The invaluable Paul Krugman has had the mother wit to wonder not about the eight U.S. attorneys fired by Bush, but about the ones who kept their jobs. His full column is behind the Times’s pay-to-play wall, but here, hand-copied by me especially for you, is the money shot:
Donald Shields and John Cragan, two professors of communication, have compiled a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power.
Of the 375 cases they identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.
How can this have been happening without a national uproar? The authors explain: “We believe that this tremendous disparity is politically motivated and it occurs because the local (non-statewide and non-Congressional) investigations occur under the radar of a diligent national press. Each instance is treated by a local beat reporter as an isolated case that is only of local interest.”