Bitter and Sweet II

Another “I told you so” item —

Via Digby — Sixteen months after President Bush had nominated Claude Alexander Allen to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, conservative C. Boyden Gray blasted Senate Democrats for blocking Allen’s nomination:

Given their paucity of evidence, the Left’s objection cannot really be that Allen’s record suggests he would write his own views into law. The true basis for their opposition is not that he will act to implement his own agenda, but rather — given his traditional values, belief in family, and ideals of personal conservatism — that he might not warmly and enthusiastically embrace theirs. It is their political agenda that drives their animus against not only Claude Allen’s jurisprudence, but against his person — for them there is no difference. …

… Claude Allen promises not to advance a political agenda from the federal bench he has been nominated to, but to be the type of judge who buttresses the foundation of American government — by applying the rule of law however he finds it. President Bush, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, could do much worse than Allen. By the grace of democratic principles overriding a minority in the Senate, let us hope they do not have to.

From today’s Washington Post, by Ernesto Londoño and Michael A. Fletcher:

Claude A. Allen, who resigned last month as President Bush’s top domestic policy adviser, was arrested this week in Montgomery County for allegedly swindling Target and Hecht’s stores out of more than $5,000 in a refund scheme, police said.

Heh. Is Claude Allen’s criminal record one with his “person,” too?

Allen’s appointment to the bench was blocked, but until a month ago he was President Bush’s top domestic policy adviser, with a salary equal to Karl Rove’s. He resigned in February to “spend more time with his family.” I hope his family visits him in the Big House.

Allen was observed shoplifting on January 2, but police were able to determine (from credit card records and surveillance tape) that he’d pulled the same scam on other occasions.

Allen would purchase an item, take it to his car, return to the store, select the same item, take it to the counter and get a refund based on the receipt for the merchandise in his car, Burnett said. “He would get the money back or the credit” on his credit cards.

This guy made $160,000 a year and shoplifted at Target. How pathetic is that?

Allen is a former deputy secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services, where he became a strong advocate for abstinence-only AIDS prevention programs. He is a self-described born-again Christian who got his start in politics working for Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. He later worked for the Virginia state attorney general’s office and as state health and human resources secretary. “In that job,” Londoño and Fletcher write, “once he kept Medicaid funds from an impoverished rape victim who wanted an abortion.”

Allen also ran the White House Katrina task force for a short time immediately after the storm. Josh Marshall noted it had been an “odd choice” — “he’s basically the social policy czar, big into abstinence only education, stem-cell restrictions, stuff like that.” But Allen was also the White House’s highest-ranking African American aide; maybe they thought New Orleans was mostly a “black” problem.

Next time a rightie whines about Dems obstructing President Bush’s court nominees — shove Allen in his face.

9 thoughts on “Bitter and Sweet II

  1. It is the hyprociscy of people like Ralph Reed and Claude Allen that is such a big turn-off. The same is true for Bill O’Reilly…a bona fide sex pervert who presumes to preach to the American people every weekday night on Fox Cable News. And what about “oxycontin” Rush Limbough? I keep wondering when the American people will see through these scumbags.

  2. If this ever gets before the distracted amnesia prone US public, which is very unlikely, Rove could spin it as the racist Democrats fault for not confirming him to the high federal court. His shoplifting was a form of therapy.

  3. This story made my day. I’m reminded of a far right co-worker, whose 300 pound wife (no exaggeration) enabled them to chisel a new car seat out of Honda, because the car’s original seat wasn’t designed for the wife’s excessive load, and so failed while under warranty. This coup – getting a free seat from Honda – brought immense delight to their hearts. Small things for small people.

    This approaches, but really doesn’t come close to a high government official drawing six figures, whose hobby is scamming Target. And that’s just the scam we know about.

  4. Beware of the born again Christian, nine times out of ten, they have become born again so that they can go out and sin to the little heart’s content and then be forgiven. It’s just another scam like the one Allen got caught for.

  5. ?Wonder if C. Boyden Gray has any updated comments to say about Claude Allen……Gray, in July of ’04 said ‘Allen will be the type of judge who buttresses the foundation of American government’…….do you suppose Gray was tongue-in-cheek hinting that the foundation of American government is a matter of continuous thieving….and that Bush nominated Allen to help shore up that thieving?

  6. Went looking and found no ‘rightie’ site willing to remember that Bush nominated this Claude Allen to sit as an appellate judge….the references to Allen, now in trouble for thieving, are all about a ‘former white house aide’.

    One of today’s commenters at NRO [home of C.Boyden Gray’s screed] went so far as to give his reaction to the Allen story as, “WHO?”, as though Allen was just some unknown minor player at the White House.

  7. By railing on this guy, we are hurting ourselves.

    The Abramoff machine was calculated sociopathic theft. Allen is merely a compulsive shoplifter who does it for a thrill.

    Which version of a criminal justice system makes more sense—one that punishes because a crime is considered immoral (think War on Drugs), or one which seeks to protect society from the predations of criminals?

    The first theory of criminal justice leads to the death penalty and prison sentences for addicts. Worse, it releases sexual predators after they have been ‘punished’, so that they rape again.

    The second theory seeks to minimize the cost to society. Serial rapists and other sex offenders are kept on a tight leash, and when necessary given a mental illness commitment.

    Allen makes a nice juicy target, but by piling on this guy we are really damaging our belief that government should work effectively.

  8. FWIW, I worked for 8 years at a therapeutic community whose mission was to treat drug addicts with significant involvement in the criminal justice system, including a number of sociopaths. I had several coworkers who worked at one of the most effective sex offender treatment centers in the nation, Alpha House (10% recidivism rate). You should have heard some of the stories they told.

  9. Steve Nichols, your point is well taken about piling on Allen… does seem obvious that Allen has an ideosyncratic psyche problem to have been doing this repeat stealing while pulling down a salary of $160,000.

    My issue is with the Bush team which is once again demonstrating the opposite of competent leadership. They were supposed to thoroughly vet anyone considered for an appellate judgeship. Seems to me that Allen was nominated for reasons which had nothing to do with prior experience and qualifications. When that judgeship nomination wasn’t going to happen…..then Allen was installed within the White House where he drew a hefty salary and was supposed to be responsible for domestic policy. It also turns out that he was the ‘person-in-charge-of-White-House-response during the early critical days of Katrina.

    So, yes…Claude Allen deserves a compassionate response to his particular psych problem…..but that compassionate response should not be extended to the administration team that never properly vetted him for a judgeship, later put him into a position of power where he should not have been, and lastly would try to hide their own ineptness by referring to Allen only as ‘an ex-aide’.

    And good for Alpha House!

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