Monday, March 12, 2007

Was Gonzales' office practicing "political profiling"?

All this noise over the off-season firing of eight prosecutors has me a bit perplexed. I don't know, but it seems to me a political appointment is like any other regular job -- the boss can fire you for no apparent reason (but he can't fire you for being a member of a select, protected group).

But more confoozling is the observation made by Paul Krugman (as cited by Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings -- HT: Tom Maguire, guesting at Instapundit)
"The bigger scandal, however, almost surely involves prosecutors still in office. The Gonzales Eight were fired because they wouldn’t go along with the Bush administration’s politicization of justice. But statistical evidence suggests that many other prosecutors decided to protect their jobs or further their careers by doing what the administration wanted them to do: harass Democrats while turning a blind eye to Republican malfeasance.

Donald Shields and John Cragan, two professors of communication, have compiled a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power. Of the 375 cases they identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny."

Now, For some those numbers might seem a bit lopsided. But then, some don't live in Illinois, some haven't lived under the cloud of the Chicago system of doing things, which includes all manner of theft, graft, corruption, favors, and, well, downright dirty dealings. This system may have all but taken over Springfield, as well.

In Illinois, corruption seems to be standard operating procedure. But then, in IL, due heavily to jerrymandering and long-standing machinations, the vast majority of offices are still held by Dems. So, the probability is that the majority of those investigated in this state for being exceedingly naughty would, statistically, have to be Democrats.

Not that it's out of the question that Gonzales' office may well have been politically driven, but, well, as Cal Skinner so eloquently put it,
Some of us think [Patrick] Fitzgerald was assigned the Libby case merely to get him out of Chicago so the prosecutions of corruption would be delayed.

Often I think our state's government could have given Huey Long's a run for the filthy lucre.

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