Goodling is the fruit of anti-intellectualism.

On The Daily Show last night, Jon Stewart played a clip of top DoJ attorney Monica Goodling’s testimony before the House on Wednesday. Famously, Goodling said that she’d plead the fifth if compelled to testify, so she was granted immunity in order to prevent her from doing so. And yet, in response to one question, she refused to answer, invoking her fifth amendment right to avoid incriminating herself. This woman, the attorney for our country’s attorney, knows so little about the law that she doesn’t understand that it’s not possible for her to incriminate herself when granted immunity.

Bush campaigned strongly against intellectualism, in favor of mediocrity (describing himself as a “C student” at Yale), and it looks like he’s carried through. And now our nation is run by mental midgets. Good job, Bush voters. 4:45pm Update: “Stormy” points out that The Daily Show is wrong. That said, the hiring of those of those Regent kids still makes my point that all of this is the fruits of anti-intellectualism.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

10 replies on “Goodling is the fruit of anti-intellectualism.”

  1. Waldo, this was an assertion to allow the committee to confer the immunity ordered by the court. If she had just answered the questions without the immunity being conferred, she could have been prosecuted based on those statements before the committee conferred the immunity. I’ve copied from the transcript of her testimony (

    “CONYERS:Thank you.

    Ms. Goodling, let us begin.

    I will ask you, who made the recommendations to place the list — place on the list of the United States attorneys to be fired each of the nine U.S. attorneys who were in fact terminated in 2006?

    GOODLING:Upon the advice of my counsel, I respectfully decline to answer the question, based upon my Fifth Amendment right not to be a witness against myself, and my Sixth Amendment right to rely on my counsel’s advice.

    CONYERS:Ms. Goodling, I am hereby communicating to you an order signed by Chief Judge Hogan of the United States District Court for the D.C. District.

    The clerk is bringing to you now a certified copy of the order to you.And we’ve made a copy for your counsel.And without objection, the order will be placed in the record.

    The order provides, in substance, that you may not refuse, on the basis of your Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, to provide testimony or other information to this committee under compulsion.

    The order also provides that testimony or other information obtained from you under compulsion pursuant to the order may not be used against you in any criminal proceeding, nor may information derived from what you provide us under compulsion be used against you as long as the testimony and other information you provide us is truthful.

    As I am sure your counsel has no doubt advised you, you are obligated to answer each question completely and truthfully.And failure to do so could subject you to prosecution for perjury or for giving false statements to Congress.

    So I want to be careful about how you answer each question.

    CONYERS:And if you occasionally need to confer with your counsel, Mr. Dowd, before answering a question, we will be happy to accommodate you in that regard.And if a member has that happen, the clock will be suspended so that our time won’t be running while she might be conferring with her counsel.

    With that said, Ms. Goodling, pursuant to the order you now have in front of you, I direct you to answer the questions that will be put to you regarding our investigation as I have just described it.

    This, Ms. Goodling, completes the procedure for conferring use immunity on you pursuant to the order.”

    It’s a bunch of kabuki theater, if you ask me. Of course, I didn’t see TDS, so I don’t know if there’s another instance where she claims her Fifth Amendment privilege

  2. You’re quite right, Stormy — that is one and the same instance of where she makes that claim. I’m unimpressed by TDS taking that clip out of its context in order to make her look bad. There’s so much that she’s done here that’s illegal that there’s just no need to go inventing things.

    I wish I got CSPAN 3. I tried to watch that hearing at the time, but I only get 1 and 2, so I was out of luck.

  3. I’ve been thinking lately about the Regent hirings, and how it’s a convenient way around the Hatch Act.

    For example, their online application requests religious denomination, listing every protestant denomination I can imagine, as well as many Jewish and Catholic options, but leaving adherents to other major religion, like, say, Islam, only the “other denomination” category. There’s no option for atheists and agnostic, though the “unknown” option is intriguing.

    The option requires a declaration of course of study. It’s been a few years since I last applied to college, but I can’t recall ever seeing this.

    But here’s where it really gets interesting… all applicants must agree to a statement that reads, in part,
    “That the Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible and authoritative source of Christian doctrine…”

    As well as 6 other theological statements, the statement states that the University’s code of conduct is taken from Biblical precepts.

    And, of course, there’s an essay! The topic reads: “Regent University’s motto is “Christian Leadership to Change the World.” Please submit your essay describing how an undergraduate degree from Regent University will help you meet your personal goals, and in the process, create a Christian leader to change the world.”

    They say they don’t discriminate on the basis of religion, but I suspect that only goes so far as to not discriminate against Pentecostal followers in favor of other Christian sects. The application makes in clear that it’s fundies only.

    So, a Justice Dept offical could interview someone, and by asking them a legitimate question (where did you go to college), gain a fairly certain profile of their political and religious views. Not that this fact kept DoJ officials from violating the Hatch Act, as we’ve learned lately.

  4. This is very interesting. The number of people who get their news from TDS exceeds by orders of magnitude the number of Regent Grads in the Administration. As just indicated, TDS is sometimes more interested in laughs than in conveying accurate portrayals of current events.

    Does the fact that millions of people get their news from a show that airs on the Comedy Channel also reflect the fruits of anti-intellectualism?

  5. You mean like all of those intellectuals that JFK recruited to Washington who were the architects of the Vietnam War? Perhaps you should read Paul Johnson’s book “Intellectuals” and follow many of the crack pot schemes intellectuals supported during the Twentieth Century, including and especially their long and still simmering love affair with Marxist-Leninism. Intellectuals are far more likely than others to embrace radical ideologies, and to refuse to let them go long after they have been proven wrong. Government by intellectuals? Thanks, but no thanks.

    And finally, please don’t take pot shots at the intelligence of others when you are quoting your news from the Comedy Channel. It’s embarrassing.

  6. Does the fact that millions of people get their news from a show that airs on the Comedy Channel also reflect the fruits of anti-intellectualism?

    On the contrary, study after study has revealed that viewers of The Daily Show are the best politically-informed demographic:

    Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot — with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind.

    There’s no escaping it — viewers of TDS are the best-informed citizens in the nation.

    Intellectuals are far more likely than others to embrace radical ideologies, and to refuse to let them go long after they have been proven wrong.

    So, you’ve got a study for that, right? Or did you just up and decide to declare intellectuals to be radicals? And does that mean that, given the choice, you’d rather have C students running the country than A students? Or does that mean that you’d rather have moderates than extremists running the country? If so, would you prefer A student moderates, or C student moderates?

  7. CBN has gotten in trouble before for hiring only people who agree with particular religious beliefs. I knew someone who got a job stacking chairs for a banquet and had to sign something. Regent professors are certainly free to teach whatever religious view they wish. However, when half of their graduates flunk the Virginia bar exam, that raises a basic question as to why the school was accredited in the first place. Regent is the worst law school in Virginia, by far. As for the intellectualism of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, by far the most academically challenging school in Virginia. He has every right to criticize Regent.

  8. I absolutely agree, Dogwood, about the moderate B students. For a glimpse of the results of a Regent education, take a peek at pages 6 to 8 (Barrett opinion) of the Virginia Lawyer Register:

    It seems that the Virginia Beach Circuit Court is a “pagan court” and the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board is a “pagan body.” Not a legal argument likely to win favor with either tribunal.

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