Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pick Flick.

Reese Witherspoon, who became a bankable movie star in the light comedy Legally Blonde and won an Oscar for her work as June Carter in Walk the Line, is one of the best actresses of her generation. She has been quoted as saying that when she became a mother, she decided to steer clear of the darker characters she played earlier in her career. Given that decision, for my money she may never get another role as interesting as her portrayal of driven high school student Tracy Flick in the 1999 dark comedy Election. Tracy Flick is the girl whose face is all over the high school yearbook, a member of countless clubs, all joined with the goal of impressing college recruiters in the future. I went to high school with a few Tracy Flicks. I'm sure my readers could recall a similar person in their high school days.

Not to give too much of the plot away, but things turn out pretty well for Tracy at the end of the film, and not so well for the character played by Matthew Broderick, a teacher who finds Tracy annoying, as all right thinking people would.

I bring this up because former Justice Department operative Monica Goodling is in the news again. I would bet a nickel Ms. Goodling was a Tracy Flick when she grew up. Given her psychotic levels of loyalty to the conservative cause, she might have been home-schooled, but even so, she would have wanted to be class president and valedictorian of her home school class. She is exactly the kind of driven, hard working and humorless person that is needed to make authoritarian and totalitarian organizations function.

If we are to believe the story all involved parties have agreed to telling, Ms. Goodling and Kyle Sampson ran a political purity campaign inside the Justice Department hiring process completely hidden from her superiors, including Alberto Gonzalez. Among the questions Goodling asked potential prosecutors was "Why do you want to serve George W. Bush?" Nothing about the job pertaining upholding the law of the land, but serving a potentate, like some strange feudal lord transported in time from centuries gone by.

As I have said before, I'm a mathematician and not a lawyer, but the opinion from legal experts is that her political vetting of candidates for permanent positions in the Justice Department broke the law. The Solicitor General says the laws broken were civil matters, so there is no reason to bring a case against her. Congress is waffling as to what to do with her and it's possible that her only penalty will be disbarment. She doesn't need a law degree to keep working. She has shown the kind of psychotic loyalty and single mindedness that will always be in demand from people who are happy to cut corners to implement their unholy version of heaven on earth.

Yay, Flags of Many Lands™! Yay, Armenia!

I thought I had all the European countries, but my small maps of Europe and Asia kind of overlooked Armenia, so I didn't even realize that it was missing. It isn't missing any more. Yay!


CDP said...

I love that movie, and you're right about Reese Witherspoon; she's one of the few actresses who can do anything. PERFECT comparison between Monica Goodling and Tracy Flick.

namastenancy said...

Have you seen her in the remake of Vanity Fair? Not true to the book at all but fun as all get out - esp. the ending. I like to see a happy ending, esp. when the heroine is plucky and smart.

Ms. Goodling is neither but then, psychotic loyalty + lack of ethics = standard operating procedure for this administration.

Dr. Zaius said...

I'll bet that they both know how to work a button punch machine.

dguzman said...

Brilliant analogy, Matty Boy. "Psychotic"--was there ever a better example?

Don't you just wish that someone would ask you "Why do you want to serve GWB?" on a job interview? Sure, you'd never get the job, but the ax-murdering part would be so much fun!