“Monica Goodling was not the problem,” said Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post. The Justice Department underling who, according to a new report conducted by DOJ, spearheaded the “stomach-turning politicization” of the Justice Department was merely a “symptom of an administration so certain of the correctness of its worldview that it never pauses to reconsider.”
Goodling was part of a broader effort to sidestep the law, said Tim Rutten in the Los Angeles Times. The part played by Goodling—a graduate of Pat Robertson’s law school who worked under then-attorney general Alberto Gonzales—was hiring only prosecutors who were “conservatives and true believers in the religious right's agenda.” Rooting out how this happened “will require following the chain of command into the White House.”
This report won’t be helpful to anyone hoping to pin Goodling’s deeds on her former bosses, said Dan Slater in The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. “Notably, the report says Gonzo was largely unaware of the hiring decisions by two of his most trusted aides.” And neither Goodling nor former Gonzales chief of staff Kyle Sampson still works at Justice, where Attorney General Michael Mukasey is busy keeping politics out of the hiring process for career prosecutors.
The truth isn't stopping President Bush’s political enemies from trying to hammer him over this, said The Weekly Standard’s Scrapbook. Monica Goodling and the politicization of the Justice Department have been added to the rallying cries of “a collection of impeachment-minded congressmen” who are promising to attack Bush until his last day in office.