Life in the bubble
The president said that Gonzales' testimony before skeptical Judiciary Committee senators last week "increased my confidence" in his ability to lead the Justice Department. Separately, a White House spokeswoman said, "He's staying."
Of course, he didn't actually listen to or watch that testimony. And the White House acknowledged that it wouldn't have mattered if he had.
Q. So is it fair to say that no matter what the testimony, no matter what the back-and-forth, that the President plans to stick with Attorney General Gonzales?
MS. PERINO: I think -- yes. I think the President has full confidence in the Attorney General and whenever that changes for any public servant, we'll let you know, and I see no indication of that.
That sound you hear is Bush sticking his fingers in his ears and going "Na-na-na-na-na. I can't hear you!" It doesn't bother me that he supports Gonzales. It bothers me that he is so obvious about his refusal to listen to things that may contradict his own viewpoint. Bush appears unable or unwilling to recognize two concepts:
1. There's a difference between "fierce loyalty" and "blind loyalty."
2. There's a difference between "loyal" and "competent."
Oh heck, let's add a third:
3. What's good for Bush is not always what's good for the government or the country.
His devotion to an incompetent lapdog AG is a prime example of all three. And it doesn't really achieve anything, because most of the rest of the GOP wants to be shut of the whole mess.
Rep. Adam Putnam, chairman of the House Republican Conference, called on Gonzales to step down -- echoing a position that a group of top House GOPers privately delivered to Bush earlier in the month. "He's done something I didn't think possible. He's lost the confidence of almost all the Republicans in Congress," said one top GOP strategist who is close to the White House.
This isn't a Dem-Rep thing; it's a Bush-vs.-everyone-else thing.
Update: Gonzales vows to stay on the job. Republicans everywhere shudder inwardly.
Bush, Gonzales, politics, midtopia