Tuesday, January 25, 2005

 

The vast leftwing blogging conspiracy gangs up on poor li'l Alberto Gonzalez

Kos wants bloggers to jump on the bandwagon in opposing Alberto Gonzales for Attorney-General.

Zum befehl! (:::clicks heels:::)

(Okay, bad metaphor. Bad bad metaphor! No biscuit!)

Anyway...

I have previously posted, "Anyone George W. Bush appoints for his second term (or who is appointed by someone appointed by Bush for his second term) will be worse than the person being replaced."

Hard as it may be for anyone to believe that it is possible for an Attorney-General to be worse than John Ashcroft, that may be the case with Alberto Gonzales. Ashcroft was a Senator (before being defeated by a dead man). He was a religious fanatic and a source of ridicule, as well as an evil man for his downgrading of our civil liberties, but he did not ruin our reputation overseas (probably and only because he didn't get a chance to).

Alberto Gonzales is as responsible as anyone else for the fact that America is the Chile-under-Pinochet of the new millennium. His memos justifying torture, however he and his many apologists may try to spin them otherwise, have seriously trashed anyone's confidence in our devotion to the rule of law and the laws of war. An Attorney-General who disdains his own committment to international treaties of which the United States is a signatory cannot possibly be trusted to enforce all the nation's laws fairly and without prejudice or deference to politics. He can argue as much as he wants that he was giving the president private advice, but lawyers are officers of the court and may not, under any circumstances, advise their clients on how to avoid or break the law.

Alberto Gonzales is, superficially, an attractive man with a heartwarming story of upward mobility from poverty. However, what he really is, is George W. Bush's consigliere as well as just one more among a truly astounding number of people who have ridden the tail of the kite that is George W. Bush his entire life, enabling this weak, spoiled wastrel to escape the consequences of his endless and sordid string of misdeeds and screw-ups. He is not going to be able to do the right thing (assuming, and I know it's a stretch, that he would want to do so or even recognize the right thing if he saw it) if and when Bush wants him to do the wrong thing. Gonzales is basically a lawyer who becomes his client's co-conspirator.

There is nothing in his background that qualifies him to be the Senate-confirmed Attorney-General of the United States of America. In Texas, he enabled Bush to assent to over 150 executions, many of people who received horribly inadequate defenses at their trials. And, we have his learned legal memos on behalf of torture. The world waits, and we are about to show them that we spit in their faces.

Not that the Republican-controlled Senate will under any circumstances fail to confirm him. But the Democrats do not have to roll over and give them an easy win. The idea that a President has an absolute right to an uncontested Cabinet is not only absurd but absent from the Constitution. A President has a right to name a congenial Cabinet, but only with "the advice and consent" of the Senate. That does not mean he can name just anyone he wants, however unqualified - or even however qualified - if there are serious reasons for a Senator to vote no.

The Democrats can't derail Gonzales, but he is going to derail himself someday (see my post above). When that happens, the Democrats should and are going to want to be able to say that they saw it coming and tried to prevent it from happening. It takes guts to be a successful opposition, and this is the best possible place to start.
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