Thursday, January 27, 2005

 

Amazingly, the Times still doesn't get it!

Although they're inching in the right direction. But still...
The Wrong Attorney General

Other parts of Mr. Gonzales's record are also troubling. As counsel to George Bush when he was governor of Texas, Mr. Gonzales did a shockingly poor job of laying out the legal issues raised by the clemency petitions from prisoners on death row.
No no no! Gonzales did not do a "shockingly bad job"! He did a brilliant job - as long as you understand what his job was! You can't assume he was actually trying to do a good job but failed. He was supposed to do a bad job - and he did! Gonzales and Bush had no intention of actually exploring whether or not any particular prisoner deserved to be executed - they simply wanted threadbare cover for the executions they had already, long since decided to let be carried out. They didn't give a shit if the person had received an incompetent defense, had mitigating factors ignored by the trial court, or was even innocent.

The Times is inexcusably naive when it comes to judging George W. Bush. They persist in giving him the benefit of the doubt, in assuming that his motives are good but his implementation is lousy. They have yet to figure out - or at least admit - that his motives are malign, his policies putrid, his underlings underhanded, his knowledge not there, his understand underwhelming, his concern confounded - okay, that's enough alliteration. I've made my point.

I'm glad the Times came out against Alberto Gonzales. He is a dreadful choice to be Attorney-General - which is precisely why George W. Bush nominated him.

The Times concludes,
Senate Democrats, who are trying to define their role after the setbacks of the 2004 election, should stand on principle and hold out for a more suitable attorney general. Republicans also have reason to oppose this nomination. At the confirmation hearings, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, warned that the administration's flawed legal policies and mistreatment of detainees had hurt the country's standing and "dramatically undermined" the war on terror. Given the stakes in that war, senators of both parties should want an attorney general who does not come with this nominee's substantial shortcomings.
Again with the pious platitudes and faint hopes and wishful thinking. There is absolutely no fucking way on God's Earth that the Republicans are going to oppose Alberto Gonzales. I will be shocked if even one Republican Senator votes against him. For the Times to marshal cogent arguments addressed to the Senate Republican majority calling on them not to defer to their Emperor is beyond naive - it is blind, deaf, dumb, and brain-dead.

The Democrats absolutely must stand against this disastrous nomination, but not with even the slightest hope that it will do any good. Nothing will do any good, in the short-term, in dealing with George W. Bush and his triumphalist party. Pretending that Bush & Co. are listening is a total waste of time - and of the Times. The sooner the Times realizes this, the sooner they stop fooling themselves that anything they say can influence the debate at all, the sooner they turn to flat-out opposition, the better.
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