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Why Alberto Gonzales Should Resign:
I only had a chance to watch parts of Alberto Gonzales' testimony yesterday. But from what I saw, and all the news reports I read, it seems to me that it's in the country's best interests for Gonzales to resign.

  In my view, the issue is not whether Gonzales misspoke during a press conference, or whether he bungled this particular news story. All in all, that's pretty small beans. The real issue is whether Gonzales understands and can fulfill the proper role of an Attorney General of the United States. The U.S. Attorney story and Gonzales's testimony gave us a window into that question. And from what I've seen, it doesn't leave me with any confidence that Gonzales has what it takes to be AG.

  In particular, the hearings left the strong impression that Gonzales isn't the strong and independent decisionmaker that the Justice Department needs. It's one thing to be out of the loop on some personnel matters; it's another to not even be particularly interested in the functioning of your own department. What struck me the most about Gonzales's testimony is that it didn't seem like he really cared about who the U.S. Attorneys are. If I recall correctly, Gonzales didn't even ask about what criteria were being used to determine who should stay and who should go. That's pretty remarkable to me: U.S. Attorneys are critical players in the federal law enforcement system. I would think that any Attorney General would at the very least be keenly interested in knowing who was being booted out and why.

  I don't know if the U.S. Attorney purge story will actually play out into something truly scandalous. There's some smoke, but it's hard to tell if there's any fire. Perhaps the U.S. Attorneys were fired for partisan political reasons, or perhaps this was just a chaotic and random decision. Or perhaps some mixture of the two. But the fallout from the story has given us a new perspective on Attorney General Gonzales's role within DOJ. And the picture it suggests is that Gonzales isn't the right person for the job.
Felix Sulla (mail):
It is really somewhat worse than that. Not only was Gonzales uninterested in the workings of his department and so forth...he couldn't even give credible answers to many of the questions he has (or should have) known for weeks were coming, and for which he was apparently spending five plus hours a day preparing. All that lead-in time and preparation and he can't even give basic answers as to why the U.S. Attorneys were fired? It's incompetence from any angle at this point.
4.20.2007 3:29pm
18 USC 1030 (mail):
Felix, HOW DARE YOU question his prep time!? He was practicing saying I do not recall....

Another thing I found troubling was AG said that he was against the method of the firings, yet his chief of staff still carried out that plan. Who was running DOJ? As much as I hate to say it, I think Schumer made a good point when he said that since no one at DOJ can give any answers, he thinks it looks like the White House was running the show.
4.20.2007 3:33pm
eddie (mail):
I think that the real problem that this whole affair displays is how low the bar has been set. The Attorney General and the White House seem to think that only an actual case of illegality would be sufficient to show any "fire" as you put it.

To me what is abundantly clear, whether any laws have been broken, is how clearly the DOJ has been willfully politicized. I am tired of the "serving at the pleasure of the President" to be some sort of wink and nod that the DOJ should do the bidding of the President or somehow express the policies of the President. The DOJ enforces laws passed by Congress. End of story. Loyalty to President or party must cease once appointed. What happened to the standard "appearance of impropriety?"

There is no shame among within this administration, which is truly ironic given the stated commitment to "values."
4.20.2007 3:33pm
Kovarsky (mail):
That chart Whitehouse put up was truly breathtaking. I'd be interested, if anybody knows, what the conservative talking rebuttal point to that is.
4.20.2007 3:37pm
Byomtov (mail):
Not only was Gonzales remarkably uninterested in the reasons for the firings, his lack of interest does not prevent him from constantly asserting that they were proper.

How could he know?
4.20.2007 3:49pm
Felix Sulla (mail):
18 USC 1030: I have to give Alberto full marks as to how he said, "I do not recall." The AG's ability to memorize and repeat short phrases consistently and without error in pronunciation is beyond reproach.
4.20.2007 3:50pm
abb3w:
I'm inclined to hope for impeachment over resignation, since I think he should be barred from any further Federal Office to boot. However, I fear that's purely wishful thinking unless something really toxic can shake loose from the White House's stronghold of silence.
4.20.2007 4:03pm
BobNSF (mail):

The AG's ability to memorize and repeat short phrases consistently and without error in pronunciation is beyond reproach.


Presidential material!!

But I digress. A few weeks ago, before his implosion began, Gonzales likened himself to a CEO of a national corporation and described the US Attorneys as his "regional managers" or something. Only someone with the corporate experience of the Bushites could imagine a CEO not caring much if someone fired those folks.
4.20.2007 4:05pm
rarango (mail):
I know I am painting with a broad brush here, but at least since JFK appointed his brother to be the AG, it seems to me the AG position is the most politicized in the administration.

Assuming I am correct on that assertion, how does one de-politicize it? And I share the view that whatever else his issues, Mr. Gonzalez should be fired for managerial incompetence alone.
4.20.2007 4:07pm
Law Review Librarian (mail):
Why should Gonzales resign? Because it just might keep Rove from having to appear under oath before Congress. I do think Rove would do a better job, though.

Kovarsky -- do you know where there's a copy of that chart with legible boxes?
4.20.2007 4:31pm
uh clem (mail):
Not only was Gonzales remarkably uninterested in the reasons for the firings, his lack of interest does not prevent him from constantly asserting that they were proper.

How could he know?


Let's cut through the crap to what's really going on here:

The word came down from on high (Rove or Bush) which attorneys were to be fired, but that there wasn't supposed to be any fingerprints pointing to them as the one's who ordered it.

Everything else is just so much smoke as Gonzales tries to finesse the line that he was just following orders while trying not to reveal who gave them.

It's absurd, and he should be disbarred for wanton public logical contradiction.
4.20.2007 4:36pm
Guest 3L (mail):
18 USC 1030 - I'll admit that I perhaps don't fully understand all the issues involved here, but what exactly is wrong with "the white house running the show"? The President is the chief executive of the united states government. The DOJ is part of the executive branch. I don't get what is wrong with the chief executive and his office calling the shots at another executive branch agency. If the agency is being mismanaged, congressional oversight is of course not only permissible but also preferable; however, any repurcussions from such mismanagement should be felt at the polls, and via pressure from the higher-ups in the executive branch. If the President wants the current AG in office, I don't see why that's not the end of the issue.
4.20.2007 4:39pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
The above-mentioned chart from Whitehouse (Sheldon, not "the"), and Dahlia Lithwick's report thereon, are to be found here.
4.20.2007 4:54pm
JosephSlater (mail):
The only question is whether Gonzales is truly as clueless, inept, incompetent, out of the loop, etc. as he claims to be; or whether he's actually lying to protect higher-ups.
4.20.2007 5:01pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
whether Gonzales is truly as clueless, inept, incompetent, out of the loop, etc. as he claims to be; or whether he's actually lying to protect higher-ups

Oh, the latter, surely -- does anyone here really pick (a)?
4.20.2007 5:08pm
Henri LeCompte (mail):
eddie wrote:

To me what is abundantly clear, whether any laws have been broken, is how clearly the DOJ has been willfully politicized. I am tired of the "serving at the pleasure of the President" to be some sort of wink and nod that the DOJ should do the bidding of the President or somehow express the policies of the President.


eddie:
When Bill Clinton came in and fired all 93 US Attorneys, how would you characterize that decision? Non-political? Were the firings were arrived at through some scientific method?

I mean really guys! The rhetoric here is reaching Alec Baldwin levels. Where is there any proof that the DOJ has been putting loyalty to the Administration above fidelity to the law? Proof, as in evidence. Not supposition, rumour, mud-slinging, or talking-point accusations. I'm vaguely recalling something about the burden of proof being on the accuser, not the accused. Where is the evidence supporting the accusations that began this whole "scandal-about-nothing"?

And, yes, Gonzales is an embarassing numbskull. Last time I checked, that was not against the law. And Gonzales' stupidity is not the allegation upon which this whole affair began. I get the feeling that you all are comfortable with the new Washington approach of "find some excuse to investigate, investigate, investigate; keep going until you eventually find something to get incensed about." I hope you enjoy it as much in 2008, when it gets applied to President Obama/Clinton.
4.20.2007 5:10pm
Felix Sulla (mail):
Henri LeCompte:


I get the feeling that you all are comfortable with the new Washington approach of "find some excuse to investigate, investigate, investigate; keep going until you eventually find something to get incensed about." I hope you enjoy it as much in 2008, when it gets applied to President Obama/Clinton.


I have to admit I am enjoying it somewhat now it is being applied to the Dubya regime, and not the Clinton regime as was incessantly done for years. Live by the sword, die by the sword.
4.20.2007 5:15pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
When Bill Clinton came in and fired all 93 US Attorneys

We can now ask Joseph Slater's question about H. LeCompte as well, though the answer is more difficult for me to arrive at.
4.20.2007 5:16pm
loki13 (mail):

When Bill Clinton came in and fired all 93 US Attorneys, how would you characterize that decision?

I would characterize that as par for the course for the *beginning* of a President's term. Please, get a new talking point. That one makes you look silly.


And, yes, Gonzales is an embarassing numbskull.

AGAG- I should remain as AG because I'm not corrupt, I'm just an incompetent numbskull who isn't aware of what's going on in the DOJ and routinely signs off on decisions with no idea as to why I am doing so.


I get the feeling that you all are comfortable with the new Washington approach of "find some excuse to investigate, investigate, investigate; keep going until you eventually find something to get incensed about."

New... since, oh, the late 90s was it?

The reason there is no smoking gun, yet, is because the WH has not released most of the evidence yet. 'Executive pirvilege', remember? If the RNC emails are released, and Mier and Rove testify in public and under oath, then there's evidence. But since every document dump has led to a revised story, I find it difficult (impossible) to accept your version of events- that this is simply par for the course.
4.20.2007 5:17pm
nunzio:
Since the President appoints the AG, a handful of Deputy and Assistant AGs, and the U.S. Attorneys for the 95 judicial districts how does the AG have any say in who gets fired?

He couldn't possibly fire a presidential appointee without permission from the President and there's no doubt that the AG here had no clue about this decision.

Interestingly, it says in the Judicial Code that the AG may appoint the FBI director. Maybe he can fire the head of the FBI.
4.20.2007 5:18pm
Crunchy Frog:
Gozales' stupidity is why he should be fired, regardless of whether or not his conduct was illegal (which I'm 95% sure was not). It's been his bungling incompetence that has turned a complete non-story into the raging mess it is now.

On the other hand, the longer these sham investigations go on, the less time the weasels in Congress have to pass an amnesty bill, or other harmful legislation. Are there any other faux scandals we can scare up?
4.20.2007 5:19pm
Felix Sulla (mail):
I should add, Henri, that it is basically honest and defensible to come into office and say, "I want a sweeping change of personnel over the whole department, so all U.S. Attorneys are gone and to be replaced with new persons of my choosing." It may or may not be wise, it may or may not be "political," but it is even-handed and fair. That is not what happened in our situation, and furthermore, no one in the administration is able/willing to explain just what happened, and it appears much of the evidence has conveniently gone missing.
4.20.2007 5:20pm
Joseph E. Davis (mail):
Your concerns are irrelevant, since our leader has deciderated that Alberto is our man. He's the #1 crime fighter!
4.20.2007 5:20pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Henri:

Others have answered the "Clinton did it too!" point. I'll just respond to your last line:

hope you enjoy it as much in 2008, when it gets applied to President Obama/Clinton.

Yeah, Dems would certainly be shocked to have the opposing party institute BS investigations, because that, like, never happened when Bill was President.

I'm glad to hear that even you are picking a Dem to win in '08, however.
4.20.2007 5:24pm
Adeez (mail):
"I hope you enjoy it as much in 2008, when it gets applied to President Obama/Clinton."

HenriL: perhaps the following is revelatory. I dunno. But here goes:

Crazy liberals, such as myself, don't view the running of our once great nation as a game for which we must pick teams. I think that separates many of those on the left from those on the right: so many of the latter think in this perverse way, so they see all issues through this distorted lens. No, we crazy liberals care dearly about this country, and want a government of, by, and for the people. We tend to vote Democratic, but only b/c we see them as a lesser of two evils. We want our elected officials to stay true to the ideals that bind this country, like adherence to the Constitution, separation of powers, checks &balances, and all that good stuff. I guess that's why so many on the right have this mental block when it comes to Hillary: they hate her so much that they assume that those on the left idolize her. We don't, as she's part of the same moneyed establishment that the rest of the bums are from.

So, it's not a blindingly loyal worship of Bill Clinton that makes people like me scoff when someone with a straight face compares W's admin. to his. Rather, it's simply being able to open my eyes and see reality.
4.20.2007 5:43pm
EH:
"Crazy liberals, such as myself, don't view the running of our once great nation as a game for which we must pick teams. I think that separates many of those on the left from those on the right:"

No, it separates those who run the country from those who don't.
4.20.2007 6:01pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
I too think Gonzales should resign. But, I don't agree with how Mr. Kerr has framed the issue:


The real issue is whether Gonzales understands and can fulfill the proper role of an Attorney General of the United States. (bold added).


I don't think the issue is one of understanding or ability, but rather one of politics. Gonzales was not interested in the particulars of why the individuals were removed, because it was entirely political, and he knew that and approved of that. He trusted his partisan advisors and ideological soulmates to make appropriate political decisions about who to axe. It would only make sense for Gonzales to exercise more supervision over this decision if 1.) although it was purely political, he didn't trust his subordinates political judgment or 2.) it was based on performance issues that actually require a thoughtful assessment concerning the performance and ability of the U.S. attorney's in question.

The reason Gonzales should resign is because he has allowed the DOJ to become a totally politicized environment and partisan weapon, rather than a department where a culture of neutral decision-making focused on solid principles of justice allows for bipartisan confidence in its commitment to fairly and evenhandedly uphold the rule of law. The prosecution and imprisonment of people who vote because they do not realize they are ineligible (i.e. they only got probation) is not about justice, it is about politics.

That said, there is something I really admire about Bush. He is loyal to his subordinates, just as he expects them to be loyal towards him. It really is amazing and admirable that Bush has not asked for Gonzales's head on a platter, given that he such a distraction.

Then again, maybe that is also brilliant political strategy. The more this issue is about Gonzales and not about Republican attempts to suppress Democratic voting, the better for Republicans.

That issue aside, it really is amazing how loyal Bush is to his subordinates, even when it clearly is not politically advantageous and even political harmful (i.e. Rumsfeld). I don't think Bush's loyalty here can be explained by political calculation, but rather loyalty based on principle.
4.20.2007 6:01pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Rage on everyone. The President likes the AG and does not care if the Senate or Orrin Kerr or the commentators here hate him. The AG will not resign and he will not be fired. He wil leave office on January 20, 2009 with the President.

And the Republic will survive and thrive as it survived and thrived Janet Reno, Ramsey Clark, John Mitchell, Harry M. Daugherty, Roger Taney and Edmund Randolph and other grossly corrupt or incompetent or just plain ordinary AG's.
4.20.2007 6:10pm
Felix Sulla (mail):
El Prez liked Rummy too. And Brownie did a heckuva job. He'll insulate his buddies as long as he can, and you may even be right in this case, but just because Bush likes someone and wants them to stay does not mean he can totally isolate himself from reality.
4.20.2007 6:29pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
My hypothesis is that Rove et al were trying to use the USAOs in different parts of the country to influence the congressional elections in Nov. 2006, either by sicking USAOs onto "voter fraud" or public corruption investigations that might affect certain outcomes in ways that were helpful to Republicans (Washington, New Mexico, Wisconsin) or by replacing USAOs whose pending investigations might be harmful to Republican office holders (San Diego,
Cummins in Arkansas, and with Sampson's comment about dumping Fitzgerald, Chicago).

Those USAOs who wouldn't go along with the plan were slated for replacement, because they were not "loyal Bushies." All of this was driven by Rove and his aides from the White HOuse, using their RNC email accounts, or no email at all, to cover up what they were doing. Gonzales knew of it, but was not the architect. Same with Miers. It was all Rove.

Now, this is just a hypothesis, and reqjuires, like all such hypotheses, testing. Anyone know of any evidence that blows this out of the water?
4.20.2007 6:44pm
Henri LeCompte (mail):
Again, I feel compelled to ask, "What in the heck are y'all talking about?" You all are making, more or less, this same statement over and over:


The reason Gonzales should resign is because he has allowed the DOJ to become a totally politicized environment and partisan weapon, rather than a department where a culture of neutral decision-making focused on solid principles of justice allows for bipartisan confidence in its commitment to fairly and evenhandedly uphold the rule of law.


But where??? are there any facts to back up this empty-can talking point? Where are the examples of this DOJ as "partisan weapon?" I think you guys/gals are just repeating and amplifying the same rhetoric, over and over, but keep forgetting to add the factual basis for this conclusion. Saying something-- even saying it with tears streaming down your face as you salute God and country-- doesn't make it true.

When Clinton fired the 93, where was the case-by-case, non-political, individualized explanation to those folks and their families about why they were tossed out on their ears? And no, loki13, it is not standard operating procedure for Administrations because it never happened before or since.

Really, my point is simple-- some of you are making sweeping claims that are not substantiated by any of the facts of this recent Gonzales affair. It would be precisely the same as if I claimed that you all want Gonzales fired because you're prejudiced against Hispanics. Inflammatory mud-slinging? Yep. One of many possible explanations for your opinions? Yep. Self-serving, one-sided speculation? Yep. Established fact? Nope.

Do you like it? Nope. Do you think this is the way to conduct a conversation, let alone a government? Nope... at least I hope so.

Henri

P.S. Anderson-- yes... I'm lying to protect higher ups.
4.20.2007 6:56pm
r78:
Maybe LeCompte and MKD-P should get a room so they can carry on their conversations with one another and themselves.
4.20.2007 7:03pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
Henri,

Why don't you do a little Google search and read about the woman who has already spent a year in jail for voting, when she did so only because she incorrectly thought that since she only received probation, she was still eligible to vote.

By the way Henri, if you want to remain willfully ignorant, that is just fine. But if you really are curious, why don't you try Google. I am assuming that if you have the technological skills to post on a comment on a blog, you have the skills to use Google. After you do a careful and professional search and find nothing, please report back.
4.20.2007 7:05pm
r78:

The real issue is whether Gonzales understands and can fulfill the proper role of an Attorney General of the United States.

You're right of course and, boy, haven't we set the bar pretty low.

I watched the testimony yesterday and I was thinking that if Berto was interviewing for a mid-level associate position - I wouldn't hire him. I know that there is an art to testifying/stonewalling before a congressional panel, but I never once had any sense of any spark of insight or intellect.

But then again, when an administration can find places for 150 graduates of Regents University - ability and intellect are obviously not in the sough after skill set.
4.20.2007 7:06pm
OrinKerr:
Mary,

I'm deleting a bunch of your comments, as it seems like your comments don't have very much to do with this thread. I realize you argue that they do, but it seems separate enough that I think you should post them elsewhere. Sorry if that's upsetting, but I think you should save comments about your own personal legal issues for a different forum.
4.20.2007 7:09pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano,

I have no reason to doubt the particulars of your case. However, there are still a few steps to be taken before linking that case to Gonzales in particular. Obviously, it is literally impossible for the AG to monitor what occurs in every case brought by every US Attorney, no matter how diligent. That said, I wouldn't be suprised if there was a link. (i.e. either incompetance "a reasonable AG would have known to provide the instructions you suggest they should provide" or maliciousness "it would be politically advantageous to disenfranchise people who greatly benefit from government (i.e. the ADA) and thus are probabilistically less hostile to it and thus more likely to be lean Democratic.)

Nonetheless, a substantiated link is necessary before I am ready to condemn the AG as actually being intellectually lacking or unable, rather than politically malicious.
4.20.2007 7:13pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
Orin Kerr,

I realize that you felt that Mary's comments were out of place on this particular thread. However, before deleting them, given their significant length, I think it would have been nice to send her an email so that she could retrieve copies in case she did actually want to post them elsewhere. By the way, I do not think that they were as off topic as you think, given the possible link between the scandal and voting and the clear connection between her particular case and voting. But obviously, such things are always a matter of subjective judgment, rather than science.
4.20.2007 7:17pm
Viscus (mail) (www):
r78,

Are you serious. 150 Regent grads?? I know that Monica Goodling is a Regent Law grad (4th tier lawschool) but are there really that many others?
4.20.2007 7:42pm
OrinKerr:
Viscus,

I moderate comment threads as a service to readers; it's actually a pretty annoying and thankless imposition on my time, but I do it because I assume it improves the experience for readers. However, I am not paid to do this, and it's really quite unpleasant to spend time on it at all. Given that, I think you can understand why I don't opt to take even more of my free time on such things.
4.20.2007 8:00pm
Fran (mail) (www):
Henri
Maybe this will help.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0307/3302.html

and this:(I don't have the link...but maybe you can search for it.)
Doan Denies 'Improper' Use of Agency for GOP

By Scott Higham and Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, March 26, 2007; A01

and this:
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=588156
4.20.2007 8:15pm
r78:
Viscus - that is supposedly what was on their website recently.

I couldn't find it just now when I looked, though.
4.20.2007 8:19pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Wiki is useful for anyone just checking in to the debate &wondering why no one is bothering to refute Henri's "Clinton uniquely fired all 93 attorneys" meme.

Reagan replaced 89 of the 93 U.S. attorneys in his first two years in office. President Clinton had 89 new U.S. attorneys in his first two years, and President Bush had 88 new U.S. attorneys in his first two years.

Clinton was unusual only in seeking all 93's resignations at once rather than over the 1st 2 years, tho as the above shows, he didn't actually accept all the resignations.

Henri's carefully-phrased statement is intended to mislead others ... whether to protect higher-ups or not, I cannot say.
4.20.2007 8:38pm
Henri LeCompte (mail):
Anderson:
Do you not see the inherent contradiction in your attitude toward this? Replacing dozens and dozens of these attorneys is no big deal. Done all the time. What's the beef? Hell, Reagan did it!

Then, when Bush drops a whopping 8 (not 80! Just 8!) it is a mysterious crime, a horror, an abomination-- the politicizing of the DOJ, the dirty bastard!! And he doesn't have the decency to even explain himself (well, Gonzales that is) in nauseating length, and in excruciating detail, at our amazing little Senate witchhunt/hearing/showtrial.

You see my point? Which is it? A routine triviality, or the boot of Big Brother smashing on a human face forever? Or... is it either one, depending on where the R's and the D's are sitting?

P.S. I don't "carefully phrase," I parse. At least, that's what the higher ups tell me to do. Parse. (That's all I'm going to tell you. Believe me, you don't want to know more!)
4.20.2007 9:04pm
18 USC 1030 (mail):
Guest3L I don't think there is necessarilly a problem with the president firing someone for proper reasons. However, the problem is more in how it has been articulated to the public rather than the actual firings. They didn't say the president terminated 9 positions for political reasons or whatever. They said they were performance based, if that is the case shouldn't the AG at least have an idea as to what was going on? This is more a political issue than a legal one. If you lie people will presume you are lying to hide something illegal--why would you lie about something that was perfectly legal that Bill Clinton did too?

That is the problem with the "But Clinton" argument, this is different precisely because the administration made it different. Now the more information that comes out, the more obvious it is that there were lies all along. WHY? I'm not saying it was illegal but it certainly doesn't look good...
4.20.2007 9:08pm
Henri LeCompte (mail):
Anderson:
You sleep well in your bed at night because there are men like me, on the wall, in the dark, parsing.


Enough! Don't ask any more. I simply cannot answer any more truthfully than that.
4.20.2007 9:08pm
Alec (www):
It actually is possible that laws have been broken. We do not have the RNC emails to evaluate, Goodling will not testify, administration officials will not testify, the fired attorneys were in the dark but they were also in key areas. Gonzales could easily be perjuring himself. There was clearly something unseemly going on.

Take Lam, for instance. We hear the mantra of immigration cases over and over again. But even as prosecutions declined, sentences increased. Anyone remotely familiar with these cases knows that they focus on the worst offenders (generally, gang members) rather than simple reentry cases. As late as August 2006 the Justice Department was defending Lam's strategy. Moreover, given the policy shift of the Justice Department (particularly on sex offenses), exactly how would one justify relentless pursuit of immigration cases on a fixed budget in the Southern District of California?

If one believes Gonzales, which is itself a stretch, he simply emerged as incompetent.
4.20.2007 9:56pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Never met an AG, but had some knowledge of Ass't AGs when I worked in DC.

Primary qualifications were ability to go on junkets and, when invited, to give a speech. They were occasionally consulted on policy questions, mind you, with staff controlling their information and making sure that the desired answer was the only one they could give.

The place was actually run by the career Deputy Ass't AGs, who stayed home and offered to lighten the AAG's workload by making all the decisions.

I'd assume AG is much the same ... probably even more so. Do speeches and press conferences, and occasionally be asked to make a predetermined solution.
4.20.2007 10:19pm
myalterego:
Here's a link regarding the 150 Regent University alumni referenced earlier.
4.20.2007 11:13pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

El Prez liked Rummy too. And Brownie did a heckuva job. He'll insulate his buddies as long as he can, and you may even be right in this case, but just because Bush likes someone and wants them to stay does not mean he can totally isolate himself from reality.



Gonzalez and the President go way, way back. The President is his patron, has apointed him to job after job. Rumsfeld was Cheney's guy, Brown was a friend of a friend running (no pun intended) a backwater agency. I think Rice, Rove and Gonzalez are the three people in the administration least likely to go anywhere.
4.21.2007 12:07am
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
If this were 1973, I wonder if Orin Kerr would have deleted Daniel Ellsberg's complaints that he thought people were breaking and entering to take his psychiatric reports to protect Nixon &Co.?

Viscus, "By the way, I do not think that they were as off topic as you think, given the possible link between the scandal and voting and the clear connection between her particular case and voting."

Thank you, I rest my case. Hopefully, Orin knows who Daniel Ellsberg was.
4.21.2007 2:38am
deenk:
Given the recent performances of Mr. Gonzalez, we should thank our lucky stars that he is not Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Bush hinted publicly that he was a strong candidate for nomination. Presumably after strong objections from powerful evangelical leaders that Mr Gonzalez was not anti-abortion enough, we got the Harriet Miers debacle instead. Even if Mr Gonzalez remains as AG, there is much to be thankful for.
4.21.2007 3:58am
kamatoa:

Given the recent performances of Mr. Gonzalez, we should thank our lucky stars that he is not Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. ... Even if Mr Gonzalez remains as AG, there is much to be thankful for.


Amen to that. Roberts &Alito break the mold for Bush appointees, in spite of him. They're competent.
4.22.2007 5:52am
Rattan (mail):
For me the incompetence and lack of integrity of the AG was plin to see from his argument (to the Senate) that the Constitution does not include the Writ (of HC). The lack of analytical and ethical skills said it all a long time back.

He needs to hit law school and management school again although he may be beyond schooling at this point.
4.22.2007 10:06am
Felix Sulla (mail):
Bob from Ohio: I agree, which is why I stated that I thought you might be right in this case. That being said, he can't keep Gonzales regardless of what he does or how he performs, I just suspect that Gonzales has more leeway than practically anyone else in the administration. Maybe enough to get him through the public gonad crushing he has just endured. But any which way you cut it, Al will be singing soprano for a while.
4.22.2007 10:54pm