No Confidence? How About No Shame?

Put yourself in Alberto R. Gonzales's skin today for just a moment. As the 80th attorney general of the United States, you have contributed to and presided over a period of infamy at the Justice Department you purport to lead. Even as Congress contemplates a barrage of subpoenas that would escalate this scandal, the Senate today will hold a "no confidence" vote about your dismal tenure -- and it is a certainty the measure will pass with some bipartisan support.

Only your long relationship with your stubborn patron, President Bush, has kept you in office -- but he continues each day to pay a political price for his loyalty, sounding more and more loony when defending you. You clearly aren't wanted any longer -- you clearly aren't doing right by the public you are supposed to be serving -- so why don't you just leave?

Really. If you worked in an environment like the one Gonzales currently works in, wouldn't you want to leave? Wouldn't you want to get away from a place -- Washington -- that has turned its collective back on you? I know I would.

But you and I are not Gonzales. He won't leave because he would rather cling desparately, even pathetically, to a job that no reasonable person wants him to hold any longer. He won't leave because he figures that things can only get worse for him when he leaves the cocoon of government for the private sector. He won't leave even though he fairly owes it to his boss to free him from this mess. He won't leave because that would be the courageous and honorable thing to do, and if he had an excess of those qualities there would have been no U.S. attorney scandal in the first place, at least not on his watch.

No confidence? Sure. How about no shame?

When the moment came to defend the independence and authority of his prosecutors, Gonzales remained silent (or, worse, he conspired against his attorneys and career officials within his purview). When the moment came to ensure that professionalism and not partisanship was the order of the day at Justice, he looked the other way. When the moment came to take responsibility for the sins of his subordinates, he eventually blamed them. And, finally, when the moment came to tell all he knew about the U.S. attorney scandal, Gonzales suddenly and conveniently became amnesiastic -- where he remains today, even as the subpoenas are locked and loaded.

This morning's question is not how many senators go on the record as saying they have "no confidence" in the attorney general. The real story is which senators vote against the measure, and why. I for one would love to hear a lawmaker rationally defend Gonzales' conduct and leadership over the past few years -- and explain to all of us why this is all we have a right to expect and demand from a high-ranking public servant.

By Andrew Cohen |  June 11, 2007; 7:58 AM ET agag
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There is also value to the vote in terms of "going on the record". The vote will say everything that needs to be said about the Senators.

Those who vote to prevent this measure from coming to the floor, are voting for Gonzales. They are voting for a bare criminal standard as the bar by which future Attorney Generals should be measured in their fitness for the job. If this vote fails, it should make confirmation hearings in the future much easier.

Posted by: JP2 | June 11, 2007 09:36 AM

It is clear from this adminsitration's history that Mr. Gonzales has played a lead role in the executive power grab. From the shameful and disgraceful "torture memo" to the "illegal surveilance" of our citizenry, the AG has supported the executive's odious policies. Although he obviously needs to resign as measure of accountability, president Bush cannot allow it as that would mean being held accountable himself.

Posted by: James Bird | June 11, 2007 10:20 AM

"Shameless" does appear to be the perfect description of Gonzales. Democrats want him gone, Republicans want him gone, independents want him gone, DOJ subordinates want him gone, the only guys who want him in place are Bush, Cheney, and Rove. The only explanation for his persistence in refusing to leave and Bush's refusal to push him out the door is that they are jointly participants in serious wrongdoing. They both fear turning over the Department of Justice to someone else, especially to an upright AG who would win confirmation in the Senate without a big fight. This is not just an example of Bush's high value on personal loyalty. The legal and political costs of replacing Gonzales are considerably higher than the costs of keeping him. Gonzales doesn't pull the plug on Bush for the same reason Bush doesn't pull the plug on Gonzales. They've got the goods on each other. We're stuck with them.

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogtrhop | June 11, 2007 10:23 AM

In the link for "loony": "I'll make the determination as to whether he's effective."? So the rest of the public other than the president has no say and isn't affected by whatever actions an Attorney General might do?

Posted by: Fred | June 11, 2007 01:05 PM

As I too would like to hear the senator's ratinale, do they even give individual reasons for their votes? In the way of rational arguments for positions, I haven't heard much in that way from them for a long time.

Posted by: Sy | June 11, 2007 01:09 PM

As I too would like to hear the senator's rationale, do they even give individual reasons for their votes? In the way of rational arguments for positions, I haven't heard much in that way from them for a long time.

Posted by: Sy | June 11, 2007 01:09 PM

Can the president get away with a statement as the above, that only he decides the merit of the Attorney General? I can't imagine previous presidents making such a statement, certainly not before Reagan (even Nixon, despite some of his actions). Is there some reason he can just say he is "the decider" in various contexts, and that is just accepted as in "Oh true, good point, I didn't think of that, you must be right"?

Posted by: F | June 11, 2007 01:17 PM

It is becomming increasingly obvious that the Administration WANTS the confrontation. Only impeachment proceedings against Gonzales will do what needs doing. The question, then, is what advantage do they think they get by forcing the Senate's hand on Gonzales? Is this a diversion? If so, from what?

Posted by: Nellie | June 11, 2007 01:26 PM

Semi-unrelated question to Mr. Cohen and all the ships at sea:

What is the prevailing knowledge about how much of the torture memo and other such work came from David Addington versus our friend Alberto?

Posted by: Wondering | June 11, 2007 02:00 PM

I think if many within the administration had their way Gonzales would be gone already. Gonzales is still in his position because of George W. Bush's concern with public appearances, not because of any ingenious master plan. That's my read at least.

I think this administration stumbles into confrontations simply because that's what inept managers do. The idea of using the U.S. Attorneys office to advance party interests in advance of the 2008 election was just stupid to begin with. The president's inability/lack of interest/complete cluelessness will only continue to exacerbate the problem.

Posted by: JP2 | June 11, 2007 02:26 PM


Alberto doesn't strike me as a detail/idea man so much as a conduit/enabler. I suspect the ideas originated in the OVP, Alberto and the President who had no deeply considered opinions of their own on the issue, agreed. The rest is history.

I would add, when I say that Gonzales is not an "idea man," I am not implying that Alberto Gonzales is stupid. I think he's a pretty smart guy--you don't get into Rice and Harvard Law from humble circumstances purely as a charity case.

Gonzales's problem is that--from a professional standpoint--he has no separate will or individual conscience. Those are qualities that could make him a pretty good corporate litigator, but they are terrible qualities in a public servant--especially in an Attorney General.

Posted by: JP2 | June 11, 2007 02:51 PM

Simply, follows directions, a functionary, careful to stay on the right side, with all the implications of that in different situations. One should have serious problems with that in certain circumstances.

Posted by: t | June 11, 2007 03:34 PM

Has everyone forgotten what happened when Clinton took office? I believe the same thing... many people lost their jobs!(partisan politics without regard for individuals and their families.) It goes both way's so I'm not sure why Gonzales is getting so much heat. Perhaps because we now have a democratic majority? Let's not loose sight of the fact that nothing has been done since the newbies took office unless you call bickering and grand-standing progress!

Posted by: Shoe | June 11, 2007 04:43 PM

To Shoe's post:

The difference is that Clinton didn't "politicize" the DOJ, as Bush and his cronies did. Also, I don't remember Janet Reno doing the illegal, immoral, and unethical things that Gonzales and his DOJ are doing.

When everything is going wrong for the Repugs, the mantry still seems to 'Just blame Clinton'....that's getting old and tired.

Posted by: J | June 11, 2007 05:20 PM

Shoe: If you would like to link to some articles about how Janet Reno supported gutting the Geneva Conventions or supported torture or instituted a policy of firing US Attorneys in the middle of their terms because they weren't "Clinton loyalists". . . then a lot of us are all ears. Otherwise, shut your ignorant mouth and quit with the dishonest, disingenous and just plain wrong analogies. No administration -- Republican or Democratic -- in modern history has done the kind of gutting to the integrity of the Justic Dept. as this administration has done.

Posted by: Christian in NYC | June 11, 2007 05:30 PM

It's not enough that liberals cannot get a fair trial from the loyal bushies at the Justice Department; now, with installing cronies as judges, no one can even get a competent trial.

Posted by: xtopher | June 11, 2007 05:38 PM

C'mon partisans! I am really, really disappointed in you. You're not defending Gonzales? What's that? You'd rather read Ann Coulter when no one is looking?

You people are pathetic. You deserve to be out of power.

Posted by: toe-ster | June 11, 2007 05:42 PM

Gonzo knows so many of the skeletons in Bush's closet, Bush is trembling at even the thought of firing Gonzo.

Posted by: the decider | June 11, 2007 05:50 PM

If the democrats had been sneakier, they would have couched this as a resolution expressing confidence in the Attorney General rather than one condemning him. It would be hard for any of the Republican Senators to vote against cloture, and it would interesting to see who if any would vote for passage.

Posted by: msj | June 11, 2007 05:51 PM

To JP2, "... Gonzales is not an 'idea man.' ..." but not stupid, since he got into Rice and Harvard. Well, yes. Not stupid. But not necessarily all that bright either. Remember, Gonzo got a political appointment to Air Force Academy, dropped out after a year, went to Rice--an ok place, granted--and then on to Harvard Law. Don't forget the tremendous weight of "affirmative action" and the sometimes idiocy of how a good idea was then being badly and mindlessly implemented, badly and mindlessly implemented meaning largely neglecting issues of individual quality altogether in deference to some objective group category. Even Bush likes to prate on about this poor Hispanic child from an impoverished large sharecropping family. Yeah, that's as tear-jerking as Clarence Thomas' background. But it doesn't make one all that bright by itself, and certainly not all that compassionate, socially-minded, justice-oriented, or morally and intellectually independent. Thomas, Gonzales, maybe Condi--all are poster-children of a socially just idea, affirmative action, implemented by politically-correct ideologues blind to the essential ingredient of quality. It just shows that reactionaries can take a good liberal idea and come up with a Thomas or a Gonzaels, and liberals are ham-strung and incapable of objecting. Hoisted on their own petard ...

Posted by: orray | June 11, 2007 05:57 PM

Orray, affirmative action candidates based on minority status are no less able than legacy students who get in to competitive programs based largely on family connections. In fact, the average candidate who got in via an affirmative action program almost certainly is a few notches above the person who got into a program based solely on legacy considerations.

The even more perverse form of affirmative action these days is one that is invented by this administration, which involves a religious and loyalty based standard. e.g. Monica Goodling, Brad Schlozman are two examples of professionals who couldn't compete in a truly competitive professional market; Paulose and Sampson had above average professional resumes compared to many peers, but were nevertheless advanced well above what their experience level merited.

In many respects this emblematic of Republicanism today.

The entire Republican political appartus seems to be one huge affirmative action program for low-performers and the ethically challenged. The results in recent years seem to bear this out. Even today's Gonzales vote is a shining example of who and what the Republican party is about these days: The party that rewards corruption and low expectations.

Apparently, it looks like that criminal standard is where the new bar for Attorney General performance is going to rest--thanks to some Bush Rubber Stamps. Meanwhile, ordinary Americans get screwed.

Posted by: JP2 | June 11, 2007 06:46 PM

It pisses me off that everytime the republicans don't like to cast an uncomfortable vote, they say that is a political stunt designed to embarass... Why does the press give them a free pass on this? Would the republicans prefer impeachment of Gonzo? Why do reepublican senators who expressed "no confidence" in Gonzo during the hearings get to vote no on this procedural vote without being called on it? Talk about a "political stunt"!

Posted by: NM Moderate | June 11, 2007 06:50 PM

You're pathetically biased. Readers, left and right despise you. You're self-hating. What would keep you writing for the Washington Post. No shame. That's right. You should see what they call you in Israeli newspapers. And still you won't leave. The Senate voted down the measure you predicted would pass with bipartisan support and you're still on the job! Shame. No shame. you or the WP

Posted by: bill in gaza | June 11, 2007 06:58 PM

In Texas we have know about Alberto for some time, As Texas Attny General he never once reviewed any death row executions cases. In one case the person being executed wanted to save his last meal desert until after the execution because he thought he was coming right back. This case was after the Supreme Court ruled that executing the mentaly challenged should be stopped. He presided over 300 executions in Texas, any guess as to how many were innocent?

Posted by: American First | June 11, 2007 06:59 PM

Alberto Gonzales will resign on the day the President tells him to. The President may decide he prefers to fire him.

But it is ludicrous to assume that AG is doing anything except following marching orders.

I wrote Senator Schumer a letter telling him that as a liberal Democrat I thought that a vote of no-confidence was frivolous.

AG has repeatedly misled the Congress. It is an impeachable offense.

If the House of Representatives won't impeach the AG, the Senate should just leave that matter alone.

Has anyone even asked the House about impeachment?

Posted by: B | June 11, 2007 06:59 PM

Harvard Law School I believe
Large law firm experience in Texas

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 07:07 PM

As a late poster, I'm sorry to say that your reasonable prediction is wrong: the "no confidence" vote did not pass. Passing it should have been a no-brainer, but apparently these folks are not only lacking a brain, but a few other parts as well.

Posted by: | June 11, 2007 07:10 PM

I really have to hand it to the Republicans in Congress; there is a grand tradition to "going down with the ship." Down they shall go.

Pity they don't care more about the country they were elected to serve .. than about their loyalty to a loser.

Posted by: Chris Fox | June 11, 2007 07:13 PM

Once again, the republicans have shown that loyalty to the party is placed above their elected duty to their constituents and country. If there ever was a person who should be replaced as the head of the Department of Justice it is Gonzales who has shown his contempt for the law ever since he took office.
Sure, republicans will blame it on "politics" but then that is their excuse for anything when they don't like that the vote is against a republican. Now you can rest assured that if Gonzales was a democrat he would have been impeached ages ago.
What a shame that a country who demands democracy and the rule of law from everyone else in the world can not display anything other than contempt for it when it comes to enforcing it or even respecting it, in their own country.

Posted by: foreign visitor | June 11, 2007 07:16 PM

All Republican senators should be removed from office. They, as well as Bush, Cheney and Gonzalez, should be removed from office and disgraced in the eyes of their constituencies. However, they have a fix on that too -- just become lobbyists! They have worked deligently to destroy this country and should be punished, ridiculed and exposed for the greedy, dishonest and wasteful way they have served in the senate. They have made the senate a joke throughout the world! As hard-working taxpayers, we deserve better. It never ceases to amaze me, they had nothing when they came into the senate but will all leave (hopefully soon} as millionaires. That has to say something about how corrupt they are. What we need is a second revolution!!

Posted by: Anne Kvestich | June 11, 2007 07:19 PM

I would point out the obvious:
The Republicans ( I include Senator Lieberman) have more to lose by the elimination of Gonzales as Attorney General than they stand to gain by admitting his criminal politicization of Justice.
If they take a principled stand against turning the Justice Department into the Republican Election Insurance Board they may gain self respect. But they will almost certainly lose the next several national elections.
From the horror of a "pre-emptive war" waged on doctored intelligence to the embrace of soviet style torture and imprisonment, the Republican led government has proven itself incompetent and un-American.
Only with the illegal assistance of a partisan legal system and a biased national press can they hope to escape their record of failures and follies.

Posted by: Shannon Parker | June 11, 2007 07:32 PM

This morning's question is not how many senators go on the record as saying they have "no confidence" in the attorney general. The real story is which senators vote against the measure, and why. I for one would love to hear a lawmaker rationally defend the shredding of White House visitor's records and reassignment of prosecutors pursuing Bush's Jack Abramoff cronies and vicious persecution of whistleblowers and explain to all of us why this is all we have a right to expect and demand from a high-ranking public servant.

If the democrats had been sneakier, they would have couched this as a resolution expressing confidence in the Attorney General rather than one condemning him. They still haven't learned to play the game. They still believe in the rule of law and that Bush's power grab was necessary to catch Osama bin Laden, not that a Pet Goat Lesson was necessary for a power grab.

The entire Republican political appartus seems to be one huge affirmative action program for faith-based low-performers and white male ethically challenged and the deadly Florida mafia.

We saw today how they get away with it at the top. That is the same way they get away with much worse at the state, local and elite level.

Posted by: The Outlaw State | June 11, 2007 07:34 PM

The reason the Rethuglican senators won't allow a no-confidence in Gonzales can be found in a saying from Benjamin Franklin: "If we don't hang together, we shall all hang seperately." It's an old human instinct, even older than pioneers circling the wagons to defend against attack from Indians, as old as a herd of buffalo putting their rumps together and sticking their heads outward to fend off a pack of wolves. If you let a weak member of your mob get picked off, that's one less body standing between you and the onslaught.

So if this criminally incompetent Gonzales goes, then the righteous investigators will go after the next target. Rethug senators sense this. As each new person in the executive branch is thoroughly disgraced, more of the stench will stick to their party. So they're not throwing Gonzales under the bus -- they're strapping his political corpse to the front of the bus, to absorb the investigatory bullets their opposition is shooting at them.

Posted by: Bukko in Australia | June 11, 2007 07:35 PM

Senators Biden, Dodd, Obama, Brownback and McCain were among those who did not vote.

This Gonzales scandal is a major issue: the lack of voting by these 5 Senator- Presidents-to-be speaks volumes. We should all consider their lack of serious concern when considering them.

Posted by: LN in Bethesda | June 11, 2007 08:05 PM

The next time Democrats are criticized for hiring minorities to high positions in government and for playing politics with race remember this sorry saga in the history of the justice department.

Posted by: Tony | June 11, 2007 08:19 PM

that's an absolutely brilliant idea! I wish I had thought of that... maybe you can pass it along to Harry Reid!

Posted by: Alan | June 11, 2007 08:32 PM

To stand by Alberto Gonzales and his administration of the justice department is not loyalty--its treason. Mr. Gonzales' actions have undermine the public confidence in the fair administration of justice. The defense of nothing illegal was done is the defense of crooks and cronies, not the top law enforcement official of the United States.

Posted by: diedra walker | June 11, 2007 09:38 PM

Cohen, nice piece and I agree with you generally but time to eat some crow on the vote count prediction.

Those of us who've been watching this one predicted, rightly, that Gonzales must stay in office, and the Republicans will keep him there, since their entire electoral and governing strategy collapses if he leaves.

Perhaps you will now move on to the real story behind this debacle: a stealth coup d'etat, completed several years ago by Karl Rove and Tom Delay, to install a "permanent Republican majority" by suppressing Democratic voters, falsely indicting Democratic politicians and lining up all the moneyed interests so they had no choice but to put their money behind Republicans.

In fact, a cursory review of the available evidence proves each one of these events has taken place, yet never placed in context nor reviewed comprehensively by the Washington Post - purportedly DC's most "connected" paper, but not so connected that Cohen could make such a predictably wrong prediction about the vote today.

Any Post reporters up for the story?

... Bueller?

........... Bueller?

Nah, it's just a Constitution. They'll make more, right?

Posted by: mateosf | June 11, 2007 09:53 PM

Beto cant go because the lies, felonies and destruction that has been committed by GWB and OVP might undergo a scrutiny by a new AG that could not be tolerated. He will not go.

As the cloture vote showed, there is little that can allow Rs to to get a grip.

So Lieberman must have something to say......

Posted by: WOW | June 11, 2007 10:10 PM

What possible reason would Joe Lieberman have to vote in favor of Gonzales? I thought he said he'd vote with the Dems after he lost the Dem primary and was apparently saying whatever he thought would get him elected, with no intention of actually following thru on his promises. Further, I'm disappointed that Obama and Dodd didn't vote at all, especially since Obama was a constitutional law professor.

Re the argument that affirmative action got Fredo into good schools and (eventually) an appointment to the Texas Kangaroo Court, as well as lifting the careers of Clarence Thomas, Condi Rice, John Yoo and other token Republicans, my theory is that the GOP have intentionally brought these underqualified, reality-denying, heritage-denying minorities to power knowing that they would evaporate public support for Affirmative Action in the future. It's the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove stealth plan to discredit the very concept.

A decade and a half after the crime, I'm still outraged that Bush Sr had the temerity to nominate and actually support Clarence Thomas as the absolute best legal mind in the country to replace that courageous, brilliant legal advocate and (later) Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. That "high-tech lynching" whining presaged the Swift Boating of Kerry and a host of other red herrings during the Second Bush Reich.

Posted by: Reality Check | June 11, 2007 11:13 PM

Bush will never fire Gonzales because for his entire career in goverment, Gonzales has provided Bush legal cover for his many questionable policies and actions. In other words, Bush could never find a better hack. Like Karl Rove, Gonzales is Bush's enabler. Even now as Gonzales villifies his own reputation, Bush benefits by distracting the Congress and the public from what lies below the surface--the White House's direct role in the many sordid activities that Gonzales enabled for Bush. Bush will reward his loyal buddy.

Posted by: Texas-ex | June 11, 2007 11:20 PM

It's not politcal, it's ethical.

Resign for the sake of the justice you claim to serve, oh wait, I'm sorry you don't serve justice, you serve the President.

Posted by: JM Parras | June 11, 2007 11:26 PM

Additionally, why did Gonzales leave the service of our nation at about the time he was required to commit to commit to continued military service? After he was in the Academy two years he left for Rice, just about when he was required to be committed to our nation. Why not commit? Why waste the spot of someone who was truy committed?

I'm a very dissapointed and educated Mexican American -- Al is a sad representative of educated Hispanics.

Posted by: JM Parras | June 11, 2007 11:34 PM

i just find it ironic (and not commented upon by the press) that the republicans who have consistently asked for nothing less than a simple 'up or down vote' on all their hack appointments over the last 6 years are now resorting to a filibuster to block such a vote on gonzales.

Posted by: jon merz | June 11, 2007 11:40 PM

mateosf, if this is political calculation on the part of Republicans, it's a short-sighted one. This vote presented a clear case for the party to create some distance between itself and a president and attorney general who are held in low regard.

This idea for a "no confidence" vote was originally tossed out in the days after the Comey testimony. I suspect if the vote had been held at that time that there is a good chance it might have come to a floor vote. However, in the intervening weeks Senators have been able to gage interest in their home states and have found that this issue has not registered fully with ordinary voters. I suspect that many Republicans also made a calculation that the loss of base support outweighed any gain among independents.

At the end of the day though, this is about as clear cut an issue as there is. The choice in this matter is a little bit like the points that are given out when a person spells his or her name correctly on an SAT test. The question: Is the Attorney General faithfully performing his duties if his main line of defense is that he hasn't done anything illegal?

Apparently to at least 39 Senators the answer is yes. But this issue isn't going away as long as the White House stonewalls the investigation, and as long as Gonzales is drawing a taxpayer salary.

Posted by: JP2 | June 11, 2007 11:45 PM

The measure should have been put the other way:

"The Senate hereby reaffirms its prior confirmation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States, and expresses full confidence in the continued integrity, competence, and efficacy of his office."

You can only wonder how many R's would've affixed their ayes to that statement.

Posted by: youarestillidiots | June 11, 2007 11:53 PM

Hey, Bush is right. Only HE gets to decide who will serve as AG. On the other hand Bush is also wrong on one very important point. Only CONGRESS gets to decide whether Gonzales gets PAID as AG. If they really wanted to send a message, then they'd line item his salary OUT of the justice department budget for FY08. It's simple. If Bush wants him, then he can pay for him out of his own pocket.

Left with no options except the power of the purse and armed with the support of a majority of the American people, it's an easy, principled stand to least for someone with actual principles. Anyone out there believe that the chicken hawk democrats are capable of taking a principled stand on anything??? Nah. I Didn't think so either.

Posted by: nogutsnoglory | June 12, 2007 01:02 AM

Shame only comes from having honor. Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Chimpy McFlightsuit, never had, never will, and thats where his marching orders come from, so why should he?

Posted by: Dave Marcoot | June 12, 2007 01:10 AM

Alberto Gonzales is apparently an enemy of the people of the United States and a lap dog of the Bush totalitarian thugs club. What a big waste of a prestigious education on someone with such a small mind.

Posted by: sunrise | June 12, 2007 01:17 AM

Mateosf, you nailed i.

Froomkin comes the closest to layout out the syllogism on a regular basis..but he doesn't get any ink (literally, he's just online). And Broder's out-for-martinis or worse.

Posted by: wish I were Mateosf | June 12, 2007 01:22 AM

When do career people get tired of serving what Justice has become nowadays? Is the department beyond salvaging? How successful has the packing of the career ranks with right wing hacks been? If I was there I'd think it would be a good time to make the jump. Maybe they can get a job with one of the many Independent Counsels or Congressional investigations that are going to be spawning for the next five years.

Posted by: Thomas Fiore | June 12, 2007 01:36 AM

Bush, AG, and his cronies seem not to understand that while the AG serves "at the pleasure of the president", his job is to represent the people of the US. He is not the White House counsel.

Posted by: jss | June 12, 2007 05:09 AM

Shannon :
Thanks for including Lieberman with the Republicans. I knew there were deeper reasons to distrust him (although at least he says his closed-mindedness and
ethnic chauvinism openly) when his presumed liberal opinions seemed inauthentic in 2000 and seemed like prefabricated positions. I have a feeling Gore/Lieberman in 2000 wouldn't have been too great either (of course not as bad as this)

Posted by: Francois E | June 12, 2007 11:33 AM

I can attest that getting through Harvard and Yale Law once one gets accepted, hasn't been a big deal for quite a while. I've known LOTS AND LOTS of fools who have made it through.I don't have much doubt that plenty of average high school students could do it without much problem.

Posted by: Timothy | June 12, 2007 11:40 AM

Hey don't be surprised; this is what happened when the liberal ideologues got together with the Reaganites in the 80's- a huge mistake in my view. Look at how many radical feminists (now pretty mainstream) are now very Reaganite in their positions ("choice", invisible hand/Friedmanite)

Posted by: C | June 12, 2007 11:49 AM

Why does a comment such as "bill in gaza"'s not surprise me?! (Cohen is that known in Israeli papers?) Just being a recent reader to his blog, but from what I've seen, and even if I may have minor quibbles of detail occasionally and possibly he could research a bit more widely sometimes, I applaud Andrew's having some independent honesty and objective principles. Strangely, these qualities aren't all that common in recent history.

Posted by: Fred Jackson | June 12, 2007 11:58 AM

Yeah, "bill in gaza", "self-hating" because dares to report honestly, and critically, if necessary; to you, not "self-hating" would seem to be the blindly chauvinistically partisan, non-factual choosing the side first and predetermining the desired conclusion whatever the facts, to whatever ridiculous extent, that we see the often-tragic consequences of everywhere now.

Oh yeah, and your arguments are really strong also.

Posted by: Bill | June 12, 2007 12:08 PM

This was a foregone conclusion: after the Democrats approved the war bill, to get a minimum wage increase, I could already see the tide was set to "blow this over". I would have been against the grain to take action opposing the president after that. You see, "blowing over" is something to be moulded by will, rather than reflecting the unconscious moods of public opinion, as many periodicals act, or likely, pretend.

How clever our representatives seem to think they are (and I think Wolfowitz only had accountability because 1) that came before the war bill was voted on and even more importantly 2) non-US World Bank members had a say, the German mebers insisted on it. Does one seriously think that if Wolfowitz's actions had occurred in a completely American context, that too wouldn't have deliberately "blown over" also?)!

Posted by: James Walker | June 12, 2007 12:19 PM

Foreign visitor: Sadly, I don't think much of the country really has much clue what democracy or rule of law is.

Posted by: David | June 12, 2007 12:22 PM

But outlaw, the Republican administration ISN'T white male. That's the same mistake. Social classification isn't identity, and shouldn't be presumed to give some automatic unconsious insight (especially without knowing the individual person thoroughly)not available to others.

Posted by: Al | June 12, 2007 12:29 PM

I fail to see what Tony's point is above. Preferential racial manipulation I think is wrong whichever side does it. You appear to be doing the same argument that Republicans congenitally do, only for the other side: the other side did something objectional so that gives us a blank check to do it also.

Posted by: Lawrence | June 12, 2007 12:33 PM

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