In his post from earlier today, Scott examined MSM coverage of the departure of his friend Rachel Paulose from the position of United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota. That coverage included this piece in the Washington Post by Amy Goldstein.
This is Scott’s beat, so I won’t comment much on the Post’s report. I was struck, however, by the claim that Scott’s “brief interview” with Paulose provoked one or more of her staff managers to to resign or threaten to resign. Are attorneys in that office really so thin-skinned that they can’t bear to see their boss, after months of being hammered in the press based on unsubstantiated leaks, defend herself? I doubt it. If the report is true, the more plausible explanation is that Scott’s post provided the pretext for the inevitable renewal of the assault on Paulose.
I was also struck by this line from Goldstein’s piece:
As U.S. attorney, Paulose emphasized Gonzales’s top priorities, including prosecution of child pornography cases and long sentences, which she called “righteous.”
What thought process caused Goldstein to include the odd subordinate clause? Perhaps Goldstein was concerned that a few Post readers wouldn’t be sufficiently alarmed by the fact that a U.S. attorney would follow the priorities of a conservative attorney general, prosecute child pornography cases, and favor long sentences. By throwing in the fact that Paulose thinks long sentences are “righteous,” perhaps Goldstein hoped to alarm any hold-outs among Post readers.
Outside the world of Washington Post readers, however, most people understand that criminal law has a moral dimension. For us, it makes perfect sense to think of long sentences as righteous in appropriate cases.
The crime issue plagued liberal Democrats for years, until Bill Clinton managed, in the context of demographics that favored lower crime rates, to take it off the table. Goldstein’s story makes me think the crime issue may be back on the table before long.