When something important happens on the political scene, I believe it is always useful to see what the Powerline thinks. Not because I will actually learn anything, or they will have anything interesting to say, but because I get a kind of perverse pleasure seeing what the crazy bastards actually think (and I use that term loosely). In today’s installment, we learn that Abu Gonzales is a victim:
I’ve never been a fan of Gonzales, but I can’t help feeling sorry for him. The “scandal” that led to his demise — the firing of the U.S. attorneys — appears to involve no wrongdoing on his part. Moreover, the underlying decisions and process appear to have been the product of the White House, not Gonzales. His defense of the decisions was hardly stellar, but if I’m correct, he was handicapped by the fact that they were not really his decisions.
Gonzales’s only real offense seems to have been mediocrity. But mediocrity in an Attorney General is nothing new (think Janet Reno), and any blame for this occurrence properly attaches to the White House.
Andrew Cohen summarizes the “mediocrity”:
When historians look back upon the disastrous tenure of Alberto R. Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States they will ask not only why he merited the job in the first place but why he lasted in it as long as he did. By any reasonable standard, the Gonzales Era at the Justice Department is void of almost all redemptive qualities. He brought shame and disgrace to the Department because of his lack of independent judgment on some of the most vital legal issues of our time. And he brought chaos and confusion to the department because of his lack of respectable leadership over a cabinet-level department among the most important in the nation.
He neither served the longstanding role as “the people’s attorney” nor fully met and tamed his duties and responsibilities to the Constitution. He was a man who got the job not because he was supremely qualified or notably well-respected among the leading legal lights of our time, but because he had faithfully and with blind obedience served President George W. Bush for years in Texas (where he botched clemency memos in death penalty cases) and then as White House counsel (where he botched the nation’s legal policy on torture).
For an administration known for its cronyism, and alas for an alarmingly incompetent group of cronies, Gonzales was the granddaddy of them all. He lacked the integrity, the intellect and the independence to perform his duties in a manner befitting the job for which he was chosen. And when he and his colleagues got caught in the act, his rationales and explanations for the purge of the U.S. Attorneys were so empty and shallow and incoherent that even the staunchest Republicans could not turn them into steeled spin. Devoid of any credibility, Gonzales in the end was a sad joke when he came to Capitol Hill.
If that is what passes for mediocrity, it is no wonder the Powerline thinks things are going well in Iraq.
*** Update ***
As always, Red State delights:
With the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales the President has an opportunity to do something with the justice department. The President needs to appoint someone who believes strongly in the foreign surveillance program, he needs to appoint someone who will go into the justice department, not with a new tone, but someone that will clean house of the endless career bureaucrats that been undermining the administration.
Why didn’t I think of that? The solution to the problems at Justice is clearly to insert more “yes-men” and some more cronyism. Nevermind, I know why I didn’t think of that. I’m not a blithering idiot.