Hat Tip to ProgressiveSouth

There are so many people in the Bush Administration resigning in disgrace on any given week that it’s hard to keep track. But Alphonso Jackson’s tenure is particularly notable for its callousness and incompetence.

Perhaps nothing expresses Jackson’s attitude towards his responsibility as housing secretary more than this anecdote, at the bottom of the Times report:

In 2004, less than two months after his confirmation as housing secretary, Mr. Jackson told a House panel that he believed poverty “is a state of mind, not a condition.” Two years later, he said in a speech that he had canceled a contract for a company after its president told him that he did not like Mr. Bush. Mr. Jackson later said he had made the story up.

Actually, poverty is the state of being broke. And under Jackson’s tenure, there are more people broke than ever. Thanks to the Bush Administration’s slow response to the mortgage crisis, the black middle class is losing its most important resources–the homes so many worked so hard to buy, which are now plummeting in value and being lost to foreclosures.

But of course, it’s not just “poverty” that is a state of mind–it must also be “homelessness.” That would explain Jackson’s callous remarks in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, “it’s not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again,” a pretty ominous statement for someone who was at least partially responsible for helping to rebuild homes for residents displaced by Katrina. Jackson was probably still thinking of “homelessness” as a state of mind when he diverted funds earmarked for affordable housing in New Orleans on luxury hotels and casinos.

I suppose you could also refer to “corruption” as a state of mind, especially after Jackson spent his career as HUD secretary hooking up his buddies with lucrative no-bid contracts…it’s kind of hard to imagine anyone in this administration getting in trouble for that though, isn’t it?

The problem is the FBI tend to see corruption as a “crime” rather than a “state of mind”, and they were apparently suspicious after Jackson threatened a developer in Philadelphia with retaliation from the federal government if he didn’t agree to sell one of his properties at a substantial discount.

Jackson’s behavior has led him to a new state of mind today, “resignation”. And if the FBI has a strong case, Jackson might be experiencing a few other states of mind, like “arrest,” “trial,” and “incarceration.”

Related Posts with Thumbnails