You rarely see statements like this: In this morning’s New York Times, three major figures—two from the GOP—defend the administration’s conduct with respect to the AP.
We aren’t saying they’re right or wrong. We simply want to call attention to one of their statements.
We were struck by the highlighted statement. In our world, you rarely see statements like this:
BARR, GORELICK AND WAINSTEIN (5/21/13): At the time the [AP] article was published, there were strong bipartisan calls for the Justice Department to find the leaker. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. gave that assignment to Ronald C. Machen Jr., the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, who is known for his meticulous and dedicated work. Importantly, his assignment was to identify and prosecute the government official who leaked the sensitive information; it was not to conduct an inquiry into the news organization that published it.Say what? Machen “is known for his meticulous and dedicated work?” Within our degraded national discourse, you almost never see statements like that.
Please understand: In that statement, the writers are discussing someone who could be described as a “government bureaucrat.” Within our degraded national discourse, you almost never see such people praised for their diligent, competent work.
Over the past fifty years, powerful forces have worked very hard to denigrate people like Machen. If you work for the government, it’s assumed that you’re worthless, just no darn good.
Government bureaucrats totally stink! In recent years, so do teachers! Powerful forces have worked very hard to lodge these ideas in American minds.
We were pleased to see three prominent writers push back against this idea.