A Slate article from Saturday once again points out the right’s success at creating a network of “hack mills,” if you will, that train and recruit young, mostly fundamentalist evangelical, students to enter public service/public relations/et cetera.
The article starts by noting that Monica Goodling, a senior counsel to AG Alberto Gonzales and DoJ-White House liaison who resigned Friday over the U.S. attorney firings, graduated from the evangelical Christian school, Messiah College, and Pat Robertson’s Regent University School of Law before rising through the ranks of DoJ.
A former career official there told the Washington Post that Goodling “forced many very talented, career people out of main Justice so she could replace them with junior people that were either loyal to the administration or would score her some points.” And as she rose at Justice, according to a former classmate, Goodling “developed a very positive reputation for people coming from Christian schools into Washington looking for employment in government.”
Then it goes into the larger issue of such students being funneled straight from ultra-conservative Christian colleges into the Bush administration:
Goodling is only one of 150 graduates of Regent University currently serving in this administration, as Regent’s Web site proclaims proudly, a huge number for a 29-year-old school. Regent estimates that “approximately one out of every six Regent alumni is employed in some form of government work.” And that’s precisely what its founder desired. The school’s motto is “Christian Leadership To Change the World,” and the world seems to be changing apace. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft teaches at Regent, and graduates have achieved senior positions in the Bush administration. The express goal is not only to tear down the wall between church and state in America (a “lie of the left,” according to Robertson) but also to enmesh the two.
The law school’s dean, Jeffrey A. Brauch, urges in his “vision” statement that students reflect upon “the critical role the Christian faith should play in our legal system.” Jason Eige (’99), senior assistant to Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, puts it pithily in the alumni newsletter, Regent Remark: “Your Résumé Is God’s Instrument.”
This is a serious problem for the Democrats — or any liberal/progressive group — because they have no such system in place. Try getting an internship at the Center for American Progress if you don’t already live in D.C. or have parents wealthy enough to bankroll your free work. It ain’t happenin’, ’cause CAP ain’t payin’.
If we’re serious about making the Democratic Party viable for another generation, as Chuck Schumer might put it, we need to start by training, equipping and helping the next generation of issue advocacy specialists, think-tank researchers and the rest of our “farm team.”