Sunday, May 13, 2007

"You have a Monica problem"

And to think that, when the Clinton administration ended, government officials imagined they no longer had anything to fear from that phrase.


Two years ago, Robin C. Ashton, a seasoned criminal prosecutor at the Department of Justice, learned from her boss that a promised promotion was no longer hers.

“You have a Monica problem,” Ms. Ashton was told, according to several Justice Department officials. Referring to Monica M. Goodling, a 31-year-old, relatively inexperienced lawyer who had only recently arrived in the office, the boss added, “She believes you’re a Democrat and doesn’t feel you can be trusted.”

(And this Monica is no addled accident, stumbling from one adolescent entanglement to another, like the Other Monica: This one's a state-of-the-art GOP Pod Farm product, trained by the best to wield the political chainsaw for God and Bush. If she weeps, it's not for lost love, and certainly not from remorse--it's only that she got caught out so early in an otherwise-promising career as a conservative operative. No syndicated columns, FOX News appearances, or lecture circuit fees for this Monica. Not now. Not even her own line of designer purses, one imagines.)

Ron at Middle Earth Journal has it right:

Disciples of charismatic religious leaders like Pat Robertson are trained to not question authority - are by their very nature "authoritarian followers". This makes them very useful to secular authoritarians like Karl Rove. If Monica Goodling had any knowledge of Constitutional Law and theory, which is doubtful considering her educational background, it would be displaced by the wishes of the authoritarians she worked for.

Conspiracy is a crime, but at least the word itself has a bit of poetry to it, suggestive of plotters whispering with their heads so close together that they're breathing the same air.

The thing is, though, when everyone's already on the same page, you don't need a conspiracy. Sometimes an office, a desk, and a phone are all it takes.

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