Wednesday, October 27, 2004

It's Not Bias, It's Opinion!

Perhaps I'm a little too hard on Slate. Then again, there's more ideological and political diversity of opinion here at Galley Slaves.

For instance, I don't think George W. Bush is the anti-Christ or that he's appointing theocrats to the federal bench. Or that he's trying to repeal the constitutional protection for free speech or the rule of law. And it seems to me that his belief in democracy is actually quite strong. (One might, however, argue that he believes too much in power of democracy to cure all ills.)

But I will say this: Bush's absolute demand of "loyalty" is at best unflattering and at worst repellent. The lastest example comes from a story in the October 18 Legal Times about the future of deputy attorney general James Comey.

Comey is the number two guy at Justice. He has a great background and is, in general, an all-around stand-up guy. Evidently, he's off the list to succeed John Ashcroft because, as Vanessa Blum reports, he "has been insensitive to political concerns."

"Some of [Comey's] early staff picks were vetoed by the White House for not having strong Republican credentials," Blum continues. A former Bush official explains, "The White House always wants to make sure the administration is staffed with people who have the president's best interests at heart. Anyone who resists that political loyalty check is regarded with some suspicion. The objective in staffing is never to assemble the best possible team."

The former Bush official continues: "[Comey] has shown insufficient political savvy. The perception is that he has erred too much on the side of neutrality and independence."


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