Monday, August 27, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

And another one gone, and another one gone. . . .

It's Monday morning, and all over America lovers of justice are doing a happy dance.

(Photo Credit: Doug Mills, New York Times

Update: Some Reactions to the Gonzales Resignation
  • Slate speculates on possible replacements here, including the "we're on crack" choice, U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald;
  • John Dickerson also has a piece in Slate on Bush's loyalty to his incompetents, "All the President's Flunkies";
  • Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen consider the strategery of Gonzales's resignation in Politico;
  • Ruth Marcus draws an apt comparison between Gonzales and Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" in Wa Po. The English profs here in Roxie's World approve the analogy, saying Gonzales consistently put his own "preferences" before the needs of the country and the responsibilities of the department he (badly) ran;
  • Andrew Cohen pulls no punches in his good riddance to Gonzales in Wa Po.

    From The New York Times Web site this morning:

    August 27, 2007
    Embattled Attorney General Resigns

    WACO, Tex., Aug. 27 — Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, has resigned. A senior administration official said he would announce the decision later this morning in Washington.

    Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation, submitted his to President Bush by telephone on Friday, the official said. His decision was not immediately announced, the official added, until after the president invited him and his wife to lunch at his ranch near here.

    Mr. Bush has not yet chosen a replacement but will not leave the position open long, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the resignation had not yet been made public.

    Mr. Bush had repeatedly stood by Mr. Gonzales, an old friend and colleague from Texas, even as Mr. Gonzales faced increasing scrutiny for his leadership of the Justice Department, over issues including his role in the dismissals of nine United States attorneys late last year and whether he testified truthfully about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

    Earlier this month, at a news conference, Mr. Bush dismissed accusations that Mr. Gonzales had stonewalled or misled a congressional inquiry. “We’re watching a political exercise,” Mr. Bush said. “I mean, this is a man who has testified, he’s sent thousands of papers up there. There’s no proof of wrong.”

    Mr. Gonzales’s resignation is the latest in a series of high-level departures that has reshaped the end of Mr. Bush’s second term. Karl Rove, another of Mr. Bush’s close circle of aides from Texas, stepped down two weeks ago.

    The official who disclosed the resignation today said that the decision was Mr. Gonzales’s and that the president accepted it grudgingly. At the same time, the official acknowledged that the turmoil over Mr. Gonzales had made his continuing as attorney general difficult.

    “The unfair treatment that he’s been on the receiving end of has been a distraction for the department,” the official said.

    As recently as Sunday afternoon, Mr. Gonzales was denying through his press spokesman, Brian Roehrkasse, that he intended to leave.

    Mr. Roehrkasse said Sunday afternoon that he had telephoned Mr. Gonzales about the reports circulating in Washington that a resignation was imminent, “and he said it wasn’t true, so I don’t know what more I can say.”

    White House spokesmen also insisted on Sunday that they did not believe that Mr. Gonzales was planning to resign. Aides to senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said over the weekend that they had received no suggestion from the administration that Mr. Gonzales intended to resign.

    Senator Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat who sits on the committee and has been calling for Mr. Gonzales’s resignation for months, said this morning: “It has been a long and difficult struggle, but at last the attorney general has done the right thing and stepped down. For the previous six months, the Justice Department has been virtually nonfunctional, and desperately needs new leadership.”

    Senator Schumer said that “Democrats will not obstruct or impede a nominee who we are confident will put the rule of law above political considerations.”

    Philip Shenon contributed reporting.

    Here, kids -- Let Freddie and the gang help you with your happy dancing. Go on. Close the office door. Crank up the volume. Look sharp when you sing it:


  1. Anonymous10:40 AM EDT

    It's Tuesday morning, and all over America, lovers of justice continue their happy dance. Meanwhile, Gonzales arrives for work as usual--seems he doesn't recall resigning.

  2. Anonymous9:36 PM EDT

    Ah, well -- No one ever accused Mr. Gonzales of being the sharpest tool in the shed.

  3. Anonymous8:58 AM EDT

    Quotes from the most compactly comprehensive article I've read on what is possible now for a truly progressive (or left-populist) turnaround in American politics!

    Today (8/29/2007) from The Atlantic

    by Ross Douthat

    "... Rove’s push for Republican dominance too often ran against the grain of public opinion, or else collapsed under the weight of incompetent implementation. From the Middle East to Social Security reform to immigration policy, the Bush White House has made a habit of swinging for the fences, and missing on every swing."

    * * *

    "The Republicans are to a large extent the party of married couples with children, while the Democrats are the party of unmarried voters, who tend to be more sensitive to economic risk, and thus more supportive of welfare spending, than members of intact nuclear families. But the nuclear family has been in steady decline for years, pushed along by falling marriage rates and rising out-of-wedlock births, trends that are likely to create an ever-larger base for a left-populist majority.

    "The pressure of continued outsourcing may also increase the public’s appetite for a smart left populism, as even well-educated workers—in fields from financial services to health care—begin to face stiff competition from overseas. In this landscape, it’s easy to imagine the middle-class anxiety that the political scientist Jacob Hacker termed “office-park populism” defining the domestic debate over the next 20 years, and easy to imagine a Democratic majority that capitalizes on the opportunity."

    * * *

    "But even slow-motion realignments require architects, and the memory of Ronald Reagan’s role in the Republican revolution, in particular, is a reminder that having a message isn’t enough; you need a messenger as well."



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