Praise the Lord!

Nov 102004
Authors: Joe Marshall

Thank you, God, for delivering my society from the touch of a

bent ideologue.

The White House announced Tuesday the resignations of U.S.

Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans,

effective as soon as the Senate approves replacements.

While the resignation of Secretary Evans is a great

post-election insight into how the Bush administration really feels

about its economic policy, it is little more than a necessary step

to right a listing economy.

More wonderful news is the resignation of the attorney general.

Ashcroft’s narrow and self-righteous attitude, as well as the

militant fervor with which he impresses his moral agenda, bothers

me deeply.

Yes, Ashcroft has the right as an American to pray when he wants

and to oppose or support certain medical and social practices, such

as dancing. He is wrong, however, to do everything in his power to

try and push his ideology on the American public.

Upon being appointed and confirmed as attorney general, one of

the first tasks he undertook was to cloak justice. He paid $8,000

to have a sash added to the two nude, blindfolded, scale-bearing

statues in the lobby of the Justice Department Building in

Washington D.C.

As the administration of justice became more opaque with the

justice department’s defense of holding terrorism suspects without

charge or trial, the eyes of justice were enabled to see more than

ever. Ashcroft’s Patriot Act has given the federal government

unprecedented authority to watch over its subjects.

Most bothering about Ashcroft, however, isn’t his heavy-handed

and absolute methods for dealing with crime and terrorism, but

rather his simpleton and often ignorant views of humanity.

“The underlying cause of crime in America,” Ashcroft is often

quoted as saying, “is criminals.”

Well, that is brilliant! What that answer fails to address,

though, is the real question of what causes criminals. Is it

poverty, ignorance, laziness or lack of morals? The fact is that

while America continues to imprison almost as many people as every

other country on earth combined, we are still far and away the

world’s most violent industrial society.

Ashcroft states in his letter of resignation “the objective of

securing Americans from crime and terror has been achieved.”

Mission accomplished!

In a world where deceptions and half-true catch phrases dominate

politics, John Ashcroft personifies everything I dislike most about

the Bush administration.

I am definitely not alone in this feeling, and perhaps no one is

more aware of this than Bush. The New York Times quotes a

Republican close to the White House as saying that during previous

months Ashcroft has been given a “strong signal” his resignation

would be accepted.

While it has been rumored that Ashcroft and the White House are

not very cordial, Bush’s reelection resulted from his core

constituency picking him because of his moral values. Whatever that

means, because of this fact, Ashcroft, a hero among the

ultra-conservatives, may have had a secure place in this


In getting Ashcroft’s resignation, however, Bush may be

attempting a gesture of benevolence to win over some of the 48

percent of Americans who didn’t vote for him.

Only time will tell how serious or superficial Bush is as he

names a replacement for Ashcroft in the coming weeks. Some

possibilities are White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and former

Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson.

Yes, neither man shares the same worldview as Al Franken, but

neither man is morally opposed to dancing.

At this point I’m willing to compromise.


Joe Marshall is a senior history major. His column runs every

Thursday in the Collegian.

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