The Alberto Gonzales ‘smell test’..

Let’s start with the pure legal truth. I’m going to use Nathan Moore’s quote on this issue as a touchstone:

The US Attorney fiasco makes me sick only because it was completely unnecessary. Nothing was done wrong – these are all political positions. You really don’t even need a reason to fire a US Attorney. No investigations are warranted, and no law, rule or creed has been violated.

Nathan is exactly right. But. When politicians we don’t care for, expecially presidents, cross the line, blur the legal limits or plunge over the line, the phrase – we live in a nation of laws – takes center stage. As well it should. No man, woman, child or wildebeest is above the law. That’s one of those wonderful concepts and precepts that keeps this country on the right foot and away from banana-land.

We don’t always live up to that standard. Granted.

But, when U.S. States Attorneys across the nation are relieved from their duties because of a lack of loyalty to a President (in this case, were they loyal Bushies?), then aren’t we saying that man is more important than the law, IF, the attorneys were doing their job and prosecuting efficiently, and cleanly, unswayed by political influence?

If it is all so easy, clean and straightforward, then why in the world is the Bush team handling this so ineptly (in fairness to Nathan, he does castigate the Bush folks for handling this so poorly)? If firing these folks is just another day at the office, why did Gonzales lie about being in on it. When the going gets tough in the White House, Bush and Gonzales both looked across the room.

Why the secrecy? Why don’t they come out and say what Nathan said above? If these are ‘political’ jobs, then they serve at the whim of the leadership and they can be whimmed right outta there.

Of course, some Democrats are going to try to make some political hay. But, if the story was so simple and straighforward, where would the traction come from on the Democratic side? If it were this easy, there would be no story, no stonewalling, no need to go to court for documentation, and Gonzales would be seen as just doing his job.

The fact is, there IS a story here, and one aspect of the story is that Gonzales won’t have THIS job much longer.

I’ve said this before, and I get to repeat because this is my blog:  If you go back in time into the early to mid nineties, and imagine a conversation between Ted Kennedy (or any liberal bete’ noire) and the White House, wherein Kennedy asks for an Attorney to be fired because he wasn’t going after Republicans hard enough, I think we’d see some ire from a corner that is currently not living in Ire-land.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Alberto Gonzales ‘smell test’..

  1. Jon

    To my mind it comes down to the notion that just because one *has* the right to do something, that doesn’t mean it *is* right to do it.

  2. Pingback: Nashville is Talking » Smoke and Ashes

  3. aren’t we saying that man is more important than the law

    That’s exactly what Republicans have been saying throughout this administration. And as someone who actually believes in conservative principles, but couldn’t give two figs about preserving popular “pseudocon” politicians, i think it’s just awful. During the Clinton impeachment perhaps all those heartfelt appeals to the rule of law were just rhetoric to fool the masses, but i for one was naive enough to believe it. Turns out the rule of law is just a partisan club to use to beat up your opponent and try to win some votes.

    I suppose the good news is that the public has had quite enough, and consequently whether Gonzo stays or goes, his ability to make trouble is severely limited. The bad news (for me) is that my generation will probably never give conservative small-government philosophy a fair hearing, because GWB has tarnished the word without coming close to delivering the substance.

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