The attributes that I am most struck by members in the current presidential administration are their arrogance, incompetence, and unwaivering loyalty. Some people mistakenly attribute these to an overall lack of intelligence, I feel that is a mistake. Calling those that go marching along unintelligent is to misunderstand the problem.
For example, Alberto Gonzales used “I don’t recall” or one of its variants 74 times at a congressional hearing looking into the firing of U.S. attorneys. A protester derided Gonzales by asking him: “How did you make it through law school?” No one is asking him for a perfect account of what took place, the questioning was trying to determine if they were political motivated, which the Bush administration denies and provides alternative explanations for.
It is my belief that the arrogance, incompetence, and unwaivering loyalty are actually self-reinforcing traits. All three require a great deal on trust. All three mean not honestly appraising the situation or what you are doing. As a group, it is very hard to dismantle. The only real danger is a whistle-blower. However, it is unlikely that a whistle-blower would be able to infiltrate such a loyal group. The incompetence is merely a by product of the ideology, and that experience and results are not the most important factors when choosing a person to fill a position.
There now is a social chain from birth to political office that seem to reinforce the thinking, that is from home-school, to Christian college to think-tank or political office. This allows for a life with a very cloistered and narrow world-view. Literally, a whole life spent without meaningfully engaging people with a different world-view or background, making the possibility of conversion unlikely. It is the goal to create a like-minded voting army in a democracy, not based on reason, but rather an ideology held with unflinching religious fervor. The current Bush administration is a product of many years of planning coming to fruition. It is a trend that intends to grow, not to shrink. Something to keep in mind when faced with people like Monica Goodling.