American Idol and Monica Goodling

We have two new stars. One has actual talent the other has a talent for evasion.

Monica Goodling didn't show the signs of flop sweat her boss, Alberto Gonzales, did when pausing for what seemed like interminable seconds trying to think of the answer that wouldn't get her Bushie credentials revoked.

None-the-less, her ingenue looks more than her import on the national scene had so many drooling male photographers in the well that it they had to be told several times by committee chairman John Conyers, Jr. to move their horny butts out of the way before they reluctantly complied.

According to the New York Times, one member of the House committee even took pictures of her with his cell phone.

Republicans were so smitten by her looks and loyalty that not a one of them asked a substantive question. One even took his entire five minutes to read a newspaper article about Rep. John Murtha's lack of ethics.

Meanwhile on Fox, American Idol concluded last night with singing talent trumping a flashy but vocally challenged contestant. The attractive plus sized Jordin Sparks proved that millions of Idol fans care more about superb vocal chops than the chop-socky beatboxing (definition) of runner-up Blake Lewis.

The party line among Republicans on the U.S. attorney scandal can be summarized by Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr's comment: “It seems to me that with this fishing expedition there ain’t no fish in the water, and we’ve spent an awful lot of time and an awful lot of money finding that out.”

The Republicans are wrong.

Monica Goodling's testimony didn't put a smoking gun in anyone's hand, but it did demonstrate that there are still crucial unanswered questions about dirty politics and possible illegalities in the Justice Department and the White House. ( Read the New York Times editorial "Witness for the Prosecutors" here, and Dana Milbank in The Washington Post here.)

All the Republicans have going for them in this case is distracting rhetoric designed to get people to ignore the mounting evidence that the Bush administration has been hiding the most egregious and probably illegal presidential power grab in our history behind style.

Jordin Sparks offered a golden voice and millions of fans awarded her the Idol crown. She proved that sometimes substance wins over style.

Maybe there is some hope for America if American Idol is any indication.