Friday, June 15, 2007

BUSH ADMINISTRATION HIRING PRACTICES & REGENTS UNIVERSITY: WORSE THAN YOU THINK

Washington D.C.--You have to hand it to the Washington Post--they know the right tendrils to follow. Well, at least when they're allowed to by the Editorial board (headed by Bob Woodward--thanks Bob). This one might have escaped those of us following the US Attorney firing scandal:

It used to be that being 33 and in charge of 93 U.S. attorneys would mean you'd been top of your class at Harvard or Yale or clerked at the Supreme Court. Now, Christian schools are joining that mix. Regent has had 150 of its graduates working in the White House; the school estimates that one-sixth of its alumni are in government work [my emphasis]. Call them the Goodlings: scrubbed young ideologues, ready to serve their nation, the right's version of the Peace Corps generation. (Washington Post, 05.25.2007)

"One-sixth" is significant, and potentially overrepresentational. Is it just the Justice Department? Well, no. A number of journalists have been pointing this out for years, and we know that dozens of Regent's alumni have been in the White House as gophers, aides, assistants, and what-have-you. But it's not just about whether they're "evangelicals," or even religious--as long as they follow-orders and tow the partisan line for the GOP, it's all good. Is this the case regarding the investigators in the "Hookergate" case? This writer would like to know.

This recruitment of evangelicals like Goodling is just a part of an overall strategy in overrunning civil government and other social institutions--and seizing them for their agendas. Schools like Regent, Liberty, Patrick Henry, Bob Jones University, Messiah University (Goodling's first college-of-choice) are parallel institutions meant to overwhelm the rest of us before we know what's happening. So far, the public isn't paying-attention, and they should.

These parallel institutions have cousins, as in the case of "the Leadership Institute," which trains right-wing activists in the arts of attack-journalism and agitprop. They aren't real credentials, yet the appearance of competence and credibility somehow appear out of the ether in the form of cash-endowments from donors like Joseph Coors (maker of a very impoverished line of beers):

The seminars offered by the Institute cover a wide range of topics, including the two-day broadcast journalism workshop of which Gannon is a graduate and a five-day Candidate Development School, in which students preparing to run for public office are instructed in areas such as "Right to Life -- How to Win This Battle," and "Right to Keep & Bear Arms -- How to Win This Battle" (according to the school's "sample agenda"). The Leadership Institute lists on its website a number of prominent public figures who have graduated from its programs; including Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY), president of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist, and Republican strategist, former executive director of the Christian Coalition and Southeast regional chairman for the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign Ralph Reed. (Media Matters, 02.11.2005)

This is where many of these politicians get their "talking-points," in-case you ever wondered. "Right to Keep & Bear Arms" has been one of their best shticks all-along, dividing traditional conservatives from grassroots populism and progressives on the so-called Left who actually agree with them on the 2nd Amendment.

What the Leadership Institute constitutes is a shibboleth factory, a place where social apparitions are manufactured in order to divide the American public on unimportant sideline-issues that never cut to the heart of our problems. This is all done in the service of power, funded by power. Surely, the functionaries believe, but "leadership" doesn't buy their own line. That's why Karl Rove referred to most evangelicals as "idiots" and "crazies." That's because they've been played...by him and his masters. These people could be the real "fifth- columnists," the real budding-terrorists, our domestic Bolshevism.

The Washington Post, 05.25.2007 (by Hanna Rosin): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/24/AR2007052402032.html

Media Matters on Jeff Gannon and the Leadership Institute: http://mediamatters.org/items/200502120002