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The Justice Department's Tracy Schmaler and 3 Characteristics of Political Thugs

Schmaler’s high-salaried thuggery has three characteristics common to political thugs.

First, like Schmaler, political thugs don’t think they are doing anything wrong.  Thugs are convinced of their cause.  They can’t imagine anyone questioning them.  The moral among us call her behavior “the ends justifying the means.”  Schmaler, and most likely her overlords like Eric Holder and James Cole, apparently don’t see anything wrong with her behavior, else they would no longer pay her enormous salary ($161,289).

Second, political thugs have an unintentionally comic element.  Schmaler’s clumsy and intimate relationship with Matt Gertz at Media Matters, while she hasn’t returned calls from Matt Boyle at the Daily Caller or Quin Hillyer at the American Spectator for years, is laughable.  Schmaler’s quick temper and screams are notorious among reporters, provoking bewildered chuckles.  She has yelled at Pete Williams of NBC, Sharyl Attkisson of CBS, Boyle, Hillyer, and many many more.

In most jobs, if you screamed at your customers (or, for that matter, anyone), you wouldn’t have a job for long -- unless of course your boss approves of such behavior.  The German verb "schmalern" means to reduce, narrow or belittle.  Tracy Schmaler has reduced and belittled the long dignified history of the Department of Justice where she works.

Third, while political thugs often have an unintentional comic streak, their behavior is deadly serious and destructive.  Consider that Schmaler has taken the lead in defending the murderous Fast and Furious program at DOJ.  She literally found herself in the disgraceful role of spinning away culpability for a government policy that killed people.

How convenient for a hip, young resident of the Beltway living in comfort.  While real people were dying real deaths, she enjoyed a fat salary for hiding the government behavior that caused it. She lied to the media about Fast and Furious and screamed at those she didn’t lie to.

Most of us wonder how someone like that sleeps at night.  But history is full of people, both petty and dangerous, who can sleep at night no matter what they do during the day.