Thou dost protest too loudly.
In McClatchy's piece
late yesterday on the whole "voter fraud" mumbo-jumbo that has been animating the Bush Justice Department, this section caught my eye:
Bradley Schlozman, who became the civil rights divisionâs deputy chief in 2003, agreed in 2005 to reverse the career staffâs recommendations to challenge a Georgia law that would have required voters to pay $20 for photo IDs and in some cases travel as far as 30 miles to obtain the ID card.
A federal judge threw out the Georgia law, calling it an unconstitutional, Jim Crow-era poll tax.
In an interview, Schlozman, who was named interim U.S. attorney in Kansas City in November 2005, said he merely affirmed a subordinateâs decision to overturn the career staffâs recommendations.
He called it "absolutely not true" that he drove out career lawyers. "What I tried to do was to depoliticize the hiring process," Schlozman said. "We hired people across the political spectrum."
I'm no expert on DOJ hiring policies, but how exactly did Schlozman know he was hiring people from across the political spectrum?
If he had said, "We hired people without regard to political affiliation," that would have been close to an airtight denial of political interference in the hiring process. It might not have been true (and the evidence suggests it would not have been true), but it would have been a specific denial of the conduct alleged.
Instead, Schlozman says he made a concerted effort to "depoliticize the hiring process" by hiring "people from across the political spectrum." That certainly seems to suggest that political affiliation was indeed taken into account.
Keep in mind here that we're talking about the hiring of career prosecutors, not political appointees. We're also talking about the Civil Rights Division, which conservatives have long viewed as a hotbed of liberal activism. So any alleged politicization that existed in the division before Bush arrived on the scene is code for too many perceived Democrats (again, DOJ would have no way of directly knowing the political affiliations of its career prosecutors) enforcing the nation's civil rights laws too vigorously.
When a Bush political appointee says he's trying to "depoliticize" something, it's like Fox News claiming to be "fair and balanced."