Political Profiling of Democratics by Bush U.S. Attorneys?
Some of the liberal bloggers that conservatives actually read, notably Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein guest poster Brian Beutler, are touting a study by University of Minnesota communications profs Donald C. Shields and John F. Cragan which finds that from the start of the Bush Administration in January 2001 through December 2006, “the offices of the U.S. Attorneys across the nation investigate seven (7) times as many Democratic officials as they investigate Republican officials, a number that exceeds even the racial profiling of African Americans in traffic stops.”
Shocking proof of political prosecutions on the part of Bush cronies, right?
- Officials in urban areas are “overwhelmingly disproportionately Democrats.”
- Cities are where the action is in terms of local government corruption scandals.
- U.S. Attorneys offices are located in major cities.
- The data set consists only of incidents reported in big city newspapers.
- No data is given for pre-Bush periods for comparison.
The last point is especially critical, as it would seem obvious that one needs a baseline to support charges of political motivation.