For many, such as E.J. Dionne and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzoles was a tacit admission by President Bush and Republican leaders that justice always prevails. Writing in today’s Washington Post, Dionne ascends his high horse and, in his inimitable way, provides a kind of short course on ethical purity.
We can’t help but notice in his airy analysis the absolute absence of any charge against Gonzalez of malfeasance, much less illegality. Rather, along with the well-orchestrated chorus, led by the conductor of highfalutin rhetoric, Mr. Schumer, Dionne merely nibbles around the edges, impugning Mr. Gonzalez’ integrity.
We’ll stipulate that this case illustrates–once again–the imprudence of ‘reward appointments,’ that is, reserving cabinet seats for those who have been instrumental in propelling one into the political stratosphere. The examples of failure are numerous, but making the move from being an operative at the state level to the political board room of the Beltway requires both advanced operational skill sets and a sophisticated ability to exploit the communications and networking system to one’s advantage.
And, therein lies Gonzalez’ failure. This is a fine man, a talented man, but one best suited to the minor leagues, not the harsh light of real stadium ball-play. We’ve all seen people who were cruelly advanced beyond their ability, and it’s like watching a bad performance at Carnegie Hall–we just cringe at their every utterance and gesture. But other than the crime of poor judgment and bush league communication skills, the Democrats’ charges are wholly without merit and merely more evidence that political opportunism knows no earthly boundaries.
Beyond these issues, Dionne’s tribute to the presumed sanctity of the left’s ethical sensibilities, finishes with a monumental example that irony itself is virtually limitless. He quotes Edward Levi, the attorney general appointed by Gerald Ford, who wrote about the danger of seeing all
human relationships…in terms of power relationships…It converts all the other good attributes people have into just an ability or a desire to manipulate others.
The irony leaps from the page for all but the Dionnes of the world: what, pray tell, is modern liberalism, but a mammoth edifice of laws, regulations, and programs, all designed to “manipulate others”? Indeed, from the tax code, our vast panoply of civil rights laws, or our staggeringly complex array of regulations, all of which conspire to intrude ever deeper into our lives, the overarching goal is to expand the Democrats’ level of control.
Yes, we agree with Mr. Dionne, the desire to control and manipulate others through government intervention is a civic bane, and the Democrats are the original architects of this dark art.
Mella is editor of ClearCommentary.com.