Friday, April 20, 2007

a call for compassionate dismissal

It is terrible to see a person who clearly suffers from a terrible mental disorder struggle to answer questions about important events that happened just a few months ago. If de facto President Bush were really compassionate, he would fire Alberto Gonzales so Gonzales could seek immediate treatment for whatever horrible brain parasite is eating his memories.

It is significant that Republican Senators, in particular fellow Texan Jon Cornyn, Tom Coburn (who called on Gonzales to quit) and Lindsay Graham were so harsh with Gonzales. But I wonder if I detect some political strategy there. First, it is simply self-preservation not to side with somebody whose credibility is somewhere below Martin Short's lying man from Saturday Night Live days.

But I think they're also trying to keep the focus on Gonzales' mistakes and incompetence, and away from the criminal acts that are behind this scandal. Coburn, for example, said "I believe there's consequences for mistakes. . . . And I believe the best way to put this behind us is your resignation."

But the Great US Attorney Massacre wasn't a "mistake" in the minds of Gonzales or Karl Rove. It was a conscious part of the long-standing Rove strategy to push the concept of "voter fraud" (GOP code for "vote suppression"). And it was a move to punish attorneys who were too vigorous in pursuing real cases of Republican corruption (take a bow, Carol Lam, for nailing Randy "Duke" Cunningham) and were too lax in pushing cases against Democrats at a time politically expedient for the White House and Republican members of Congress from New Mexico (if not elsewhere, too).

Remember -- the scandal isn't about Gonzales lying to Congress (although that, too, is a crime). It is about firing those people to impede investigations and punish attorneys that didn't hew closely enough to the White House's political desires.

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