 6 graduates in government posts. Robertson is building a fifth colum for theocracy.

Robertson got a big boost in his plans when John Ashcroft was appointed attorney general. Ashcroft changed the department and especially the Civil Rights Division, which no longer deals in civil rights for African Americans, but in the "civil rights" of religious bigots:

One of Ashcroft's most profound changes was to the Civil Rights Division, launched in 1957 to file cases on behalf of African-Americans and women. Under Ashcroft, career lawyers were systematically fired or forced out and replaced by members of conservative or Christian groups or folks with no civil rights experience. In the five years after 2001, the civil rights division brought no voting cases on behalf of African-Americans. It brought one employment case on behalf of an African-American. Instead, the division took up the "civil rights" abuses of reverse discrimination—claims of voter fraud or discrimination against Christians.

President Bush sees eye to eye with Robertson:

In 2001, the Bush administration picked the dean of Regent's government school, Kay Coles James, to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management -- essentially the head of human resources for the executive branch. The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni.

And they came. Monica Goodling was one of the Regent graduates that got good jobs at Justice. She came to do God's work. In the process she took part in the recent "evaluation" and firings of prosecutors. She helped install Timothy Griffin, a buddy to Karl Rove, as a replacement to the US attorney in Arkansas. She resigned her post and said she will cite the 5th amendment as an excuse for not even appearing at a congressional hearing. I wonder if she got this idea from God or from her lawyer.

The fifth-column theocrats have been worming their way into - and changing - our government. I've been told by many that this is not that significant or important. Allow me to quote Digby:

However, the theocrats have managed to undermine the separation of church and state in numerous different ways. Many of the goals of the theocrats, which were considered utterly crackpot, are now considered fit for mainstream discussion. Some examples include the establishment of an office of "faith-based initiatives," the utterly substance-less "intelligent design" creationism, the advocacy of a minimalist federal government, the opposition to the U.N. and multi-lateralism, the establishment of a false dichotomy between a dominant "secularism" and a persecuted Christianity, the attempt to undermine and eliminate Social Security, and the placement within the American government, at all levels, of political operatives fully committed to destroying American liberalism.

Robertson's fifth-column theocrats have been undermining our democracy for a long time. We must fight them. The congressional hearings will eventually dig up much of the skullduggery. Investigating the Justice Department is only the first stage in getting rid of the fifth-columnists and healing the wounds they have inflicted on our democracy.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 9, 2007 6:02 PM
Comments
Comment #215755

Actually Paul, it isn’t Falwell, but Pat Robertson who is responsible for Regent Law School. In fact, as it mentioned in the Globe article, Regent was formerly named the CBN University School of Law, in honor of the television network owned by Robertson: The Christian Broadcasting Network.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 9, 2007 6:29 PM
Comment #215764

Addrienne, we have left the orbit of reality so far behind in Paul’s post, that it makes no difference at all that he can’t even get his names straight.

Try replacing the word “theocrats” and “fifth columnists” (by which he means Christian conservatives) with the word “Jews” or “Communists” and you’ll see what hate-filled bigotry we’re dealing with here.

For example, “Jews have been undermining our democracy for a long time. We must fight them. The congressional hearings will eventually dig up much of the skullduggery. Investigating the Justice Department is only the first stage in getting rid of the Jews and healing the wounds they have inflicted on our democracy.”

Sadly, the left side of this blog is starting to look more and more like an Aryan Nations website, with the sole difference being that Christians are the target of the hatred and bigotry.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 9, 2007 7:25 PM
Comment #215766

Geeeeeesh! Y’all keep hollering that Falwell is so stupid that he don’t know how to come out of the rain. Then ya credit him with being smart enough to plant his ‘agents’ in the government.
Ya can’t have it both ways. Either he’s stupid, which means he aint smart enough to plant his ‘agents’ in the government. Or he’s smart enough to plant his ‘agents’ in the government. Which means he aint stupid. Make up your minds.
I think y’all just hate anyone that speaks out against your beliefs.
I personally don’t believe he’s that smart. If Falwell was that smart he’d be Dictator of the United States. And all y’alls heads would be roasting over coals by now. And mine would most likely be there with them.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 9, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #215765

LO
Again I agree

Posted by: KAP at April 9, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #215767

This whole thing sound like the far left against the far right with everyone in the middle getting caught up in the fight. My personnal feelings on this is the radical right and left quit with their bull.

Posted by: KAP at April 9, 2007 7:32 PM
Comment #215772

Ron:
“Y’all keep hollering that Falwell is so stupid that he don’t know how to come out of the rain.”

I’ve never said that the Radical “Christian” Extremists on the Right are stupid. I’ve said these people are dangerous charlatans who have enough power to lead a lot of people around by the nose, and who are intent on subverting the Constitution and abridging our civil rights and freedoms.

KAP, here’s a newsflash for you: the radical right are in currently in charge of the GOP and are running the executive branch in this country.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 9, 2007 7:42 PM
Comment #215776

KAP
Right! If both sides would stop their bull and try to work together to solve the real problems of this country thing would improve all the way around.

Adrienne
Maybe you haven’t, but I’ve sure heard a lot of others make statements like that.
The radical extremes on both sides are dangerous. They both want to subvert the Constitution for their personal and political gain.
I think it’s time the rest of us come together and tell these radical extremist on both sides to take a one way 10 mile walk on a 1 mile peer.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 9, 2007 7:57 PM
Comment #215779

There’s one word to explain why Bush has his recruiters trolling around one of the worst ranked law schools out there: loyalty.

What Bush wants are people who agree with his unitary executive position, who want this ostensibly most Christian of Presidents to get his way, who want to push Bush’s sensibility of faith-based governance. Regent University is a perfect place to look for that kind of advocate for religiously steeped authoritarian thinking.

Also, may I point something out? A regent is one who rules in the place of a king. Who or what exactly is Robertson referring to here?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2007 8:13 PM
Comment #215781

Adrienne
If that were the case we would be in a theocracy right now. Like Ron said the radicals on both sides are dangerous. Remember when Kennedy was elected, everybody thought the Pope was going to take over, now it’s Falwell and Robertson.

Posted by: KAP at April 9, 2007 8:32 PM
Comment #215784

By the way Falwell and Robertsons’ god is the Almighty Dollar, not the God I know.

Posted by: KAP at April 9, 2007 8:53 PM
Comment #215785

Paul,

There seems to be an underlying message in your quote that just maybe those on the Christian right should have their rights restricted in some way. Maybe shut down law schools associated with the Christian right? How about not being eligible for government jobs? Tell me the degree to which you would like to “get rid of these so called fifth columists”. Is your position that the views expressed in the Digby quote illegal or just views that you feel should not be able to be debated since conflict with liberal thought?

Posted by: Carnak at April 9, 2007 9:05 PM
Comment #215787

KAP
Your right. Falwell, Robertson, and a whole heap of them TV preachers worship the Dollar and not God. The problem is that they’re giving Christianity a bad name with their antics. True Christians wouldn’t pull the kind of stuff they’re doing.


Carnak
You could very well be right.

Posted by: Ron Brown at April 9, 2007 9:27 PM
Comment #215789

Carnak-
The problem is somebody in the government recruiting people because they are right-wing Christians from a certain obscure, right-wing, university, without many of the usual safeguards concerning their skills and their ability to get along with others.

Christians have been shooting ourselves in the foot these last few decades, participating in a political culture war which has basically reduced many people’s awareness of what committed Christians believe down to Abortion and Homosexuality, and which has laid waste to the notion of Christians as a forgiving, humble people. Christians have become the pushy people who think they’re perfect, hypocrites who hide the rank sins of our own (ironically enough, out of fear of their opponents in the culture wars.)

We are doing unto others what they are doing back unto us.

And lets get something straight: Christians in this country are not persecuted. Our situation is nothing like what the Church fathers had to go through. What you’re complaining about is that the laws of this country prohibit the active support of this government for the Christian Church, for laws based solely on such values.

Laws don’t make Christians saved. Salvation comes in spite of the law, not because of it. We will not save this country by forcing ourselves on it. We will only glorify our own will, not His.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2007 9:36 PM
Comment #215793

Stephen
You say Christians are not persecuted. The ACLU trying to stifull everytime a Christian opens his or her mouth. Our beliefs are mocked. Everytime one speaks out against abortion or gay marriage or even embrionic stem cell research he’s called all kinds of unmentionable names. The real Christians at least the ones I know don’t put up with the crap that Falwell, Robertson and the rest of the TV AntiChrist telavangilist say or do.

Posted by: KAP at April 9, 2007 10:02 PM
Comment #215795

Look, if 1 out of 6 Regent grads gets a job in government, that’s not that far off the national percentage of those who work for the government (somewhere between 15% and 18%, I believe), even among those who haven’t gone to college at all.
And its a small university. We’re not talking about that many individuals here.

What’s the complaint here except that these people are Christians and thus might share certain ideologies with a large percentage of the American population? You don’t have to agree with their political agenda (as I for the most part definitely do not) but they have as much right as anybody to participate in the political process.

“Investigating” them on the basis of where they went to college or their religious beliefs smacks of McCarthyism—or worse, Stalinism.

One person who went to this school resigned amidst a controversy. That does not mean that the rest of them need to be investigated any more than all Yale or Harvard grads need to be investigated every time one of their number is involved in a controversey.

And spare us the snobbery about the quality of this school. Since when do Democrats, with their love of affirmative action, all of a sudden believe that only the best credentialed individuals should get hired?

This is anti-Christian bigotry, and it’s shameful.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 9, 2007 10:14 PM
Comment #215798

Kap,

Sometimes it’s hard for others to see the real Christians, Liberals, Conservatives, etc. Will the real guys stand up, please?

The problem with the real guys is it’s always the phoneys who do all the damage, never the “real” guys.

Maybe we shouldn’t just attack labels, rather actions and ideas. Perhaps each of us should reckognize those demeaning our good ideas using our good name, and call them out.

Posted by: gergle at April 9, 2007 10:32 PM
Comment #215802

gergle
I agree

Posted by: KAP at April 9, 2007 11:00 PM
Comment #215806

KAP-
Being challenged on one’s beliefs is par for the course in this country. Our best course of action is to know our religion well and be reasonable advocates for it. The more we respond with anger and fear, the more we will likely inspire such a response in turn.

As for the ACLU, if you look, you’ll find plenty of cases where the ACLU has sided with Christians.

It’s easy to get emotional and make broad claims. But that will not help you spread your message, or gain you sympathy. Aim to be the well-reasoned, well-spoken, and cool-tempered person in any argument. If you must argue with passion, be devastatingly logical, not catastrophically irrational.

LO-
Try a little under two million, which figures to be less than two thirds of a percent of the population.

If the administration is disproportionately choosing poorly qualified Right-Wing Christians over others who are better qualified, that kind of discrimination doesn’t deserve to be defended.

As far as education goes, I’m not sure what your point is, because whether or not Democrats actually value experience and qualifications, generally speaking, they are to be preferred in any candidate for a government post. On a non-partisan basis, and in my own opinion, it is the best man or woman who should win the spot.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2007 11:36 PM
Comment #215811

Loyal O:

Look, if 1 out of 6 Regent grads gets a job in government, that’s not that far off the national percentage of those who work for the government (somewhere between 15% and 18%, I believe), even among those who haven’t gone to college at all.
And its a small university. We’re not talking about that many individuals here.

It’s not that people who go to religious colleges and universities shouldn’t be allowed to get “a job in government”, it’s the fact that these Regent grads haven’t been well qualified to hold the extremely high-placed positions they’ve gotten.
From the Boston Globe article:

But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001, according to a university website.

One of those graduates is Monica Goodling , the former top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who is at the center of the storm over the firing of US attorneys. Goodling, who resigned on Friday, has become the face of Regent overnight — and drawn a harsh spotlight to the administration’s hiring of officials educated at smaller, conservative schools with sometimes marginal academic reputations.

Documents show that Goodling, who has asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying before Congress, was one of a handful of officials overseeing the firings. She helped install Timothy Griffin , the Karl Rove aide and her former boss at the Republican National Committee, as a replacement US attorney in Arkansas.

Because Goodling graduated from Regent in 1999 and has scant prosecutorial experience, her qualifications to evaluate the performance of US attorneys have come under fire. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, asked at a hearing: “Should we be concerned with the experience level of the people who are making these highly significant decisions?”

And across the political blogosphere, critics have held up Goodling, who declined to be interviewed, as a prime example of the Bush administration subordinating ability to politics in hiring decisions.

More from the same article:

Not long ago, it was rare for Regent graduates to join the federal government. But in 2001, the Bush administration picked the dean of Regent’s government school, Kay Coles James , to be the director of the Office of Personnel Management — essentially the head of human resources for the executive branch. The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni. “We’ve had great placement,” said Jay Sekulow , who heads a non profit law firm based at Regent that files lawsuits aimed at lowering barriers between church and state. “We’ve had a lot of people in key positions.”

Many of those who have Regent law degrees, including Goodling, joined the Department of Justice. Their path to employment was further eased in late 2002, when John Ashcroft, then attorney general, changed longstanding rules for hiring lawyers to fill vacancies in the career ranks.

Previously, veteran civil servants screened applicants and recommended whom to hire, usually picking top students from elite schools.

In a recent Regent law school newsletter, a 2004 graduate described being interviewed for a job as a trial attorney at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in October 2003. Asked to name the Supreme Court decision from the past 20 years with which he most disagreed, he cited Lawrence v. Texas, the ruling striking down a law against sodomy because it violated gay people’s civil rights.
“When one of the interviewers agreed and said that decision in Lawrence was ‘maddening,’ I knew I correctly answered the question,” wrote the Regent graduate.
The administration hired him for the Civil Rights Division’s housing section — the only employment offer he received after graduation, he said.

Loyal O:

This is anti-Christian bigotry, and it’s shameful.

Yes, Bigotry is shameful. In fact, Bigotry is exactly why Radical Rightwing “Christian” Extremists deserve so much scorn.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 10, 2007 12:00 AM
Comment #215818

The real question here is what we want our government’s priority to be when it’s operating: furthering the politics of those who hold power, or running our country well. Now we can say we want both, and that’s all well and good, but which, if it’s left out, leaves us more screwed?

In the end, no party’s political fortunes are as important as the continued good function of America as a nation. When so many decisions get bent towards the gravitational center of politics, what the party wants perceived is often emphasized over what is actually there to be perceived.

America’s sick of being told it has great government, when an amazing litany of failures is so fresh in recent memory.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2007 12:55 AM
Comment #215824

Adrienne

Do you know how the civil service works? My wife works in HR at Commerce. She used to work at State. You just cannot bring in the people you want into career postions in that fashion.

During the Clinton Administration, the old USIA (now part of State)decided that it wanted applicants that “looked more like America.” Despite its stated desire, it just could not significantly change the applicant pool, since despite all the changes merit still counts. I doubt you would have been quite so outraged by the concerted efforts to hire more women and minorities, but they really could not pull it off. Now - BTW - under Bush, more women and minorities are coming in. Why? Because there are more qualified applicants. The best way to get a good job is to be qualified. I know that is a radical notion to some people.

A school like Regent has evidently tried to improve the quality of its grads so that they would be competive for Federal jobs. It has the advantage of being in Virginia Beach, which is not far from the Capital metro region. That they managed to place 150 grads in Federal positions since 2001 is really not that surprising.

Let’s be clear. The school probalby is trying to get more of its grads into the Federal government. It is probably trying to change the ways of the Feds in its own way. How is that different from a liberal professor who encouraged his most socially “sensitive” students to pass the FS exam? Lots of schools try to prepare their students for this.

The Feds do not recruit very much at the Ivy League. They cannot match the salaries. The big State schools are the main sources. Working for the Feds is a form of upward mobility for lower middle and working class youth. Others want to get in on that. Surprised?

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 8:04 AM
Comment #215830

Jack-
Regent is a tier four school. It should not be able to see one out of six people from their ranks get into the government positions. Many of these people elevated by the Bush administration are young, lacking in experience for positions as important as US Attorney, and Monica Goodling’s position. The common denominator seems to be loyalty to the president and his politics, but a government is not run on or for politics alone.

This is not like a liberal professor encouraging a student to excel in order to improve their chances to get into the Civil Service. This is a man on the inside funnelling graduates into the hierarchy of the Justice Department, with no regard to experience, no regard to the quality of their education, no regard as to the level of competence that person has in the field.

The screwups in the Bush adminstration are not mere happenstance, but rather preventable accidents often brought on by a failure to focus on policy, and a failure to put people in charge who actually know what they are doing. It’s also compound by the fact that so many of its recruits willingly, often eagerly go along with the bad ideas of the president because they’ve been so grounded in this philosophy of following the leadership and the party and rationalizing their actions.

Your party needs to see the harm that comes from having so few people willing to stop and consider just how hare-brained some of the ideas and the impressions of the leaders are. I mean, take this idea that the 2006 elections were lost because people weren’t conservative enough. No, that wasn’t the problem. The Democrats won because of the flight of the independent and the moderates to our side. The Republican party is not fixing its weaknesses by becoming so folded in on its own politics, it’s making it worse. They’re trying to tell the majority of Americans that they are wrong about Iraq. When has that ever worked?

The problem is not that Americans are disappointed with the Republican failures on their principles. The problem is that Republican power was based less on the public’s overall, deep agreement with conservative principles, and more on a Republican media fed discomfort with having Democrats and liberals in charge. When Republicans passed a critical point of outrage at their own failures of leadership, the moderates and independents flipped for the Democrats, because they could not see things getting worse under the Democrats.

The Republicans need to prove they can run governments well again, and people like these Regent University recruits are more likely to be seen as one more ill effect from Bush’s tenure in the White House.

The time has come to stop rationalizing this kind of crap. It’s practically destroyed your party as a leading power for the next generation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2007 9:05 AM
Comment #215836

Stephen

The Federal government is not a tier one institution. They start graduates out at around $45K a year and the most successful Feds make around $140-160K after 25 years. After 25 years most Feds with advance degrees are making around $100K. This, BTW, is what a similarly experienced teacher makes in nearby Fairfax Co. A Harvard law school grad can make that in his first year out of school.

Re the man “funnelling them in” there is no evidence of that. The article does not support that. The civil service selection process would make that very difficult. Besides, lawyers need to pass the bar. If they do, they are “qualified”.

Once again, we are talking a total of 150 since 2001. The article does NOT say they are all at DoJ.

Let me make another point. There are some Fed postions filled politically. Google “Plum Book” and you will find them. Clinton also filled them with inexperienced people. Abright’s staff at State was horrible because it was heavy with these people.

Your nostalgia for Clinton is unjustified. This is a general problem for government. Also consider affirmative action hires. We specifically overlook qualifications to make things look more like America. Clinton did more of this.

There just is no story here.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 10:01 AM
Comment #215839

Jack-
The Bush administration’s BS does make me nostalgic for the Clinton administration, but it does not make me nostalgic. To be honest, I can’t really say who I could be nostalgic for. I just want something better than this, and I don’t want somebody trying to justify this to me on the grounds that it’s political, because the Bush administration’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t know where to draw the line on the politics.

My question to you, here, is why the Bush administration scraping the bottom of the barrel here, especially for people as high up as Monica Goodling? I can understand tier two, or even tier three, but the school that’s tied for one of the lowest places, for people in positions as important as hers?

The story here is that once again, political loyalty means more to Bush than running the country well. Now you can say Clinton did it do, but really, have you asked yourself the question of whether liberals, especially myself, actually liked that? Why not ask the question of whether you yourself should tolerate that?

If you folks asked yourself more difficult questions, you would have to find an answer to that most difficult of questions: why has America rejected my party?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2007 10:52 AM
Comment #215842

Jack: Passing the bar may mean “qualified” to you. Those of us who are actually trained in the law know better. It no different with physicians or any other professionals. Each time I appear in court, I see incompetent attorneys who have passed the bar.

What is most troubling about the Regent University folks is that their training is dedicated to circumventing the law by lying to the courts (by the dean’s admission) in their effort to force Americans to live by the values of a radical, right wing, religious minority. To wit, the Boston Globe has recently reported that one Regent grad admits to receiving a DOJ job based on his support for anti-gay bigotry and not on his legal accumen.

The law school at Regent University is a fourth-tier law school, the bottom of the bottom of the barrel. Would you knowingly go to a physician who’d graduated from a fourth-tier medical school such as Saba School of Medicine in the Caribbean? Would you want a fourth-tier law school grad without any experience representing you in a court of law? I don’t think so!

What is clear, the “loyal Bushies” of the WH don’t want the best attornies in the DOJ. But, then, I suppose we should not be surprised that an incompetent president (as ajudged by members of his own party) wants to surround himself with incompetence. Then, he doesn’t have to worry about anyone pointing out that the king has no clothes, not to mention much of anything else.

Posted by: Allen at April 10, 2007 11:10 AM
Comment #215843

Stephen, nice replies to Jack. Couldn’t have stated it any better myself.

Jack, I see that as usual you’re just offering excuses, and yet more lame excuses. But unfortunately for you and your party, the majority of Americans simply aren’t buying Republican excuses in lieu of good governing and wise decision making any longer.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 10, 2007 11:15 AM
Comment #215845

Jack: I failed to mention that I worked as an attorney in the Federal government. Contrary to your preconcieved notions, I was an Ivy League law school grad. Many of my classmates and subsequent alums worked in the Federal government. During my tenure, I had a loss rate of .4% in cases that went to appeal and a loss rate of 2.7% at trial. At the same time, I worked with many attorneys in the Federal government who were graduates of second-tier state universities. They were and are highly competent attornies with win rates not significantly different that my own. How dare you compare them to fourth-tier law school grads that cannot even write a coherent appellate brief. The difference between the educations at 1st and 2nd tier schools is minimal, more a matter of reputation. Fourth-tier schools are best known for producing incompetent attornies—-that is why their are fourth-tier.

Posted by: Allen at April 10, 2007 11:24 AM
Comment #215853

Stephen

Monica Goodling was, according to the article in the Globe, an excellent and smart worker. As a undergraduate of University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, I can say that the school you go to is not always the only determiner of competence. Half of all graduates come from below average schools.

But what are you saying? That graduates from anything below the 4th tier of schools should never be given work with the Feds?

It is a shame we eliminated most Civil Service tests. That was a way the poor but bright kids could compete with the rich and connected.

BTW - are you still working for the Feds? If not, was it the pay?

Allen

Please see above. You would exclude any graduates not from the better schools? Half of all grads are below average. Not everyone goes to the top schools.

In 2003-4 I had the opportunity to take classes at Fletcher School and Kennedy School. I am a graduate of State universities. What I found is that the Ivies had a better average student, but when you got near the top, the state schools produced a similar quality (for less money).

As I mentioned, with my inferior education, I still managed to score in the 98th percentile in the GMAT. Maybe everybody in that 2% above me was from Ivies, but at least some also scored below.

That was years ago. Since that time I have enjoyed a successful career. I have met many Harvard grads. They are usually smart, but sometimes I am smarter.

I sent my daughter to UVA. She was accepted to Harvard, but why spend that kind of money? One of her friends was accepted by Harvard and rejected by the University of Texas. It is not a perfect filter.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #215854

Sorry

The last question under Stephen is directed to Allen.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 11:57 AM
Comment #215857

Why are we suddenly pretending that DOJ appointees and hirings are (or have ever been) based solely or even primarily on the academic qualifications of the candidates without regard for political agenda?

Fact is, especially among law school grads, that a very high percentage of those willing to forgo fat paychecks in the private sector to work for the federal government are motivated by politics (if they’re not outright fire-breathing partisan ideologues).

You’re accusing the Bush administration of hiring people who share its views—which, suprise, surprise—are shared by large segments of the American population. That’s politics, folks.

Allen says he worked as a Federal attorney. I’d need exactly one guess, considering his partisan comments about the Bush administration, to determine what party was in power when he was hired. And that’s fine—it’s how it works.

This discussion of Regent University is a red herring. They’re a small school, and I guarantee you that there are many, many more Ivy Leaguer working for the administration than there are Regent alumni.

So let’s not sit around and pretend that Democrats, for example, haven’t been willing to dip into third and fourth tier schools to find people (especially minorities) to stack the roles with political activists who share their political goals.


Posted by: Franklin at April 10, 2007 12:06 PM
Comment #215862
Do you know how the civil service works? … You just cannot bring in the people you want into career postions in that fashion.

That used to be the case in the civil rights division. Not anymore.

The fact is, the Bush administration is screening loyalty over competence in these bureaucratic jobs where that criterea didn’t exist before.

When Bush took office, he treated the US government as a prize to be raped and pillaged and staffed with incompetent loyalists. The cost of that is the quagmire in Iraq, the disaster after Katrina, a nuclear-armed North Korea, massive national debt and debilitating trade imbalances.

Why would you defend such a system?

Posted by: American Pundit at April 10, 2007 12:22 PM
Comment #215868

How can Bush be the leader of Opus Dei and the leader of the Skull and Bones and the leader of the NWO?

Socialists complaining about Christians taking over the world and wanting to run their lives.
You gotta love America.

Posted by: kctim at April 10, 2007 12:44 PM
Comment #215890

Jack: I no longer work for the the “Feds” because I retired. As far as Monica Goodling goes, her e-mails and her fraudulent 5th amendment claim speak for themselves. No, the likes of Ms Goodling should not be working at the DOJ. Nothing in her resume suggests she has the qualifications and certainly, her work-record demonstrates her incompetence. Yes, it sad that she did not have to take a civil service exam. Her dedication to forcing her religious views on Americans, the raison d’etre of the school, is offensive to anyone actually interested in the law and in the defense of the Constitution.

As for fourth-tier law schools. Those who attend these schools are not doing so because of a financial advantage. They are doing so because they are unqualified to attend better schools.

I was part of the ABA accreditation team for Regent. They were granted accreditation because they, on paper, met minimal standards. However, not one member of the team believed Regent would ever produce competent barristers. We knew the school would be producing nothing but political hacks. Nevertheless, because we honor the letter of the rules, we approved their accreditation. Honestly, none of us ever thought they would be permitted to work in the DOJ. Frankly, I have my doubts they will be re-accredited.

Posted by: Allen at April 10, 2007 2:07 PM
Comment #215892

First, I apologize for my mistake in naming Jerry Falwell as the founder of Regent instead of Pat Robertson, the actual founder. My face is red.

Second, I want to make clear that I have nothing against Christians. They may worship and have free speech like people of other religions or of no religion.

Third, I have nothing against Christian universities. They have the same rights and free speech as universities of other faiths or of no faith.

Though most of the discussion has been about Christians and the Regent University, what I was trying to say is that there are people on the religious right - not all, but many fanatics - that want to tear down the wall that separates church from state. To me this means they do not want a democracy but a state where God rules - a theocracy.

Graduates of Regent are playing a big part in trying to accomplish this.

I resent being called an extremist because I want to prevent extremist theocrats from taking over our government.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at April 10, 2007 2:13 PM
Comment #215898

It is clear that you are not attacking Christians. The reality is that we are not talking about Christians here as would be recognized by Jesus. We are talking about a political movement which masks itself in so-called Christianity in an effort to promote its theocratic, segregationist/John Birch agenda. The segregationist crowd went in two directions after the 1960s after the American people came to understand the repulsive nature of those movements and rejected the use of the “N” word: the Federalist Society and the Fundamentalist Christian Right. The Federalist Society appropriated the “states’ rights” language and the Fundamentalist Right appropriated the religious language. They have pursed a 2-prong attack on the Constitution ever since.

There is nothing Christian about Regent University. Do you see such Christian universities such as Duke, Vanderbilt, or Notre Dame acting like Regent? Keep in mind that Pat Robertson was and is a segregationist politician just as was his father.

Posted by: Allen at April 10, 2007 2:35 PM
Comment #215899

Just a note to say that I replaced Falwell with Robertson in my post. I apologize again.

Allen, you are doing a great job. Thanks to you.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at April 10, 2007 2:41 PM
Comment #215913

Paul
Thank you for that explanation. I to as a Christian do not want to see Church interferrance in Government as I do not want Government interferance in the Church.

Posted by: KAP at April 10, 2007 4:12 PM
Comment #215919

There’s an old and famous saying that is quite a propos to this topic:

“Christianity has yet to be tried.”

[Not certain to whom it should be attributed…]

Posted by: Rachel at April 10, 2007 4:35 PM
Comment #215930

AP

I am happy if DoJ files fewer civil rights cases. I think it was getting out of hand. Remember that nutty woman who ran the Civil Rights commission under Clinton?

I would not want to screen against competence, but we have no indication that has happened. The article does not say that. The President has the right to determine policy.

Allen

It is sad that we do not really have civil service tests. But you must recall what killed the tests - affirmative action. All hiring is now much more confused, expensive & less effective as a result.

You seem to know more details than I do about Regent. I would appreciate a link. As far as the article this and the previous posts are based on, there is no reason to believe Goodling is unqualified.

Your opinion re Regent does sound sort of politically biased. You say they met the criteria. Political hack is often in the eyes of the beholder. I thought the Civil Right Commission was run by hacks in 2000 and was very happy that President Bush rectified that. You may disagree.

There is also the problem of Christians not being properly represented in many top schools.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 5:07 PM
Comment #215935
As for fourth-tier law schools. Those who attend these schools are not doing so because of a financial advantage. They are doing so because they are unqualified to attend better schools./blockquote>

That is a load of bull.

The rankings of law schools into “tiers” is based on all manner of subjective criteria, and is useful (if at all) only to prospective law students interested in attending a prestigious instituion. There are many reasons beside finanical ones (i.e., geography or yes, ideology) why many students who could go to higher ranked law schools end up choosing lower ranked ones.

Consider Ave Maria Law School, another Christian institiution. It’s also a fourth tier school, but its students routinely pass the bar exam at a higher rate than the students of neighboring and far more prestigious first tier University of Michigan Law School.

Hell, the Ave Maria students pass the bar on their first try at a higher rate than the students of Stanford Law, supposedly the number 2 law school in the country after Yale.

The incredible bias against all things Christian is typified by Allen’s claim to have served on the ABA accreditation team for Regent, who he claims sat around speculating, as if it was their job to administer some test of political purity, that the school would only turn out “political hacks.”

Political hacks like themselves, apparently, if they concur with Allen’s view that the Federalist Society is part of some segregationist/John Birch conspiracy. The Federalist Society, incidentally, which includes four sitting Supreme Court Justices, all of whom have sterling Ivy League credentials.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 10, 2007 5:40 PM
Comment #215948

Remember too that both George Bush and John Kerry are Yale grads and Bush also has a Harvard MBA. They must be super smart.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2007 7:26 PM
Comment #215967

Allen,

You said,

“Do you see such Christian universities such as Duke, Vanderbilt…”

Just as a point of fact, I don’t believe that either Vanderbilt or Duke are affiliated with a religious organization. There may be a loose affiliation, but it is name/ history only just as several/ most Ivy League colleges and most colleges that were founded before circa 1850 have some loose religious affiliation.

Posted by: rob at April 10, 2007 10:27 PM
Comment #215973
I would not want to screen against competence

Yet, that’s what was clearly going on. The DoJ was screening for loyalty over competence.

One of the most apt descriptions of the Bush administration is from the book, “State of Denial”. A Pentagon official says of the administration that he’s “never seen a group of people less able to advance their own interests.”

Bush’s administration will forever be remembered as inept and incompetent.

Posted by: American Pundit at April 10, 2007 11:37 PM
Comment #215974
There is also the problem of Christians not being properly represented in many top schools.

What the hell does that mean? The top schools are mostly atheists or non-Christian? What?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 10, 2007 11:38 PM
Comment #215975

Jack and everyone:

The problem here is not with Bush deciding political policy. The problem is the appearance of choosing these people based on religious affiliation. Right or wrong, the fact that this school is openly fighting to undo what separation of church and state exists is the reason for much of the hue and cry here.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 10, 2007 11:41 PM
Comment #215985

Jack-
Monica Goodling might have been a diligent employee, but few people feel the need to take the fifth when asked to appear before a Congressional committee, when they know they haven’t done anything wrong, before testifying.

In terms of the schools, you’re not dealing with snobbery here. You’re dealing with whether people feel folks get an adequate education there, and the answer at regent is: barely.

The Bar Exam can be passed without having a working understanding of the law. One of the big differences between tier 1+2 schools and the 3+4 schools is likely the difference between rote learning of law, and deeper, better understanding of it. My brother is a lawyer, so I know there is a difference because of what he has told me.

The law is complex, and order emerges from it more than just pops out of the letter of it. The difference between putting tier four lawyers and putting those of higher grad through, is that however smart the tier four might be, their education has not prepared them well for the challenges of real world law. They might muddle through it and learn better by experience, but they’re not the children you want to throw in the deep end of the pool on their first day.

As for the claims of iniquity regarding Christians and civil rights cases, could you back that up with some hard data? Those are claims easier said than proved.

Franklin-
I’m not pretending anything. What I’m not pretending about here is hiding my disdain for not considering competence, character, and/or experience as elements of who I’m hiring and why.

I don’t expect the Republicans to hire bleeding heart liberals. I expect them to hire those who are qualified for the position, rather than use these offices as farm teams for ideologues who simply ape the legally questionable party line on this.

Fact is, there are some who use politics as their primary means of measuring the world. I don’t want those people in the governmentwhether they’re Republicans or Democrats. A Democrat like that is a disaster waiting to happen for my party. People who do not observe legalities, who disregard practical advice and who go around making a mess of things because of their partisan views are a liability to the American people and the parties they represent.

The priority in the Justice Department, indeed, in any other, needs to be on the people’s business. Only after that do they get to play around with their little agendas.

Let’s not rationalize this kind of inane horses*** by reciting the lists of who has done it. Let’s not stack the government, which has to operate on a practical basis to make sure things run in this country, with people who cannot do their jobs, who are just there to pad their resume and serve their own narrow partisan interests. Let’s be done with it altogether, and be better for it.

kctim-
When John Dean, who worked for Richard Nixon, says you’re way too secretive, you know you’re in trouble. This is a president who used a legal loophole to hide his gubernatorial papers (which he was otherwise obligated to release to the public). You can’t get this secretive about every damn thing you do and not attract some kind of suspicion.

LO-
Like I told Jack, passing the bar and being a functional lawyer are two different things.

Concerning your comments on the tiers, my experience is that some subjective criteria are less subjective than others. Since the experience of a school contains a broad subjective component, in addition to more quantifiable aspects, Subjective ratings always find their way into that. The real question is how does the other evidence sit with the subjective reports.

Concerning the accreditation, I think it’s appropriate to discuss the merits of a school in terms of whether it lets its political or religious agenda get in the way of teaching the students law properly.

Overall, what I find disturbing is the Republican tendency to let politics take priority over other moral, legal, military viewpoints When does it become less important to re-elect a Republican, and more important to uphold the law, to do the people’s business?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2007 12:35 AM
Comment #216912

“with the sole difference being that Christians are the target of the hatred and bigotry”.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 9, 2007 07:25 P

If any one is being targeted it’s the fundamentalist and since when did these cultist become Christians?

Posted by: expatUSA_insurgent at April 16, 2007 8:54 PM
Post a comment