The Right Also Sees Wrong in Attorney General

Early this week, long before his testimony (see below) before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales received a letter from the American Freedom Agenda, a group comprised of a few heavy-hitting conservatives. A mash note designed to steady Gonzales before his appearance before the Committee? Nope. A tepid show of support for the embattled Attorney General by his political allies? Nope. A biting demand that he resign? You got it.

"Mr. Gonzales has presided over an unprecedented crippling of the Constitution's time-honored checks and balances," the authors wrote. "He has brought the rule of law into disrepute, and debased honesty as the coin of the realm. He has engendered the suspicion that partisan politics trumps evenhanded law enforcement in the Department of Justice.... In sum, he has proven an unsuitable steward of the law and should resign for the good of the country." If the Attorney General were looking to his fellow Republicans to help him through his crisis he ought to start looking in a new direction. This is especially true after his lame (with gusts up to incomprehensible) appearance Thursday before the Committee, during which even the irrepressibly kooky Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) suggested that Gonzales leave his post. Unnamed "White House insiders" apparently agree.

Here is how the Times put it: "In more than five hours of often-combative testimony, Mr. Gonzales, grim-faced, clasping his hands and hunched over, struggled to offer a coherent explanation for the dismissals. He apologized for his mistakes in what he said was a flawed process, but defended the removal of eight United States attorneys as proper... His performance clearly exasperated the committee members, who were angered as he invoked a faulty memory more than 50 times. Republicans did not hold back in going after one of their party's own. Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, went so far as to call for Mr. Gonzales to resign, a demand made by only one other senator, Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. At the end of the hearing, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the panel, said, 'I think we have gone about as far as we can go,' adding, 'We have not gotten really answers.'

And here is how the Washington Post described Thursday's one-sided hearing: "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales came under withering attack from members of his own party yesterday over the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys, facing the first resignation demand from a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and doubts from others about his candor and his ability to lead the Justice Department. Gonzales appeared frustrated, weary and at times combative during a five-hour Senate panel hearing that was widely considered crucial to his bid to hold on to his job. He sought to present a careful defense of the firings, apologizing for the way they were handled but defending them as the 'right decision.'"

The chattering class in Washington had told us for weeks that his appearence before the Committee was a make-or-break opportunity for Gonzales either to clear his name and reputation and take firm hold of his job or to sink even further into the morass of the controversy surrounding the U.S. Attorney firings. If his appearance were a boxing match, the referee would have called it over in the fourth round. If it were a Little League game, the 10-run rule would have been implemented. If it were trial, the judge would have issued a directed verdict. Gonzales was evasive, incomplete, at times incoherent, and certainly unwilling or unable to fully or even adequately explain his role in the dismissal of the prosecutors. Make or break? Break. Broken. It's time for him to go.

By Andrew Cohen |  April 20, 2007; 7:45 AM ET agag
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Comments

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If the hearing had been the Gong Show, Hatch would have been gonged after about 10 seconds of "questioning." Time to retire, dawg, you're embarrassing yourself.

Unlike Pat and Chuck, who sounded partisan without shedding much light on anything, Feinstein was really good. Her questioning left the indelible impression that if no one at Justice made the decision as to who went on the "list," then the decision had have been made somewhere else. Gee, wonder where that could have been?

Sessions put substance above partisanship; the first and probably only time in my life I'll say something good about him.

Sheldon Whitehouse did a quality job in exposing the low bar that Gonzo had set in defining "inappropriate" reasons for firing a U.S. Attorney.

As for Gonzo himself, to put it in "Gonzospeak," he needs to be "added to the List." Real soon.

Lark Over

Posted by: Lark Over | April 20, 2007 09:01 AM

The Senate's next person to be heard on the political heave-ho given the U.S Attorneys in "The Gonzales Affair" will be none other than "El Jefe", George W, King of the We Do Not Recall... Those who were left in place by a previous king, the I Did Not Know Anything About That Ron Reagan.

Posted by: ka-albion | April 20, 2007 09:13 AM

Someone yesterday (I forget the source, so I can't reference it) said that Gonzales was behaving like a child caught in a lie. I think that comment was very accurate.

That's probably why Feinstein was so effective - her style of questioning (short questions, asking for simple answers) was best suited to dealing with that sort of behavior. That could be a good argument in favor of having more mothers in Congress; however, I would also hope that their skills wouldn't be needed, because most witnesses in front of Congressional committees should behave like competent professionals.

Also, what sort of bubble was the White House in, saying that Gonzales performed well? Or, are they telling the truth, and Gonzales' game plan was to behave like his boss, claiming responsibility while being completely ignorant of what he was claiming responsibility for?

Posted by: David | April 20, 2007 09:26 AM

BTW, it's Ronald Reagan, not Ron. His son, who actually goes by Ron, is much more respectable.

Posted by: David | April 20, 2007 09:29 AM

"irrepressibly kooky" ??? An otherwise good article loses all credibility when a term like that is used.

Posted by: ivan mccullough | April 20, 2007 09:42 AM

So is this how he performs after spending weeks practicing his testimony (with two extra days to work on it even)?

Posted by: Chris M | April 20, 2007 09:49 AM

"Bush was pleased with Gonzo's performance and still had confidence in him." Either Bush was delusional or he was afraid to fire Gonzo for fear that Gonzo could retaliate by revealing the 'truth' about this sorry mess and the real 'decider'.

I truly believe impeachment is in order!!!

Posted by: Chantilly VA | April 20, 2007 10:05 AM

Lark Over, I got the biggest smile from your comment about Sessions. I normally cringe every time I hear him, Gonzo, or King George speak. I wonder who they will appoint when(if)they realize it is truly over. Anyone out there betting on Harriet Miers to get the nomination?

Posted by: Tom | April 20, 2007 10:27 AM

Coburn is a little looney tunes though...

Posted by: Phil | April 20, 2007 10:31 AM

will there be any change in the leadership? I think not. Gonzo's strategy is clear: hunker down, apologize, and continue doing exactly what Bush wants.

There is no such thing as accountability in this administration. There is blame-always carefully apportioned to Democrats (and others who disagree) and quasi humble apologies.

to me the most enlightening moment was when Gonzo told-was is Lindsey Graham?-that the remedy was not his resignation, but rather that he stay in the job and that Graham should help him do that.

what will the committee do now? likely not much.

Posted by: susan | April 20, 2007 10:34 AM

My bet is that Orrin Hatch will be Gonzo`s replacement. He alone was supportive of Gonzo, in an apparent effort to show that WH that he can play ball. Loyalty to the WH and party is, after all, the most important trait anyone can have in Dumbya`s world. And Gonzo did just what he practiced and practiced doing - running through a gauntlet without giving anything away. He did no say one damn thing.

Posted by: PJWhite530 | April 20, 2007 11:00 AM

It is not about left or right, instead about right and wrong.

Posted by: dee illuminati | April 20, 2007 11:07 AM

We will see who knows what when those RNC emails are recovered by computer forensics.

Shumer is absolutely correct that all arrows point toward the White House.

And if the President doesn't have the guts to remove that sorry sack of dog poo as Attorney General, then Congress should do it for him.

Posted by: Nellie | April 20, 2007 11:11 AM

claiming the OPR (office of professional responsibility) was not politically affecte under oath, after the security clearances were revoked to look into the matter by the POTUS, and then an issuance of those same clearances to investigate the leak of the non-warranted electronic eavesdropping, was breathtaking in candor. Gonzales should resign as a consequence of the resignation of FISA judge Robertson and the allowance of the AG to discontinue an investigation of the OPR. HE SHOULD GO!!!

Posted by: dee illuminati | April 20, 2007 11:12 AM

Orrin Hatch as AG? Well if Orin wants to carry the water in the Gonzales bucket, if he wants to carry that water, allow it! But his experience should include the understanding of the word perjury when he testifies under oath to the committee that he once chaired.

Posted by: dee illuminati | April 20, 2007 11:14 AM

Please-White House-Do you get it now about your morally bankrupt, clueless Department of Justice executives? Get them OUT-NOW!

The hapless, squirming, absent-on-the-job-clueless Gonzales, the sleazy, lying Paul McNulty- folks don't forget, McNulty LIED to Congress when he gave his testimony, and then blamed his 33 year old aide? What are you kidding me? Is this how a man with integrity, who is in the #2 position at DOJ, who deals with the nuts and bolts of the operation, conducts himself? I think the WH can do better!

And of course the little southern blond lady who has never tried a case, civil or criminal, in her entire career, much less been a prosecutor, but hey, so what? If you're the protege of Michael Chertoff, then the world is yours, including being the Asst. Atty. Gen. for DOJ's Criminal Division-presiding over some of the most complex criminal prosecutions in the country-utterly clueless!

And why DOESN'T the WH call Robert McCallum back from Australia to make HIM the AG -there is a true lawyer's lawyer, respected by all- is it possible that the WH could actually find people who are COMPETENT to hold the senior positions at DOJ? Is that so difficult for the WH to comprehend, that our system of justice suffers terribly when incompetent, clueless, overly politicized hacks are put into such crucial government positions?

Out, Out, Unclean Spot! Where IS Janet Reno when you need her?

Posted by: SpaceExplorer | April 20, 2007 11:19 AM

It*s over Alberto. You are now toast, officially. Please find the nearest sword and fall on it!

Posted by: J. Yoo | April 20, 2007 11:36 AM

Bush is going to die in the last ditch (figuratively!) rather than demand that Gonzo go. Why? The pressure on Bush to name an honest and competent new AG will be irresistable; the Democratic Senate will confirm nothing less. (Think: Edward Levi, Elliott Richardson.) Gonzo's successor will be charged with cleaning up the mess in the DoJ and with pursuing whatever other illegalities this administration has been perpetrating. (Legion, we can be sure.) Disreputable as Gonzo is, his continuity as AG is all that stands between Bush and what will probably be a flood of investigations and indictments.

So Bush is going to stand by Gonzo, come hell or high water. If Gonzo goes, it'll have to come from Gonzo himself, quite likely as part of cutting a deal to avoid really deep--and personal--legal trouble.

And want to bet that as Bush finally walks out the White House door (How long, O Lord, how long?"), one of his parting shots will be a pardon to Gonzo.

Posted by: jm917 | April 20, 2007 11:42 AM

---->... it doesn't if you've followed Sen. Coburn's tenure in the Senate...


["irrepressibly kooky" ??? An otherwise good article loses all credibility when a term like that is used.

Posted by: ivan mccullough | ]April 20, 2007 09:42 AM

Posted by: fendertweed | April 20, 2007 11:43 AM

The replacement's name was already floated on "Meet the Press." It will be Orrin Hatch. His softball questioning yesterday was like the infamous kiss in the Godfather. "You broke my heart Gonzo. You broke my heart."

All that's left now is the obligatory press conference where King George calls Gonzo, "the greatest AG in the history of the world and a real patriot." Gonzo will then wax poetically (or not) about the many great things they've done together and then tell us how he's "stepping down to spend more time with his family and take the spotlight off of me because the work of the DOJ is more important than just one man. By golly, the work of the many loyal people in the DOJ is vital to the future of all mankind...except for democrats."

Posted by: gtaylor301 | April 20, 2007 12:07 PM

I wonder how long the American people and the people who represent them (on both sides of the isle) can continue to put up with these liers. Lies, lies, and more lies. I for one want these people fired and tried, and to have this administration held to account for taking our wonderful country to the toliet. They're a morally bankrupt group. With leaders like this who needs enemies???

Posted by: sondi | April 20, 2007 12:10 PM

Since King George won't remove him, can congress impeach ? Time to get the wheels rolling !

Posted by: Dave | April 20, 2007 12:19 PM

Kudos to Sen Specter for his line of questioning. ("Do you prepare for your press conferences?") Not only was it revealing, but very entertaining! Is anyone surprised that we've come to this?

Posted by: Rob | April 20, 2007 12:31 PM

When Porgie said he thought Gonzo was great...he thought they said Bonzo was great...He*d been up the night before eating popcorn with his best friend Barney watching the Reagan classic *Bedtime for Bonzo*...the star of the film looks oddly like Porgie..

Posted by: willandjansdad | April 20, 2007 12:33 PM

In the end it is the Republicans who will stick the last knife in George W. Bush's legacy. Et tu Coburn ?

Posted by: Joe Don | April 20, 2007 12:37 PM

I listened to the hearing on public radio, and after the first half-hour, it was obvious that all of Little Al's "preparation" for the hearing was memorizing "I don't recall."

His defense of the firings ring hollow when he couldn't remember the reasons these eight were "targeted." Sen. Feinstein's quoted DOJ letter about Carol Lam's high regard over immigration cases made Little Al look like a total fool, if not simply a liar.

Same with the exchanges about his assuring Sen. Pryor about Senate confirmation when four days later, his chief of staff Sampson drafts detailed plans to avoid any confirmation.

Certainly should be a lot of senators wondering how they ever could have confirmed him in the first place. Oh yes, that was when the Senate was controlled by Republicans!

Posted by: pacman | April 20, 2007 12:43 PM

Sen. Coburn has demonstrated many times(paste link below, thanks to Think Progress) that he has a tenuous hold on reality. That being said, yesterday the good Dr. made the clearest,on point remark of the whole session. Coburns' demand that the same reasons and standards supposedly used by Gonzales himself for the firing of the eight US Attys. be applied in this case was cogent, necessary and fair. The arrogance, self importance and detachment portrayed in Gonzales' reply was indicative of the contempt and disdain he and the rest of this administration have for the positions they hold and the American people as well.
http://thinkprogress.org/2005/09/13/coburns-hypocrisy-a-crying-shame/

Posted by: djcrow22 | April 20, 2007 12:55 PM

It's a really sorry and undignified spectacle to see these administration types, like Gonzales and Wolfowitz, Cheney and Bush, hold on to their offices and power. And like snakes that are not entirely dead yet, when you think they can't do any more harm, they strike you in the back (abortion issue, releasing a Cuban criminal). They need to go and soon.

Posted by: | April 20, 2007 12:56 PM

Libby, Gonzo who goes next to protect Rove

Posted by: | April 20, 2007 01:01 PM

This is the head law enforcement official in the U.S.? This sock puppet, this incompetent dogsbody of this corrupt Republican administration is the person who is to set the example of justice and fairness for our citizens? Gonzo is a pathetic idiot is a perfect metaphor for the brazen liars in the White House.

Posted by: mikeasr | April 20, 2007 01:07 PM

This is no way to treat the next Medal of Freedom recipient.

Posted by: drexelterp | April 20, 2007 01:14 PM

Well what's next? Ringling Bros. How about the committee IMMEDIATELY subpoena Fitz's RNC e-mails to hang Rove, Meirs, and Duhhhbya even if it's in abstencia like our government.

Posted by: jimmy l | April 20, 2007 01:30 PM

Much as I'd like to see Hatch out of the Senate, it's just not gonna happen. And he is not close enough to B/C to protect them like Al does. I think the observation that they will try and keep Al is correct - to name just one issue, it looks like the FBI has been following Bush's signing statements instead of the actual law he signed (with the national security letters), and at the very least, and AG who takes his oath seriously would put a stop to that sort of thing. B/C are in trying to ram through everything they can before January '09, and changing AG now would make that harder. Even someone as background as Ted Olson would face a tough hearing at this point.

Posted by: 333 | April 20, 2007 01:57 PM

what a man sows that shall he also reap and that goes for the nation as well. we only get what we deserve.

Posted by: jackson | April 20, 2007 02:16 PM

What a pathetic excuse for a lawyer and a Cabinet officer! If Bush won*t fire him, he should be impeached. I mean by that statement that Bush should be impeached.

Posted by: H5N1 | April 20, 2007 02:30 PM

This little Hispanic man with a whiny voice is simply too arrogant to step aside, and his boss is too stubborn to ask him. Will he force a Trifecta impeachment of Bush, Cheney and himself?

Posted by: JTSpangler | April 20, 2007 02:58 PM

I do Hill work, and while Coburn is a little loony, he's great. He's a real stand-up Senator. I would never want to have a conversation with him about Roe v. Wade, but he's thorough and sharp.

Posted by: Gen | April 20, 2007 03:03 PM

In a rundown of the key figures at DOJ, NPR ran the following about Monica Goodling yesterday-and it is important, because it is not only Gonzalez's leadership at issue, but the slimy Paul McNulty must NOT be overlooked here- he, who used his previous Hill contacts to smooth over the fact that he lied before Congress, telling Schumer that "I gave inaccurate testimony before Congress, because an aide provided the wrong information to me." That is the MOST outrageous thing that I have heard, to date!

Monica Goodling: Until April 7, Goodling served as senior counsel to Gonzales and as liaison to the White House. She was in a key position to know what role the White House played in developing the plan to dismiss the U.S. attorneys, and her name is all over the Justice Department e-mails that have been released about the firings.

Goodling declined to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, pleading her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. In an affidavit sent to the committee, she cited the fact that "a senior Justice Department official" had blamed her for his false testimony. Shortly thereafter, she quit her job at the Justice Department.

But Congress still wants to hear from Goodling: The House Judiciary Committee is considering granting her immunity and forcing her to testify.

Oh Please, Monica, do the country a favor, take the grant of immunity and BURN McNulty and DOJ on this!

Posted by: spaceexplorer | April 20, 2007 03:08 PM

Who will Bush choose to replace Gonzalez?

How about Fred Thompson!

Posted by: Anon | April 20, 2007 03:28 PM

Isn't it fascinating that GWB's nickname for Alberto Gonzalez is "Fredo." Remember what happened to him in the "Godfather"! Karl Rove is climbing into the back seat right now!

Posted by: Rick | April 20, 2007 03:38 PM

americans, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...

Posted by: jwh | April 20, 2007 05:42 PM

Well, the Madness of King George has apparently spread to the AG and Rove, so far as we can tell.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 20, 2007 06:23 PM

Help, my Red Regime of Lies has fallen and it can not get up! - Fearful Leader Red Comrade Bush to his apparatchik comrades in their daschas on the Beltway summer vacation resorts, whilst playing golf (and cheating at it)

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 20, 2007 06:51 PM

If Bush and Gonzales are of the opinion that Gonzales should stay because he has not behaved unethically and dishonestly then what will it take before either of them would think that resignation is appropriate?

After watching West Wing I think that Bush should resign and Jimmy Smits or Alan Alda should replace him. Anyone or anything would be better than Cheney. A broken brick would make a better president than Bush because it is not so thick.

Posted by: Robert James | April 20, 2007 09:52 PM

Gonzalez' testimony was so unenlightening that it leaves me with no reasonable doubt that the impetus for these firings originated and was maintained not in the Department of Justice, but in the White House with the Bush-Cheney-Rove axis of evil. The issue was never the administration of justice or management skills, but the preservation of executive power and regaining of legislative power, i.e., the 2008 elections and using the powers of federal prosecutors to further Republican power interests. Recall the DOJ memo about preparing for the political firestorm that would predictably result from the firings. These folks would not be willing to trigger the expected negative fallout from the firings if the only gain were increased managerial efficiencies at local US attorneys offices or fine tuning prosecutorial discretion on how to allocate prosecutorial resources. Power is the coin of the realm in politics: gaining it, keeping it or regaining it once lost. Power is what the US attorney mess is about. Gonzales has played his part in the drama perfectly and in keeping with his history as a consummate sycophant. He falls on the sword for his patron GWB. He looks like an incompetent buffoon to mask the darker truths about what has happened and why. What a disgrace.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | April 21, 2007 08:48 AM

Thank god we still have two years to look into this. If they think they can just run out the clock, they're wrong. ````````````` faye kane, homeless smartmouth ``` blog.myspace.com/fayekane `` HEY:WE CAN USE BACKQUOTES! ```

Posted by: Faye Kane, homeless brain | April 21, 2007 09:47 AM

I think many reporters buried Thursday's lede -- in fact many did not even mention the big story from the Gonzales hearings.

It is significant that GOP Senators treated Gonzales testimony with skepticism--especially from a political standpoint.

But in terms of institutional questions the big detail that emerged was the one raised in Sen. Whitehouse's final line of questioning. Apparently under Clinton's administration (and I suspect others before it), only FOUR members of the White House were authorized to communicate with THREE DOJ staffers in reference to ongoing criminal and civil litigation. Very clear lines of responsibility.

However, under Gonzales and George W. Bush there are now FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY ONE members of the White House who have have authorization to contact THIRTY ONE DOJ officials regarding ongoing criminal and civil litigation.

The chart at the bottom of this Slate article nicely illustrates this situation:

http://www.slate.com/id/2164652/pagenum/2

In terms of the practical implications of this policy it becomes very easy to see how improper and blatantly illegal contacts between the White House and main DOJ could occur. No clear lines of responsibility, no oversight, and an incredibly poor management model.

This issue may not be as sexy as the Anna Nicole paternity question, but in terms of practical implications this one actually has very real consequences for ordinary Americans.

On what basis would an ordinary member of the White House political staff have for communicating with a member of the Department of Justice on an ongoing criminal or civil litigation matter?

Even if the ordinary member was made aware of an issue from a local constituent, it would seem proper to bring those requests up the chain of command within the White House so that there would be a way of filtering out inappropriate or illegal requests. The Bush administration had no process in place for vetting out inappropriate or illegal requests.

Posted by: JP2 | April 21, 2007 09:52 AM

To sum it all up, here's a headline from the New York Daily News:

"BEDTIME FOR GONZO"


Posted by: Lark Over | April 21, 2007 10:10 AM

Please read Dahlia Lithwick*s artilce on Slate today (April 21).
[www.slate.com]. She puts forth a canny explanation for Gonzales* terrible appearance before the Senate committee.

Posted by: Fairfax | April 21, 2007 01:13 PM

anyone who thinks anyone in the Bush WH will ever tell the truth or take accountability for ANYTHING should do the world a favor and drink the Koolaid now.
i've been around since Truman and W is the worst president by a wide margin.
i used to think that of Nixon, but compared to W, Nixon was a genius and a brilliant statesman.

Posted by: flipthatswitch | April 21, 2007 02:39 PM

Just Think:
13 more months of watching this administration acting like Jack Lighted deer and the primaries will be over. The radical right rill have triumphed over a totally demoralized moderate Republican mob, and "THE Base" will march off to be really and truly pure in their pursuit of a return to power. The Republican center will be left with a choice of voting for some Third party, Voting for the Democrats, or staying home.

I remember the mountainside falling on Barry and his boys, and this offers to be even bigger.

But...

If a real centrist Party were to form NOW, they might actually carry the White House and enough of Congress to bargain for Majority Status.

Will the Moderates find a WigWam and call to order the "American Centrist Party?"

Nah, makes too much sense.

Posted by: crazycattail | April 21, 2007 08:57 PM

It is time for our law makers to remove the law breakers from office by any means necessary...Time to take out the trash!

Posted by: braultrl | April 22, 2007 01:52 PM

I think most of you miss the point. Gonzo is, as highly placed as he is, just the messenger, and the Senate hearings were just shooting the messenger. Yes he should go, but the real decision maker is Karl Rove, and Monica Goodling is the go-between; probably why she is trying to plead the 5th. Of course since there is no crime alleged, she may not have that defense to appearing and speaking. And if as one of you pointed out, the House grants immunity, she does not have the option of refusing it. She must appear, and she must testify, which ought to be verrrrry interesting. BUT, the real issue here is Karl Rove using the Justice Dept to target Democrat contenders for state office, and for stalling or stopping investigations of Repubs. All Gonzo was appearing to do was to run interference and act as decoy to take the scent off Rove. Will the Senate take the false track? Stay tuned...

Posted by: Leschatdeux | April 22, 2007 11:14 PM

Everyone thinks that the Attorney General should resign because of his glaringly obvious incompetence in the role, his loss of support among republicans on the Hill, and because he is a perceived distraction to other administration priorities. How do we know that Gonzales has not already offered his resignation? All we really know is that the White House continues to issue statements of support for the AG. Perhaps Gonzales has actually offered his resignation and the president, for reasons of not wanting to embolden the democrats, most likely refused to throw his friend overboard. If President Bush would not fire Don Rumsfeld following the Abu Ghraib scandal even though Rumsfled offered to resign, why on earth would he jettison Gonzales, a longtime friend whom he'd hoped to put on the Supreme Court? After all, Gonzales was simply carrying out the White House's wishes to replace certain US attorneys, who ALL agree, serve at the pleasure of the president. I agree with Dahlia Lithwick, that Bush, as the "unitary executive" who cedes nothing to Congress or the courts in following laws as explicit as FISA, would NEVER allow senators or representatives of EITHER party to infringe on his presidential prerorogatives of who should serve in his administration, be they US attorneys or the AG himself. It took sledge hammers to get Bush to withdraw Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination (conservative howls of protest) and to finally fire Rumsfeld (a "thumpin'" at the ballot box). As someone who values loyalty over competence, Bush will turn a deaf ear to his critcs rather than turn on his friend.

Posted by: Sean | April 23, 2007 10:52 AM

King George isn't exactly known for traveling in intellectual circles. He might doodle some on the page while his aides tell him about the daily massacres in Iraq, or about (yet another)politically motivated scandal in his administration, but....I don't think he really gives a damn about the country as a whole. He's put his private feelings well above and beyond whats best in the public interest. Letting a (yet another) incompetent friend take the heat for what really is his failing to understand the nuances of American politics. I would think that Gonzeles himself could figure out the amount of scorn and ridicule he heaps onto the DOJ by staying. Michael Brown must not have been a real Bushie!

Posted by: Suzanne | April 23, 2007 11:08 AM

Gonzales was not really liked by conservatives before this from what I have
seen. After the arrest and conviction of the border patrol agents in the
shooting an unarmed illegal alien carrying 700 lbs of marijuana they were very
anti-Gonzales. The argument that unarmed civilians should not be shot is
reasonable to a point, I do agree with the conservatives on some of their
views on the incident though.

The DOJ went into Mexico and offered the illegal alien amnesty on the drug
charges. He had talked to someone in Mexico that knew someone in Texas, that
knew someone else that called the DOJ.

Until reading the case I had not realized how little authority the border
patrol has. The current laws make them pretty useless to stop illegal
immigration, terrorists, and drug import. After reading how it all works, I
have to wonder why they bother making these things illegal anyhow. The only
one they plan on prosecuting is "terrorists" in reality. They system seems to
work oddly. Illegal immigrants we only go for on the border, the same with
terrorists. Drugs we only only go for if they are in the US, usually at the
buyer level, not crossing the border.

The Iraq war isn't worth fighting for, I was never for it or Bush.
Politicians seem across the board to belive that we must fight Iran if they do
not do as we wish though. Not that we have any evidence there either. I
don't think its worth fighting Iran either. Once America a country of the
people again maybe it will be worth risking the peoples life for. Not now.

Posted by: wmb | April 24, 2007 01:36 PM

Some things are obvious to anyone in a room, regardless of race, religion, gender, or political leaning. If the room is on fire, if the room is freezing, if the music is deafening, everyone reacts the same.
If there's an idiot babbling in the corner without making any sense in a language that's consistent with an immigrant plumber rather than a nationally recognized lawyer, everyone will notice; ultimately, everyone will just want him to go away. so it is with "Albert the Stupid". Even Novak, the Cognessetti of the Fascisti has tired of him.

Posted by: Malach Hamovess | April 26, 2007 04:46 PM

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