I can't believe this story has lasted longer than 24 hours and now all the partisans who finally digested Donald Rumsfeld's bones have moved on to call for the ouster of the attorney general. What does the blogosphere's top legal blog have to say?
On a more serious note, I haven't written about the U.S. Attorney's story because I'm having a hard time figuring out just how big a deal it is. Parts of it are obviously very troubling: I was very disturbed to learn of the Domenici calls, for example. More broadly, I have longrunning objections to the extent to which DOJ is under White House control, objections that this story helps bring to the fore (although my objections are based on my views of sound policy, not on law).Now far be it for me to suggest that the press would overlook the law in favor of partisan criticism of the Bush administration. Heavens, no! And certainly when Janet Reno dismissed 93 U.S. attorneys in 1993, CNN didn't nod approvingly at the "clean sweep" in the Justice Department. That would suggest a double standard, one that superhuman journalists would never allow.
At the same time, several parts of the story seem overblown. U.S. Attorneys are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President, and the press seems to overlook that in a lot of its reporting. Also, I know one or two of the Administration figures named in some of the stories, and based on my knowledge of them and their character (although no secret details of the story — I have not spoken with anyone about it) I have a feeling that they're getting a bad rap.
Extra - Much much more on this from Patterico. (HT: RCP)
More - MacRanger and David Frum suggest ulterior motives in the push to oust Gonzales.