At least one political appointee in the Obama administration is already trying to implement long-range plans for maintaining liberal control of the bureaucracy within the executive branch. Consider the letter sent last month to the Senate and House Appropriations subcommittees with jurisdiction over the Justice Department on behalf of Thomas Perez, President Obama’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
One of the biggest problems that new Republican presidents face is the almost unrelenting opposition of an overwhelmingly liberal career civil service to conservative policies. That certainly occurred during the Bush administration, and nowhere was it more evident than in the Civil Rights Division, which houses some of the most militant partisans and extreme ideologues in the career ranks of the executive branch.
For the past year, Perez has been making the rounds of left-wing advocacy organizations (and media such as The Washington Post), hollowly decrying the supposed “politicization” of the Civil Rights Division during the Bush administration. Perez never seems to tire of venting his frustration over his predecessors, who tried to impose some common sense and impartiality into the Division’s enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws. Twisting statistics with the skill of a professional contortionist, and employing populist rhetoric with the proficiency of a modern-day snake oil salesman, Perez has desperately sought to convince the public that he is in the righteous pursuit of “restoring” the Division to its pre-Bush “luster.”
Anyone who bothers to check the real history of the Division, however, can see the complete superficiality of Perez’s claims.
In mid-May, Perez dramatically upped the ante when Justice requested approval for Perez to undertake a radical reorganization (or, to use his word, “transformation”) of the Division that would effectively ensure it remains a bastion of aggressive liberalism indefinitely.
The Division is currently organized into operational sections that directly enforce different discrimination laws. For example, the Voting Section enforces the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting laws, while the Housing Section enforces federal law against housing and mortgage discrimination. Policy decisions, meanwhile, are the province of the political leadership in the front office.