Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Victimization Mentality and Bush's Civil Rights Division

As the hiring of right-wing partisan hacks for positions in the Civil Rights Division has been documented by pontificator, it is my interest in analyzing the justifications given by these right-wing hacks. It is my belief that they are using the language of affirmative action and turning it upside down to justify turning the Civil Rights Division into nothing more than the old Spoils System which got a president assassinated in 1881.

Quotes are from Charlie Savage's article in the Boston Globe

The Bush administration denies that its changes to the hiring procedures have political overtones. Cynthia Magnuson, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the division had no ``litmus test" for hiring. She insisted that the department hired only ``qualified attorneys."

Magnuson also objected to measuring civil rights experience by participation in organizations devoted to advancing traditional civil rights causes. She noted that many of the division's lawyers had been clerks for federal judges, where they ``worked on litigation involving constitutional law, which is obviously relevant to a certain degree."
Qualified attorneys in Bushspeak means lawyers who would toe the Bush line, lawyers who would not question the Bush Administration and its ideology. “Qualified attorneys” means that the lawyer must be a conservative, preferably a member of the ultra-conservative Federalist Society, an attorney willing to put ideology over results even though this is what they project onto liberals. They are implying that the career attorneys whom they label as liberals are not qualified and only got in due to a system which favors “less-qualified” liberals than “qualified” conservatives, i.e. affirmative action for liberals! However, Magnuson exposes the Bush Administration’s penchant for disdaining lawyers who have participated in civil rights organizations by saying that you don’t need experience in such areas, just clerking for a federal judge means you’re obviously well qualified to handle civil rights violations.
Other defenders of the Bush administration say there is nothing improper about the winner of a presidential election staffing government positions with like-minded officials. And, they say, the old career staff at the division was partisan in its own way -- an entrenched bureaucracy of liberals who did not support the president's view of civil rights policy.

But Roger Clegg , who was a deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights during the Reagan administration, said that the change in career hiring is appropriate to bring some ``balance" to what he described as an overly liberal agency.
Notice how the Bush administration always falls back to the four-letter L word, liberal. It’s not our fault, there was a liberal bias in the Civil Rights Division that needed to be addressed. We were only trying to put some balance into the division to counter this bias. We needed people who would work with the Bush Administration, not try to obstruct it like the liberals in Congress always do. This is nothing more than the old liberals do not get anything done, but can only obstruct a “fairly-elected” government who speaks for the “will of the people” and believes in the rule of law game. If Bush has a view of civil rights policy, it’s to fan the flames of those who believe that liberals are out to get them, mainly whites who feel that they are the victims of reverse discrimination and Christians who believe that the atheist liberal, Democratic swine are out to crucify them.

It should be obvious to anyone with an astute interest in politics by now. Balance to conservatives means not 50% liberals, 50% conservatives, they could care less about achieving fairness even though fairness is such a feel-good word. We all want fairness in life, whether it’s fairness in sharing or in opportunity, but fairness to these conservatives is just another way to hide an agenda that seeks total domination. Balance means 100% conservatives who toe the line of the Litterbox Administration. Even though conservatives and right-wingers make up the majority of the hosts and panelists on the television talk shows, they always end up complaining about a liberal bias. This could only mean that they would not be satisfied until the liberal voice is completely drowned out. In the Civil Rights Division, conservatives won’t be satisfied until every liberal attorney is forced out only to be replaced by a conservative. After all, didn’t the Bush Administration “win” the election? Don’t they have the right to play the Spoils System? Doesn’t Bush have the right to fire all the liberals in the division and replace them with loyalists fair and balanced conservatives who will enforce the law without letting ideology get into the way? (Oh, by the way, is it just me or is the Civil Rights division too important to be placed at the whim of the Spoils System? A president was ASSASSINATED because he did not hire one of the guys who thought he should be rewarded.)
Robert Driscoll , a deputy assistant attorney general over the division from 2001 to 2003, said many of the longtime career civil rights attorneys wanted to bring big cases on behalf of racial groups based on statistical disparities in hiring, even without evidence of intentional discrimination. Conservatives, he said, prefer to focus on cases that protect individuals from government abuses of power.
Hiring only lawyers from civil rights groups would ``set the table for a permanent left-wing career class," Driscoll said.
Notice how Driscoll is trying to play into the lawyers = bad, liberals = bad argument the administration and its cronies in the media always like to trumpet to everyone willing to hear. By implying that the Civil Rights Division is nothing more than affirmative action for liberals who obviously are not qualified and advance ideology over results (as if right-wingers did not), Driscoll is playing the liberals are trying to take over everything game with the implication that it is the fault of the vast left-wing conspiracy that your lives are so miserable. He is implying that there is no problem of disparities in hiring, even though Al Franken notes that employers are 50% less likely to call back a person with an African-American sounding name like Tanisha or Tyrone than a person with a name like Frank or Nancy. Driscoll is implying that this is just hype and a scare campaign in that liberals are coddling and fostering what he considers is the African-American’s victim-mentality when the real victims are not who you think they are and that the government has just created a problem and overhyped it.
The academic credentials of the lawyers hired into the division also underwent a shift at this time, the documents show. Attorneys hired by the career hiring committees largely came from Eastern law schools with elite reputations, while a greater proportion of the political appointees' hires instead attended Southern and Midwestern law schools with conservative reputations.

Driscoll, the former division chief-of-staff, insisted that everyone he personally had hired was well qualified. And, he said, the old hiring committees' prejudice in favor of highly ranked law schools had unfairly blocked many qualified applicants.
Translation: The old way of hiring discriminated against Southern and Midwestern law schools which had a more conservative reputation in favor of the liberal, elitist law schools of the East. What we did was to end the practice of affirmative action for these elitist schools in our hiring practices.

The Bush Administration is sending a dangerous message that says that racial discrimination is a thing of the past and now the oppressed have become the oppressor. It is more important to prove that whites are being discriminated against and that Christians are being oppressed than to protect the civil rights of blacks and other minorities. In fact, I see Bush’s vision of a Civil Rights Division as nothing more than a divider meant to rile the emotions of those who are angry at the progress minorities have made under civil rights legislation and those who are angry at a government they see as increasingly falling under the dire influence of Satanic, Democratic, liberal, progressive swine. By focusing on cases such as these, the Bush Administration tries to project the role of oppressor onto the historically-oppressed, implying that once again conservatives who want to just do an honest job are victimized once again by a system of affirmative action which favors liberals who want to advance the notion that America is bad and racist.

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