Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 8, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE OTHER SHOE....Ever since Monica Goodling, a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University, made news by invoking her Fifth Amendment right not to testify about Purgegate, I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop regarding those 150 graduates of Regent that are now populating the executive branch. Via David Kurtz, the Boston Globe doesn't really drop the shoe, but certainly gets it dangling a little further:

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.

The graduate from Regent — which is ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place — was not the only lawyer with modest credentials to be hired by the Civil Rights Division after the administration imposed greater political control over career hiring.

And how did all those Regent grads get hired at DOJ? Easy. Bush hired one of Regent's deans to be director of the Office of Personnel Management and John Ashcroft changed DOJ rules to end the practice of having veteran lawyers screen applicants. It seems to have worked well.

Kevin Drum 3:07 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (101)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Geez... I had no idea there were 150 graduates of the Pat Robertson school of conservative madness.

Posted by: pencarrow on April 8, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

A Regent JD is worth less than a mail-order degree.

Posted by: kth on April 8, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like affirmative action for
conservatives. Somebdy better call...somebody about this.

Posted by: jimbo on April 8, 2007 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Red rot. It's going to be a big problem. That might be the biggest long term problem the previously supine Democrats gave us.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim on April 8, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

That might be the biggest long term problem the previously supine Democrats gave us.

If a Democrat is in the White House after January 2009, they're gonna have to clean house - and they're gonna have to put up with being attacked 24/7 by the GOP and the punditariat for it.

Oddly enough, since I don't find her a compelling candidate otherwise, I do think Clinton has the stones to fire all the remaining Bushists. Edwards, too, I think. Obama - whom I otherwise like best - might not, since he's all about reconciliation and respecting people of faith.

Maybe we should ask the Democrats whether they're willing to turf out all the neo- and theocons the Bushies have snuclk in.

Posted by: CaseyL on April 8, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

The graduate from Regent which is ranked a "tier four" school by US News & World Report, the lowest score and essentially a tie for 136th place was not the only lawyer with modest credentials to be hired by the Civil Rights Division after the administration imposed greater political control over career hiring.

Kevin, why are you being so elitist about good lawyers? Not every good lawyer has to be hired from "elite" Universities like Harvard or Yale Law School. There are many good lawyers from schools which aren't part are a part of the "elite." Conservatives believe in diversity and giving people a chance even if they aren't rich enough to go to Harvard or Yale. That's what Bush is doing when he hires lawyers from the non-"elite" universities to fill the Department of Justice. What's your problem with diversity in DOJ and giving people a hand up instead of a hand out?

Posted by: Al on April 8, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

We've taken a turn toward the surreal when people can't get into the Justice Department without having gone through colleges that didn't exist 20 years ago, while people can't get nominated for President unless they went to Yale.

Posted by: Zathras on April 8, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Al, you failed to show that these people were good lawyers. When you put the dean of an ideologically strict school in charge of personnel management and prevent professionals and veterans from screening applications, what you are trying to do is inject that ideology into the bureaucracy where it does not belong. This ideology says that what a couple of gay men do together alone in private is enough to put them in jail. That is disgusting bigotry. Anyone who actually support diversity would be for legalizing consensual gay sex. What you call diversity is simply putting more bigots into government.

Posted by: Reality Man on April 8, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

God made man. God made laws. Godly lawyers are better than smart lawyers. QED.

Posted by: Martin Gale on April 8, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Assuming the Democrats win the White House in 2008, how easy will it be for them to replace the damage the Bush administration has caused to the staff of the federal government? It's certainly easy to fire a lot of people, something that I expect to happen frequently and in a few swift gestures, but will convincing people that it's a respectable place to work again prove too difficult?

Posted by: Brian on April 8, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like Al went to Cooley and couldn't get a job afterward. Poor Al.

Posted by: Vladi G on April 8, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Nice diversion Al. Taking the attention off lawyers whose pictures belong on the back cover of small-town phone bookks and putting it on Kevin's phantom elitism. Well played sir!

Posted by: jimbo on April 8, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent post Kevin, I thought you might come around to this thought sooner or later. It is pretty insidious; these line level people will be around for a while. It really needs to be stopped now, however, because this kind of wingnut stacking is one of the few things that they can still accomplish in the next two years.

Posted by: bmaz on April 8, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Will there be a media outcry about these Christian madrassa graduates infiltrating our government?

Posted by: Gully Foyle on April 8, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

kooks and liars...

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 8, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

A simple, Bard provided, solution: Kill all the lawyers!

Yeah, it would hurt our side too, but just think how upwardly mobile sluggish word smiths such as myself would suddenly become.

Posted by: Keith G on April 8, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

This will be a much more insidious problem for decades to come. Consider that the next Democratic president will likely not be able to simply fire these people because they're in career positions now. Instead, the next president will spend most of their term(s) fending off these lunatics as they pursue all sorts of idealogical crusades against every program and every person promoted by the president.

On the other hand, this is all of a piece with overall Republican philosophy. It is a central tenet of modern conservatism that government does not and cannot work. Bush is setting out to prove that tenet conclusively by ensuring that every department is completely staffed by ignorant, arrogant, hyper-partisan religious zealots. Incompetent and utterly incapable of doing even the simplest jobs, these zealots will make sure that every American knows their government is no longer functioning on even a rudimentary level.

It's as if someone was trying to prove that an automobile does not and cannot work, and they do so by repeatedly driving it into a tree until it not longer works.

Posted by: Derelict on April 8, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush Administration is toadies hiring bootlickers hiring yes men hiring scrofulous incompetents. Not a single one has the competence to tie their own shoes, much less run the Government.

This will be a huge component of the 2008 race.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 8, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

The next adminstration will need a special task force and special attorneys to investigate and prosecute the legions of incompetents from this administration. It will be very important to visit the Furies upon these bozos, because they cannot be allowed to believe that no cost will be paid for the level of total incompetence shown here.

And King Buttfuck Moron George W. Shithead will not be around to pardon these fuckbags, either.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 8, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

My cousin goes to Regent. She's like a genius, and she couldve gone to any school she wanted. She's gonna be a nuerosugeon or something like that.

Posted by: egbert on April 8, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ah egbert, I hope your cuz becomes a proctologist so that she can help you locate your brains.

Posted by: Keith G on April 8, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Aphorism:

You can't be a third world country unless you have a third world judiciary.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 8, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Lily Tomlin was right: "If you speak to God, it's a prayer; if God speaks to you, it's schizophrenia."

Once we resolve our current political problems within the executive branch, this country should seriously reconsider its longstanding policy of granting tax-exempt status to religious organizations.

Such organizations have so often of late egregiously abused their 501(c)(3) standings, by openly injecting themselves into the political arena, as to render that status to be little more than a cruel mockery to the rest of us.

I don't care whether it's the Holy Mother Roman Catholic Church or Rev. William Stonebreaker's King's Cathdral of the Living Word, which recentlt set up shop in a vacant supermarket just down the road from where I live. They should pay taxes, just like any other business or revenue-generating after-hours social clubs.

Happy Easter -- which like Christmas is another Christian holiday based in large part on its religious forebears' willingness to usurp a pagan rite of spring for their own temporal ends.

C'mon, where do you think the tradition of "easter baskets" and "easter eggs" came from? Those were originally offerings to Esther (or "Ishtar", her Persian counterpart), the Goddess of Spring and Fertility.

Now, whatever sick and twisted mind came up with the concept of the "easter bunny", God only knows ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 8, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

>...John Ashcroft changed DOJ rules to end the practice of having veteran lawyers screen applicants. It seems to have worked well.

Works well if you want a Soviet Union type of justice system; Which all Republicans do.

The MSM is helpful in create that system simply because MSM doesn't care to report what's going on.

Posted by: James on April 8, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans = believe government is the problem.

Republicans in government = government does nothing, and positions in government service are treated as opportunities to reward loyalty.

THAT is not government. That is anarchy, that is corruption, but that is not government.

Posted by: chuck on April 8, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

You might also mention how pitifully little experience these appointees have. Exhibit 1 = Sampson's one (assistant) prosection before being appointed asst. AG - at age . . . oh . . . 33 or something.

Outrageous.

Posted by: chuck on April 8, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

When the new Democratic administration starts peeking under the rocks in 2008 it is going to be overwhelming, I am afraid.

Posted by: Via on April 8, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why would you want to hire someone who graduated in the top 10 in their class at Harvard Law when you can hire Monica Goodling, who finished her first year at American University in the top 20% of her class!!!

http://web.archive.org/web/20000309185220/home.regent.edu/monigoo/resume.htm

Posted by: tomboy on April 8, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

So Monica Goodling went to Regent University and didn't go to Harvard, Princeton or Yale. What an elitist cheap shot. Al Gonzales went to Harvard. Our blue blooded President went to Harvard and Yale. The lady passed the bar and that should be more important in whether she is hired than being from a legacy school. Being a progressive should not mean being a snob.

Posted by: aline on April 8, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

I resent the intrusion of ideology into the Department of Justice as much as anyone else; however, I would hope that under a new administration, we don't simply return to the old method of stocking these positions almost exclusively with elite law school grads. It shouldn't be an either-or situation.

There are plenty of talented people who didn't go to the so-called "right" law schools. Perhaps for work or family reasons, they needed to stay in a less fashionable region, such as the midwest or south, where few of those schools reside. Maybe they couldn't afford an elite law school's tuition. That doesn't mean they're inherently less intelligent, and among non-elite law schools, the ideologically-charged likes of Regent are the exception, not the rule.

I'm a liberal (or progressive, if you prefer that term), but one problem that left-of-center politics has with the masses is that it's too often perceived as being elitist. Liberalism needs to show its main intention is to beat the elite (most of whom aren't liberal), not join it.

Posted by: Vincent on April 8, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

I find the elitism a bit troubling too, aline - but I can't verify that she has ever been admitted to the bar in any state.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

If this doesn't convince you about the talibanization of the Justice Department by mullah chicken george, I don't know what will.

Posted by: GonzoMustGo on April 8, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't where they went to school, it is the hiring process that was perverted.

Every organization worth having uses professional staff to screen applicants.

Posted by: searp on April 8, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody needs to be making a list...

Posted by: Reggie on April 8, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's quite possible she never took the bar exam. Regents was not an accredited law school for some time.

Posted by: jimbo on April 8, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe you're inside going on about this stuff when the snow is so good outside....

Posted by: tom on April 8, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

The lady passed the bar and that should be more important in whether she is hired than being from a legacy school. Being a progressive should not mean being a snob.

No one would object if she had graduated from one of the many fine public law schools in the U.S. But she didn't. She went to a law madrassah with incredibly low standards (60% of her graduating cohort failed the bar).

Posted by: kth on April 8, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

You begin to get the idea that evangelical Protestants not only run the Republican party but also run the country.

Posted by: Dr Wu -I'm just an ordinary guy on April 8, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Aloha:

Now, whatever sick and twisted mind came up with the concept of the "easter bunny", God only knows...

The word "Easter" comes from an ancient pagan goddess worshipped by Anglo Saxons named Eostre. According to legend, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became our Easter Bunny. Eggs were a symbol of fertility in part because they used to be so scarce during the winter. There are records of people giving each other decorated eggs at Easter as far back as the 11th century."

On more human level... the guy that won the Master's just said: "Mostly I want to thank my lord jesus."

I turned the teevee off then.

If jeseboo cares more about helping freaks win golf tournaments rather than feeding starving children... then this universe has some serious problems.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 8, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

The next president will have a more difficult task to repair the damage to American government than Herakles with all twelve of his tasks.
By her resume, Monica graduated from the Dale Carnegie class in public speaking too. It's time for her to speak publicly.

Posted by: Mike on April 8, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse me, but from looking at her artfully worded resume can one conclude she never graduated with a J.D.?

http://web.archive.org/web/20000309185220/home.regent.edu/monigoo/resume.htm

Posted by: jimbo on April 8, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

at some point we have to realize that Bush and his right wing cohorts have gutted the form of government we havehad since 1776...not just muckeditup. Really gutted it. We have to think in terms of starting over.

Posted by: della Rovere on April 8, 2007 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

It is the hiring process which is in question here, not elitism. Alberto, Shrub's mouthpiece, O'Reilly obtaining a Master's from Harvard's School of Government, and King George's Yale and Harvard days belie that elitism.

It is the litmus test of hiring incompetents based on their views of the case mentioned or Roe v. Wade - Many doofus types were sent to run the Iraqi rebuilding efforts, strictly because they believed Roe should be overturned.

However, the placement of incoming students at Regent is rather interesting. The upper tier of SATs go into their Automotive school - This supplies the 710 Club's Lube, Oil and Praise the Lord centers. The next tier is assigned to Hair Dressing and go on to work for the 710 Club's Hallelujah Hair shops. The lowest tier goes into their "law" school and then Shrub's government.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 8, 2007 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State: "I find the elitism a bit troubling too, aline - but I can't verify that she has ever been admitted to the bar in any state."

That's not necessarily a prerequisite for a staff legislative or administrative liaison position. I was a politically appointed chief clerk of the Hawaii State Senate Judiciary Committee for two years, working for a chair who was a retired military housewife, and I oversaw a staff of six attorneys.

But to be perfectly honest, neither my boss nor I ever made a decision or wrote a committee report, respectively, without first seeking legal counsel and guidance from that staff. I would never have been so brazen or foolish as to blithely dismiss their knowledge and experience -- our lead attorney first joined the bar the year I was born!

Regretably, that doesn't appear to be the case in George W. Bush's Dept. of Justice, where longtime and senior civil service staff were routinely ignored, overruled or ridiculed by his administration's young true believers and age-thirtysomething political hacks.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 8, 2007 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

By Jimbo, jimbo, you're on to something. "Joint degree candidate?" Isn't candidate--in the grad school sense--either something one becomes after passing cumulative exams for a masters and can now (officially) start on their thesis, or someone one becomes after passing qualifying exams for a Ph.D., and can now start on their dissertation? Of course, programs vary, but "candidate?" That strikes me as akin to calling oneself ABD five years after giving up on finishing a dissertation -- a fancy way to say that one didn't finish.

Posted by: batavicus on April 8, 2007 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

ROTFLiberalAO, muchos mahalos for the "Easter Bunny" info.

What I find intersting is the similarity of the names for both the Persian goddess Ishtar and the Anglo-Saxon Eostre. Further, the biblical name esther is an old hebrew derivative of that ancient Persian name.

And as an added bonus, readers of this thread now understand the genesis for the name of that godawful 1982 movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, looking for wingers to sacrifice to the volcano goddess on April 8, 2007 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

What I find intersting is the similarity of the names for both the Persian goddess Ishtar and the Anglo-Saxon Eostre. Further, the biblical name esther is an old hebrew derivative of that ancient Persian name . . . And as an added bonus, readers of this thread now understand the genesis for the name of that godawful 1982 movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty.

Duh. So "ishtar" or some version of that two syllable meme has been a common female name in western Eurasia for thousands of years. Hey, there are men named with some variation of "yusef" or "josef" on every continent and in virtually every country on earth. Coincidence? I think not.

Heck, if you want to bring up old movies, why not a far more entertaining one? The Mole Men featured woshippers of Ishtar living in an underground world. They were descended from ancient Sumerians who had been on "another ship" other than Noah's Ark during the great flood. Unable to get down from the mountain top they landed on, they settled in the caves along with a bunch of mole-like men(no mole women)inexplicably dressed in brown hospital orderly outfits. Their high priest was Batman's butler, Alfred, and the ruggedly handsome, but civilized American archeologists who found them and conversed with them in ancient Sumerian were John Agar and Ward Cleaver, Beaver's dad.

You can look it up if you like. I wonder if Pat Robertson has had a chance to denounce that flick?

Posted by: Berken on April 8, 2007 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Right after we rehabilitate the honorable description "liberal," we need to work on "elitist."

Once upon a time, "elitist" meant someone who believed in leadership by the "elite."

"Elite," back then, meant not rich or famous or being the idiot son of someone rich or famous, but rather having reaching the top level of one's chosen trade, skill or profession.

As in an elite athlete, or carpenter, or salesperson, or teacher.

If I am seeking a recommendation for a physician, or a real-estate agent, or a prospective employee, I want that recommendation to come from an "elitist" - someone who values those who know what they're doing and have proven talents and experience.

I do NOT want the recommendation of someone who believes that incompetent, uneducated, lazy children of privilege deserve the same consideration as those who have EARNED the position.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on April 8, 2007 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

As someone who attends a law school that fluctuates between third and fourth tier status, I maintain that I could certainly do good work at Justice.... but in an entry level position.

Posted by: MNPundit on April 8, 2007 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

So Monica Goodling went to Regent University and didn't go to Harvard, Princeton or Yale. What an elitist cheap shot. Al Gonzales went to Harvard. Our blue blooded President went to Harvard and Yale. The lady passed the bar and that should be more important in whether she is hired than being from a legacy school. Being a progressive should not mean being a snob.

Let us not oversimplify, here. US attorneys are an elite group of lawyers who prefer taking down bad guys instead of getting rich as corporate flunkies. Regency is ranked, I believe, 136th among the nations law schools. I, frankly, would ask serious questions of any Harvard or Princeton graduate who applied for one of these positions, as these schools have produced a lot of fools, frat house sociopaths, and white collar criminals over the years. However, there are 130 other law schools better than Regency. If you had some reason to think these particular Regency graduates are far, far better lawyers than the norm for Regency, you should offer some evidence. The alternative explanation for their promotion, that they are selected for their religious beliefs, conservative politics, and dog-loyalty to the administration, is in agreement with known administration policies of the last six years.

Posted by: Berken on April 8, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

A simple, Bard provided, solution: Kill all the lawyers!

I thought that was satire--TBoSuA (The Bard of Stratford upon Avon) was thwacking the ignorance of those who thought killing all the lawyers was a solution. Do we have a Shakespeare scholar on board?

I also have it on the lowest authority that the same people who think that that's the Bard's intent also thought that Kanute ordered the tide back because he was drunk with the idea of his divine right of kings.

Posted by: ThresherK on April 8, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Dahlia Lithwick writes today at WaPo, Justice's Holy Hires:

Goodling is one of 150 graduates of Regent University who have served in this administration, as Regent's Web site proudly proclaims. Pretty impressive for a 29-year-old school. The university says that "approximately one out of every six Regent alumni is employed in some form of government work." And that's precisely what its founder desired. The school's motto is "Christian Leadership to Change the World." Former attorney general John Ashcroft teaches at Regent, and graduates have obtained senior positions in the Bush administration. The express goal is not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America but also to enmesh the two.
Jeffrey A. Brauch, the law school's dean, urges that students reflect upon "the critical role the Christian faith should play in our legal system." Jason Eige (Class of '99), senior assistant to Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, puts it pithily in the alumni newsletter: "Your Résumé Is God's Instrument."
One of Ashcroft's most profound changes was to the Civil Rights Division, started in 1957 to fight racial discrimination in voting. 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 -- and only 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. On Feb. 20, Gonzales announced a new initiative called the First Freedom Project to carry out "even greater enforcement of religious rights for all Americans." In his view, the fight for a student's right to read a Bible in school is as urgent as the right to vote.
We may agree or disagree on that proposition, but it certainly explains how Goodling came to confuse working to advance Gonzales's agenda with working to advance God's. But while God may well want more prayer in public schools, it's not clear that He wanted David Iglesias fired on a pretext....
...the real concern here is that Goodling and her ilk somehow began to conflate God's work with the president's. Probably not a lesson she learned in law school. The dream of Regent and its counterparts, such as Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, is to redress perceived wrongs to Christians, to reclaim the public square and reassert Christian political authority. And while that may have been a part of the Bush/Rove plan, it was only a small part. Their real zeal was for earthly power. And Goodling was left holding the earthly bag.
In the end, Goodling and the other young foot soldiers for God may simply have run afoul of the first rule of politics, codified in Psalm 146: "Put not your trust in princes, in mere mortals in whom there is no help."
Has anyone ever heard of voter fraud or discrimination against Christians? I'm baffled. I would have expected that such cases would have been on the news 24/7. What are they talking about? Voter ID laws -- I don't see that as being specifically Christian. Anyone know?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 8, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

So when Clinton, or Obama, or Edwards, or Richardson, or whatever Democratic candidate is elected in 2008, one task will be to root out the 150 political/religious appointees and get rid of them. It will be called a witch hunt in the press and the right-wing blogs, but it has to be done. maybe they can just review the basic qualifications of everybody hired since January 20, 2001.

Posted by: anandine on April 8, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

It's strange that a University set up on Christian principles turns out grads with lower moral standards than a bunch of Tammany Hall ward heelers. At least the machine guys would send food to starving widows and orphans or get a job for a guy who was down on his luck.

Posted by: davids on April 8, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

anandine: It will be called a witch hunt in the press and the right-wing blogs...

Hell, do it like corporate America does... everyone has to reapply for their jobs. I've seen this technique used here locally in Atlanta.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 8, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Sounds like affirmative action for conservatives."

Good call, jimbo. A memorable phrase.

By the way, people, is "elitist" ever used in any other way than for some rich people to demonize other rich people they don't want to have any influence? Seriously. Remember the meritocracy?

Posted by: Kenji on April 8, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Marshall has an excellent v-blog that exposes Ms. Goodling.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 8, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

When you look at the top most academically accomplished graduates in the nation and hire them, that is not "elitism." That is "meritocracy."

The DoJ under the Republicans is more akin to the Soviet system with its ideological litmus tests.

If I were a lanlord, I likely wouldn't hire a Communist who didn't believe in private property to be my property manager. Why do people elect Republicans, who don't believe in government, to be public officials?

Posted by: Constantine on April 8, 2007 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Let us not oversimplify, here. US attorneys are an elite group of lawyers who prefer taking down bad guys instead of getting rich as corporate flunkies. Regency is ranked, I believe, 136th among the nations law schools. I, frankly, would ask serious questions of any Harvard or Princeton graduate who applied for one of these positions, as these schools have produced a lot of fools, frat house sociopaths, and white collar criminals over the years. However, there are 130 other law schools better than Regency. If you had some reason to think these particular Regency graduates are far, far better lawyers than the norm for Regency, you should offer some evidence. The alternative explanation for their promotion, that they are selected for their religious beliefs, conservative politics, and dog-loyalty to the administration, is in agreement with known administration policies of the last six years.

Posted by: Berken on April 8, 2007 at 8:48 PM

Just to clarify:

1. The school is question is "Regent," not "Regency."

2. Princeton doesn't have a law school; neither does Dartmouth. Not coincidentally, they are the only Ivy League institutions I really have any fondness for.

Posted by: Vincent on April 8, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

And there are the allegations of religious posturing and overbearing management by US Attorney Rachel Paulose, resulting in the resignation of four top deputies from the management team in Minnesota--Paulose had been an assistant to Gonzales and McNulty prior to her appointment.
The plot thickens--it was said that situation will send shock waves through the rank and file.

And truthfully, as the US attorney purge scandal expands, and former staff such as Goodling are unable to retain government attorneys, I suspect there is a vast right wing conspiracy contributing to Goodling's and other embattled cronies' legal funds...It has been noted that teevee star/ possible presidential candidate Thompson is a contributer to I. Scooter Libby's defense fund.
This is one convoluted, tawdry scandal, laughably from the administration that touted itself in 2000 as one that would be the "the most ethical administration in history." Those were Dubya's words. Just another big fat lie.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 8, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

It's strange that a University set up on Christian principles turns out grads with lower moral standards than a bunch of Tammany Hall ward heelers

Ideology is a better organizer than graft. Ideology combined with bureaucracy creates many problems for modern societies. I hope this story receives the notice it deserves.

Posted by: Brojo on April 8, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

"...The doors of opportunity for government jobs were thrown open to Regent alumni.
"We've had great placement..."

Wow-- an intriguing and not easily apparent, deceitful, more dangerous than seems evident, wily, guileful, insidious and malicious artifice and strategem...hmmmmm

It's a goddamn right wing evangelical conspiracy!!


Posted by: consider wisely on April 8, 2007 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Heh. That sodomy ruling was correct, of course, as any thinking, free human being knows. What the ACTUAL answer to the question is, concerning the worst, most heinous Supreme Court ruling EVER, is also well known to all thinking human beings: the ruling in 2000 that appointed Bush as The Decider sans any ballot support.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on April 8, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Geez, the more I learn about this DOJ situation, the more disturbing it gets. But I really shouldn't be surprised, because I've read about similar things happening in almost every executive department under Bush.

Posted by: Ringo on April 8, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

She went to a law madrassah with incredibly low standards (60% of her graduating cohort failed the bar).
Posted by: kth

Is that true? Incredible.

I wonder how many of the 150 Regent grads in the Bush admin. have passed a bar exam . . .

Posted by: kc on April 8, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

What the ACTUAL answer to the question is, concerning the worst, most heinous Supreme Court ruling EVER, is also well known to all thinking human beings: the ruling in 2000 that appointed Bush as The Decider sans any ballot support.

I'll second that.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

kc: I got that 60% stat from the article linked to in the parent post: "Seven years ago, 60 percent of the class of 1999 -- Goodling's class -- failed the bar exam on the first attempt. (Goodling's performance was not available, though she is admitted to the bar in Virginia.) The dismal numbers prompted the school to overhaul its curriculum and tighten admissions standards."

RTFA, I always say. I should add, in fairness to Regent, that they appear to have somewhat addressed their issues with standards in the last two or three years--but long after Goodling and her unqualified colleagues were ushered into some of the most important and demanding prosecutorial positions in the country.

Posted by: kth on April 8, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't there a scandal about the USAF head of JA not actually being certifed any longer as a lawyer a few months ago? Wonder if the two stories intersect. The Pentagon did replace that guy after they found out very late in the game he had been disbarred--very weird justice we are dispensing, lately!

Posted by: Sparko on April 8, 2007 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

kth: What, we're supposed to read the article the original post was about? That'll sure cut down on a lot of the uninformed speculation we expect in the comments.

Posted by: jimbo on April 8, 2007 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

As writer Robert Steinback once said, "In rode a new administration and party promising
to raise the bar on character. As I see it, they've splintered that bar into toothpicks."

And, as Peter Schrag opined, "But never in the memory of the living generation have the errors, falsifications, and unreason of policy come in such rapid and overwhelming succession that each buries its predecessor before it is even partially absorbed, much less understood...

....will we be frozen in our national stupidity forever?"

Posted by: consider wisely on April 8, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

This might not be so much about placing true believers so as to create a theocracy - maybe the idea is to chase competent prosecuters out of the DOJ.

Kinda like what the Mob would do. If they wuz runnin' things.

Posted by: skeg on April 9, 2007 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

...I, frankly, would ask serious questions of any Harvard [or Princeton(sic, see Vincent 9:24)] graduate who applied for one of these positions, as these schools have produced a lot of fools, frat house sociopaths, and white collar criminals over the years. However, there are 130 other law schools better than Regency....

Posted by: Berken on April 8, 2007 at 8:48 PM

Better not have to go to the supreme court on those questions then.

Now, someone, what is with the porportion of Harvard law school grads who make it to the supreme court. That seems waaaay out of wack.

Posted by: notthere on April 9, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

"(Goodling's performance was not available, though she is admitted to the bar in Virginia.)"
-kth

Hm. I checked the State Bar of Virginia, which has a searchable database of members, but Goodling doesn't come up with a search. The site does say that some members opt out of having their names included in the database. Where did you get your info?

Posted by: nepeta on April 9, 2007 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

The RSS feed reports this feed as "The Other Show."
I am relieved Mr Drum is not also blogging the American Idol season 8.

Posted by: absent observer on April 9, 2007 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

nepeta, I can't remember where I read it, may be WaPo, but after joining the DoJ she was sent into Virginia for some traffic court, etc. But that's all she did.

May be she just told them she was admitted. Doesn't seem to be a necessary qualification. What's a little legal malpractice among criminals.

Strikes me that there is remarkably little information, bios, etc. about some of these people. Not hard to figure why.

Posted by: notthere on April 9, 2007 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm. Second thought. Why would you have secret membership of a professional organization. Unlisted surgeons. Can't check that your doctor/dentist/realtor is liscensed to practice.

Doesn't make sense.

Posted by: notthere on April 9, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

nepeta, I was again quoting the Boston Globe item linked to in Drum's original post.

Posted by: kth on April 9, 2007 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

I went to Hollywood Upstairs Law School, and I graduated in the top 45% of my class. I tried to get a job, but the elitist snob liberals refused to hire me. At least the Republicans support diversity -- they are pro-stupid all the way.

Seriously, arguing that Republicans support "diversity" by hiring unqualified, ideological Christianist brown shirts from some of the worst law schools in the country is pretty funny.

Posted by: Orson on April 9, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

So Monica Goodling went to Regent University and didn't go to Harvard, Princeton or Yale. What an elitist cheap shot. Al Gonzales went to Harvard. Our blue blooded President went to Harvard and Yale. The lady passed the bar and that should be more important in whether she is hired than being from a legacy school. Being a progressive should not mean being a snob.

It is not snobbery which leads all intelligent people to immediately discount these christian fascist diploma mills. These schools do not teach. They indoctrinate. Graduating from Bob Jones, or Liberty University or any other christian fascist academy means that you have spent four years becoming a spear for Jesus. Now, if only that meant you had learned something, but it does not.

I hire people. I would NEVER hire anyone who went to a christian fascist academy. They are not universities in the same sense of UofI, Yale, Grinnell or any other real university.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 9, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm. Applying a religious test to employment; not spoken but signalled. Pretty scary.

There must be a case out there of an employee silently applying a similar negative test. Anyone?

For an organization that is against quotas or affirmative action and anti-choice, they sure do have some double standards. That is: running true to form.

Posted by: notthere on April 9, 2007 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

OT

I hope you don't mind an off-topic comment.

[I started minding about the 10th time you posted this. Knock it off.]

Posted by: Swan on April 9, 2007 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

I spoke to the membership rep at the Virginia State Bar, who stated the Goodling is a current member in good standing. A review indicates that she may have violated portions of Viginia's Rules of Professional Conduct by the assertion of the 5th Amendment in relation to the performance of her duties as an attorney.

Posted by: bmaz on April 9, 2007 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

About Monica's co-religionerist USA in Minnesota, Rachel Paulose, whose little welcome ceremony turned into what some describe as a coronation, replete with a choir and all the other familiar trappings and trimmings.

The DoJ says it spent $225.00 on Paulose's investiture bash. I'd like Congress to find out where the rest of the $$ came from. I understand the DoJ has rules about freebies, and I notice that christianists often consider rules against manna from heaven to be offensively secular. If manna came from heaven, I'd love to know what branch offices did the distribution.

Posted by: AlanDownunder on April 9, 2007 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

The DoJ says it spent $225.00 on Paulose's investiture bash.

What? Balloons and streamers from Wal-mart; catered by Pizza Hut?

:)

Posted by: skeg on April 9, 2007 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

[I started minding about the 10th time you posted this. Knock it off.]

Who is this mysterious presence who speaks from between [ ] ?

Is there a moderator lurking in the ether?

Posted by: skeg on April 9, 2007 at 6:43 AM | PERMALINK

Now, whatever sick and twisted mind came up with the concept of the "easter bunny", God only knows ...
Posted by: Donald from Hawaii

Well, rabbits have been symbols of fecundity for a long, long time. And that's what most Spring rites were in aid of, after all. Hoping that your cows had calves, your ewes produced lambs and your fields yielded enough to get the society through the next winter.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 9, 2007 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

Thomas Jefferson: (1743-1826), third U.S. president.

"In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty, he is always in allegiance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection of his own. ... History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. ... Political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves [of public ignorance] for their own purpose."
(The Quotable Atheist, Jack Huberman)

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 9, 2007 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe the troubles of our fundy-riddden government will have a trickle-down effect on the Middle East. Someone there might say, "This mixing of politics and religion really seems to create a lot of problems."

Posted by: Kenji on April 9, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

I read in last week's New Yourker that Pope Benedict attended a college called Regensburg.

Posted by: Brojo on April 9, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

This is, for me, the most horrid aspect of the Bush Crime Family. To destroy the DOJ with incompetent, moronic Christianists is beyond appalling. I am proud to call myself a Christian, but these 'faith-based' lawyers are a travesty to the justice system. Dems should push very aggressively for the return of separation between Church and State. Of all the Constitutional wounds, this one, along with torture and indefinite detention without representation, bleeds the worst. I hope the Dems can change the rules back, and then can fire every single one of these loons.

Posted by: Harriett on April 9, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

In response to the Shakespeare question: Those words, "The first thing we do, is kill all the lawyers." was spoken by a man named Jack Cade, a real person, who led a revolt against the crown during the time of Henry VI (also the name of the play from which it's cited). Most scholars believe that Shakepeare was mocking the tendency of commoners to feel that the law is actually to blame for their problems, or that anarchy is preferable to an orderly society.

Yes, Cade was an anarchist.

Posted by: jrc on April 9, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

As a current law student at a "Top 14" USNWR law school, I think there is actually too much emphasis placed on the prestige issue for law schools and laywers. My law school does not lack in prestige, only when compared to brighter lights like Yale, Harvard, Stanford, etc. However I highly doubt that I would have had a worse legal education at a "lower tier" law school. Certainly, probably the biggest difference between the students at the high prestige schools and the low prestige schools is the pedigree of the students. There are students here with a lot of accomplishment and impressive looking resumes. But for the most part, law school is not like grad school or even undergrad, where learning is a community environment. Learning in law school is an intensely personal experience and no matter what I think about Regent U (I certainly would not go there), students who have excelled there are likely to be just as proficient as lawyers as those who excell here at my school. Probably the only difference being that the students who don't excell here at Georgetown are probably more likely to be competent Attorney's than those who do not excell at Regent. But I see no reason why the name on your diploma should automatically disqualify you from Federal employment if you have good grades and a record of good performance in law school.

Posted by: Georgetown Law Student on April 9, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

…too much emphasis placed on the prestige issue ...

The education you have is the education you work your keyster off to get. While top notch schools can afford the most prestigious profs a dedicated student can learn far beyond his school's means.
Pat Robertson, along with the oleaginous Falwell, is one of the biggest crackpots in the fundamentalist pantheon. He has never shown the slightest interest in anything but making money and promulgating the Republican Party line.
There is no reason to assume that any of his 'educational' endeavors are anything other than education mills designed to put little Republican proselytizers into the world. The fact that a corrupt Bush regime also puts them into positions of power proves it is beyond the pale in its perversion of government.

Posted by: Mike on April 9, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Martin Gale

God doesnt exist, and you don't know how to properly use "QED."

Posted by: Aaron Kinney on April 9, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

How come, in the ever-bloating roster of investigated and indicted Repubs, none appear to have lawyered up with those crackerjack legal minds from hallowed Regent U?

Posted by: conchefritter on April 9, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

"These schools do not teach. They indoctrinate."
Oh yeaH? Read the latest Walter Williams column. I have never read such elitist bullshit anywhere. That is what I get for reading a 5th tier blog, I guess.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on April 9, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

There is no reason to assume that any of his 'educational' endeavors are anything other than education mills designed to put little Republican proselytizers into the world.

It may help you to know that Regent U's law program has won national moot court competitions in the past. It is also accredited by the ABA. If you want to see a law school diploma mill, look up Oklahoma City University or Coolidge Law. You may not like their policy emphasis down there, but you would be a fool to think that people there are not getting a valid legal education. And you have already proven your ignorance about law school in general. So fool it is then.

I would never chose to go to Regent for my legal education, but if you have a problem with the quality of the diplomas that they issue there, take it up with the ABA. Better yet take it up with the students from Harvard, Yale and Georgetown who lost to them at moot court. They may not be the most prestigeous law school, but each of their graduates who passes the bar is competent to practice as an attorney.

And before you try to write me off as some right-winger, since 1992 I had only voted for the Socialist Worker Party for President (Fulani), because they are the only party that have a living wage as a serious part of their platform. Last election I voted for Kerry, but that was an ABB vote and I will never make that compromise again. I am just someone who knows what they are talking about, being a law student, and sadly you don't.

Monica Goodling's problem was not her legal education, it was her legal ethics. And before you say she learned those ethics at her law school, may I remind you that Jack Abramoff and Jonathan Glass were both Georgetown Law graduates.

Posted by: Georgetown Law Student on April 9, 2007 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK
… Regent U's law program has won national moot court competitions …It is also accredited by the ABA…Georgetown Law Student at 11:44 PM

Here is their mission statement:
Preamble
Regent University is an institution of higher learning that exists to bring glory to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Mission
Our mission is to provide exemplary education, from a biblical perspective, leading to bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees for aspiring servant-leaders in pivotal professions, and to be a leading center of Christian thought and action.
Vision
Our vision, through our graduates and scholarly activities, is to provide Christian leadership in transforming society by affirming and teaching principles of truth, justice and love as described in the Holy Scriptures, embodied in the person of Jesus Christ, and enabled through the power of the Holy Spirit. Soli Deo Gloria.

Q.E.D.

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

I am a Regent Law School Student and frankly I am appalled at the ridiculous and unfounded talk about the quality of my education. More astounding is the fact that many of you have thrown a blanket of stereotypes over all of the students who attend Regent. So to put an end to the rumors lets look at some of the facts.

1. You do not need to be a Christian to go to Regent.
2. Pat Robertson does not teach the law students nor does he have any real interaction with them.
3. Just like all young law schools, Regent's bar passage rates were low for the first 10 years of its existence but today they are matching many of the other law schools in Virginia. No law school that is less than 30 years old is in the top 3 tiers of law schools. It takes time.
4. Regent Law has won 2 American Bar Association National Championships in the last two years. Which means our education must be effective if the ABA is recognizing our students as the best in Moot Court and Legal Negotiations.

I want all of those people who are concerned about the Christian "minions" to put their fears to rest. So what if a lot the law students are Christians, it doesn't mean they agree with Pat Robertson or George W. Bush. All it means is that they believe in Jesus Christ. Give us a break; we work our tales off to demonstrate we are quality attorneys. You do not need to go to a tier one law school to be a good attorney. You need to master the law and pass the bar.

I am sure that there are graduates from other law schools involved in the DOJ firings and other law schools that have 150 or more of their alumni in the federal government. Do not stereotype a school or its students on the actions of one of its alumni. Do not stereotype a school or its students because its founder is outspoken and aggressive in his worldviews when he does not even have contact with the students. I mean Regent University has its doors open to people from all ends of the political spectrum. Al Gore, Rev. Barry Lynn, Rudy Giuliani (who is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage) and many more come to the campus and speak their political and social to the students.

Instead, hold Monica Goodling responsible for actions as an individual.

Posted by: Stash on April 10, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

I am sure that there are graduates from other law schools involved in the DOJ firings and other law schools that have 150 or more of their alumni in the federal government.

How many of those law schools have been around for less than 30 years? The sheer number, given the lack of depth to the pool indicates a favorable ideology played a role in the appointment of these extremely young and inexperienced attorneys to positions of power.

Give us a break; we work our tales off

Homonym abuse like that will lead to questions about the quality of your education.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 10, 2007 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Stash: Thank you for your comments, it is unfortunate that people who don't know what they are talking about prefer to engage in ignorant attacks.

Kyle Sampson graduated from the prestigeous University of Chicago. Gonzales went to Harvard. Should be condemn Chicago or Harvard Law? I don't see anyone doing that. But everyone seems to want to focus on Regent because one of their grads involved in this scandal and you don't like the fact that they are a Christian school.

Well let me tell you a little story about Georgetown Law. We are a Jesuit institution. And as such, church policy gets enforced. The pro-choice student group on campus is not allowed to get any university funding, however the anti-choice group is. Contraception and birth control are not available to women through the schools health insurance either, which is mandatory (don't bother asking about abortions).

And the most important things to remember are these from Stash

You do not need to go to a tier one law school to be a good attorney. You need to master the law and pass the bar.

hold Monica Goodling responsible for actions as an individual.

That is about all I have to say on this matter.

Posted by: Georgetown Law Student on April 11, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly