Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gonzales is gone

The Democrats finally got their wish. The departures from the administration still continue, seemingly unabated, and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is the latest to tender his resignation:

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, whose tenure has been marred by controversy and accusations of perjury before Congress, announced his resignation in Washington today, declaring that he had “lived the American dream” by being able to lead the Justice Department.

Mr. Gonzales, who had rebuffed calls for his resignation for months, submitted it to President Bush by telephone on Friday, a senior administration official said. There had been rumblings over the weekend that Mr. Gonzales’s departure was imminent, although the White House sought to quell the rumors.

Mr. Gonzales appeared cheerful and composed when he announced that he was stepping down effective Sept. 17. His very worst days on the job were “better than my father’s best days,” he said, alluding to his family’s hardscrabble past.
“Thank you, and God bless America,” Mr. Gonzales said, exiting without responding to questions.

In Waco, President Bush said he had accepted the resignation reluctantly. He praised his old friend as “a man of integrity, decency and principle” and complained of the “months of unfair treatment” that preceded the resignation.
“It’s sad,” Mr. Bush said, asserting that Mr. Gonzales’s name had been “dragged through the mud for political reasons.”

The president said the solicitor general, Paul D. Clement, would serve as acting attorney general until a permanent replacement was chosen.

Mr. Bush has not yet chosen a replacement but will not leave the position open long, the senior administration official said early this morning. Among those being mentioned as a possible successor were Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security who is a former federal prosecutor, assistant attorney general and federal judge; Christopher Cox, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and Larry D. Thompson, a former deputy attorney general who is now senior vice president and general counsel of PepsiCo Inc. ...

... But Democrats cheered Mr. Gonzales’s departure. “Alberto Gonzales was never the right man for this job,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader. “He lacked independence, he lacked judgment, and he lacked the spine to say ‘no’ to Karl Rove.”

Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who sits on the Judiciary 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.”

Rule of law? Senator Schumer had staffers dig into the private credit records of Michael Steele during his Senate run. Talk about a pot-and-kettle moment. And as for the lack of a spine to Karl Rove, anyone ever consider that Rove might have delivered a message or a directive to Gonzales? One that was given to him by the president? If the president sent his deputy chief of staff to you with marching orders, are you going to question him or blow him off?

This comes as no surprise to us. Many people might be leaving their jobs with the White House prior to Labor Day. That's the deadline for anyone to get off the ship. Once Labor Day passes, everyone in the administration is staying until January of 2009 when this ride is finally over.

As for the choices ... I don't want to see Michael Chertoff up there. As a matter of fact, I'd like to see Chertoff out as DHS secretary because he's a walking cluster-f*ck. Chris Cox is a better choice given that he's the deputy AG to begin with. But when the appointee is announced, and the hearings begin, we'll see how "honest" the Democrats are when it comes to Schumer's "promise" to be fair. We're not holding our breath.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Both Hot Air and Michelle Malkin have updates and links on this story. Be sure to stop by and pick up the newest updates from them.


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