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As usual, Paul Krugman is the first to shine a light on the flip side of this story, one that no one else I've seen has been talking about:

The Gonzales Eight were fired because they wouldn’t go along with the Bush administration’s politicization of justice. But statistical evidence suggests that many other prosecutors decided to protect their jobs or further their careers by doing what the administration wanted them to do: harass Democrats while turning a blind eye to Republican malfeasance.

Donald Shields and John Cragan, two professors of communication, have compiled a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power. Of the 375 cases they identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.

Krugman continues by asking

How can this have been happening without a national uproar?

and cites the same study for the answer:

"Because the[se] local... investigations occur under the radar of a diligent national press. Each instance is treated by a local beat reporter as an isolated case that is only of local interest."

I would debate the communications professors on how "diligent" our national press is, but now we can help them. Please write to your local paper, call your local radio station, etc. and point out this shocking disparity. MAKE our "diligent" national press connect the dots to show how our "Justice" department is being used for partisan political purposes.

The 8 US Attorneys who were fired were the EXCEPTION. It is clear from this that most of them, who were, after all, appointed by Republicans, were more than happy to listen to Karl Rove (Krugman points to his history of getting Democrats investigated in Texas), Pete Domenici, and whoever else came a'callin and use the legal system to harass Democrats and protect Republicans. As Kos likes to say: for Republicans, the Elephant flies above the stars and stripes every time.

We need to shine a light on these vermin -- both the corrupt US Attorneys AND the corrupt politicians who called on them to abuse their office -- and make them scurry like the cockroaches they are! THIS is exactly the kind of campaign for which the blogosphere was made....

For those with access to TimesSelect, here's the link to the entire Krugman column: http://select.nytimes.com/...

Originally posted to Jim in Chicago on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 09:25 PM PST.

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