Friday, March 16, 2007

The case against Gonzales

The WaPo's Andrew Cohen has an excellent four-part series outlining why Alberto Gonzales needs to go, and who should replace him.

Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV

Cohen's basic argument:

1. Gonzales has been a crony all his life, and remained one as AG in abdication of his role as the people's attorney. He was an enabler for Bush rather than a counselor. Even Janet Reno showed an independent bone or two; Gonzales has none.

2. As a lawyer and executive, he's mediocre or worse. Cohen cites some well-known examples from the White House, but also some others from his tenure in Texas -- such as a failure to tell then-Gov. Bush, when commenting on a defendant's clemency petition, that the defense lawyer for a death-row inmate had slept through most of the jury selection process. Several other examples lay out Gonzales' legal incompetence -- or, alternatively, his willingness to ignore plain law when he finds it inconvenient.

3. With all the scandals popping up around him, there's no compelling reason to keep him. Various observers, of various political stripes, describe him as an "empty suit", a "lightweight" who is "in over his head." He's not the kind of AG you go to the mat for.

As far as replacements, here is where Cohen makes a notable misstep. He surveys the field and proposes... Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the Libby case. That just seems out of left field to me, and it's not going to happen in any event. I'm not qualified to judge the field, but surely he could have done better.

But the first three parts are a compelling, if somewhat partisan, read. Give 'em a look.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you give me ONE example of a time where Janet Reno went AGAINST Bill Clinton?


3/17/2007 9:29 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Just for starters, her decision to appoint roughly half a million special prosecutors....

3/18/2007 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's no different than the AG of this administration appointing the Special Prosecutor for the Plame deal. Do you think Bush really wanted that????

Which brings us back to the main point....which is that both the AG and the U.S. attorneys are POLITICAL appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President, no matter who he is.

The only difference is that Democrats seem to be "okay" with that as long as it's a Democrat President---but now a Republican President.


3/18/2007 4:38 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Are you telling me Bush didn't want to find out who outed Plame?

Oh, wait, that's right.... he didn't.

More to the point, however, it was Ashcroft, not Gonzales, who appointed Fitzgerald. Gonzales was still White House counsel at the time.

3/19/2007 8:08 AM  

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