So Monica Goodling admits that she "crossed the line" in filling Justice Department posts on the basis of partisan credentials. She did a lot more than that.
Goodling and her co-conspirators (for that is what they were) dealt a body-blow to our system of justice.
The credibility of our prosecutions depends on the public's belief that political appointees (and, in the case of most local district attorneys, elected officials) can keep politics out of prosecutorial decisions. Now it is clear that, at least in areas such as civil rights and government corruption cases, we cannot have that faith when the federal government is involved.
That is a terrible, terrible development. For decades, under men like John Doar and Nicholas Katzenbach, the Justice Department was the shining ornament not just of the United States, but of the civilized world. As much as anything, the federal system of justice showed the world what the United States was all about.
What I fear is that that may still be the case.