Suppose a politically appointed bigwig at the Justice Department made a decision on a major, hot-button issue that was unpopular with Liberal Orthodoxy, and did so contrary to the advice of, say, half a dozen of so of the career lawyers working under him? Do you think the mainstream media might do a story about that?
Let's get more specific. Suppose, say, Alberto Gonzales had gone before Congress to ask it to water down voting rights laws, contrary to the advice of dozens of career lawyers in the Civil Rights Division. Do you think the mainstream media might do a story about that?
Let me revise that question. Do you think the mainstream media would go ballistic, and that, say, the New York Times would run a ten-part series on how politics had overtaken sound, experienced judgment in running the Justice Department?
One more question.
When Eric Holder endorses legislation whose principal beneficiaries will be drug pushers -- and we're talking here not just about pot, but about the mortally dangerous drugs like heroin, meth, PCP and Ecstasy -- and does so contrary to the views, not of dozens, but of hundreds of career lawyers, do you think the mainstream media would do a story about that?
Wrongo. Not a peep.
Because the mainstream media is on a tear to portray criminals as victims, drugs as harmless, prisons as savage, and prosecutors as thugs -- people who joyfully, and routinely, put the innocent in jail, not because of the evidence (which never gets mentioned) but out of sheer hate.
It's difficult to imagine a clearer example of how ideology and pandering to interest groups has subverted the experience and judgment of the Department's career lawyers than the Attorney General's actions in this instance.
It is no doubt his prerogative to disregard the career people. He is, after all, their boss, and is a high, politically appointed officer. That's not the point. I have no doubt Mr. Holder is entitled to line up with drug pushers (by seeking to slash their sentences by half) and against his own people. The point is that his decision to do so would be, and in other contexts has been, a very big story.
Career DOJ lawyers come in all flavors -- Republican, Democratic and Independent; conservative, liberal and moderate. Some have a few years' experience, and some have many. For 13 of the last 21 years, they have been hired by Democratic administrations. When hundreds of them take the risks of speaking out against the Attorney General on a matter this important, that is a news story.
But not, it seems, if the news is being fed to us by those who prefer to see drug pushers get a windfall, and Eric Holder get a pass.