Someone throw the Captain a life preserver, as he is going down:
That, to me, indicates a problem with Domenici and Wilson more than the White House, which seems to have caved to Congressional pressure on Iglesias. Will Congress demand a public explanation, under oath, from their own? Unlikely, since many of them stick their noses into ongoing investigations, including Chuck Schumer on the Plame investigation. However, it still reflects poorly on the DoJ and Gonzales’ administration, which showed no loyalty to someone they considered a star, pitching him under the bus when someone griped about his handling of one particular case.
The entire issue shows political hackery all the way around — and if the Democrats aren’t careful, they may come out as the biggest hacks of all.
A lot of things can be said about this scandal, but the notion that the Democrats might come out looking the worst is a particularly silly one (we’ll chalk it up to wishful thinking). This isn’t Monica Lewinsky and a blowjob they are aggressively pursuing- it is what looks to be the firing of several US Attornies for not using their offices as part of the Rove apparatus to defeat Democrats.
People get that. People understand why that is inherently wrong. And just in case they didn’t, here is fired USA David Iglesias in the NYT to explain it all to them in gory detail:
United States attorneys have a long history of being insulated from politics. Although we receive our appointments through the political process (I am a Republican who was recommended by Senator Pete Domenici), we are expected to be apolitical once we are in office. I will never forget John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, telling me during the summer of 2001 that politics should play no role during my tenure. I took that message to heart. Little did I know that I could be fired for not being political.
Politics entered my life with two phone calls that I received last fall, just before the November election. One came from Representative Heather Wilson and the other from Senator Domenici, both Republicans from my state, New Mexico.
Ms. Wilson asked me about sealed indictments pertaining to a politically charged corruption case widely reported in the news media involving local Democrats. Her question instantly put me on guard. Prosecutors may not legally talk about indictments, so I was evasive. Shortly after speaking to Ms. Wilson, I received a call from Senator Domenici at my home. The senator wanted to know whether I was going to file corruption charges — the cases Ms. Wilson had been asking about — before November. When I told him that I didn’t think so, he said, “I am very sorry to hear that,” and the line went dead.
A few weeks after those phone calls, my name was added to a list of United States attorneys who would be asked to resign — even though I had excellent office evaluations, the biggest political corruption prosecutions in New Mexico history, a record number of overall prosecutions and a 95 percent conviction rate. (In one of the documents released this week, I was deemed a “diverse up and comer” in 2004. Two years later I was asked to resign with no reasons given.)
When some of my fired colleagues — Daniel Bogden of Las Vegas; Paul Charlton of Phoenix; H. E. Cummins III of Little Rock, Ark.; Carol Lam of San Diego; and John McKay of Seattle — and I testified before Congress on March 6, a disturbing pattern began to emerge. Not only had we not been insulated from politics, we had apparently been singled out for political reasons. (Among the Justice Department’s released documents is one describing the office of Senator Domenici as being “happy as a clam” that I was fired.)
I am not sure how you can read that, observe what has happened over the past few weeks regarding this issue, and then say with a straight face:
“The Democrats better be careful or they might look like hacks.”