Doug Thompson

Alberto Gonzales’ unseemly desperation

No job is worth what Alberto Gonzales is doing to save his.
Any self-respecting human being would resign rather than go before a congressional committee and testify that he let 8.5 percent of his U.S. attorneys get fired but he never bothered to find out why.
It would be nice to know whether this guy’s a liar or a twit, but either way, he has no shame.
Hopefully, Gozales will be out by the time this column runs. If not, conservatives are going to have to endure another example of friendship with the president trumping a lack of either integrity or competence.
You’re known by the company you keep. A man like Gonzales would not be the close friend of anybody with scruples.
Gonzales is the top lawyer in the country. He’s disgraced the whole legal profession. Forget Congress. Forget the president. The American Bar Association should have something to say about such testimony by one of their members who was under oath.
When I want to know how bad something is for the administration, I go to “Power Line” at These folks are very conservative and sharp. If something about the administration needs rationalizing, they’re the ones to go to.
Here’s what Power Line said the day “AG” the AG, testified:
“Alberto Gonzales isn’t exactly winning rave reviews on our Forum or, it seems, around the conservative blogosphere generally. However, the main concession his interrogators seem to have gained so far is that Gonzales approved the termination recommendations with little or no scrutiny.
“Now, President Bush might well want a more hands-on Attorney General, and I certainly would. But unless the decisions made by staff and approved by Gonzales were poor or corrupt ones, I don’t think his deference to staff requires his resignation or termination. I’ve seen no account in which the Senators have made much headway in terms of showing that particular decisions were poor or corrupt.”
It’s OK if the guy’s a clueless figurehead as long as the staff he’s letting run amok doesn’t take the department completely down the tubes?
Also, it’s all right to fire people as long as you’re not corrupt. Oh, and as long as it’s not a poor decision.
I could get fired today. Would that be a poor decision? I’m well into middle age and get paid a lot more money than a couple of new hires. Yeah, proving that firing me on a whim was a poor decision would be a tough call. The burden of proof would be on me, the guy who got fired.
If you’re in the U.S. Justice Department and are any good at all at what you do, better get those resumes out.
Then Power Line updated its Web site that same day with some comments from a conservative journalist it respects:
“Byron York says ‘it has been a disastrous morning for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.’ Byron focuses on the issue I discuss above. He notes that ‘Gonzales insisted that he is the man in charge of the Justice Department, and accepted responsibility for the firings, but his testimony suggests he had little idea what was going on.’
“As I read it, Gonzales largely delegated the decision-making process, but accepts responsibility for the outcomes. I see no inconsistency here, though again I would prefer a more hands-on Attorney General.”
Uh, OK.
It’s OK that the government’s top lawyer and a member of the president’s cabinet is an absentee know-nothing as long as you can’t prove he’s a perjurer.
Where’s a blue dress when you need one? Somebody check the wardrobe of that assistant to Gonzales who refused to testify by pleading the Fifth.
Whatever happened to the idea that “Caesar’s wife must be blameless,” that you put somebody aside if there is even the appearance of impropriety?
Remember the good old days when George W. Bush promised to restore honor and integrity to the White House? Now the president looks like he’s afraid to fire Gonzales, a member of his inner circle who knows secrets.
You lie down with dogs, you get fleas.

Categories: Legacy Archive