Monday, March 26, 2007

The public trust

Josh Marshall and the TPM gang have been doing a yeoman's job of tracking developments in the US Attorney firing scandal, and today they pause a moment to clarify why this is important. Worth reading the whole thing, but it can be summarized thusly:
We all understand that politics and the law aren't two hermetically sealed domains. And we understand that partisanship may come into play at the margins. But we expect it to be the exception to the rule and a rare one. But here it appears to have become the rule rather than the exception, a systematic effort at the highest levels to hijack the Justice Department and use it to advance the interest of one party over the other by use of selective prosecution.
If people don't trust "the feds" to crack down on local corruption wherever it may lie (instead choosing their targets by party affiliation), their faith in their government is further eroded. Ask a 20-something black guy pulled over for a traffic stop how he feels about police impartiality, and you'll get a sense of what can happen if we lose faith in our national legal system. More unraveling of our civic fabric...

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