Friday, March 16, 2007

The Economist on why Gonzales is here to stay

The UK magazine looks at the "Three clashing branches" in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and (in its typical fashion) finds validity on both sides of the issue. However, this closing paragraph reveals why Attorney General Alberto Gonzales isn't looking for packing boxes:

For Mr Bush's critics, both Republicans and Democrats, this tale reinforces two conclusions they drew some time ago. First, Mr Bush is asserting greater executive power, at the expense of other branches of government, than any previous chief executive. And second, the president is too fond of mediocre loyalists such as Mr Gonzales. That said, if he sacks him, he will have a heck of a job getting a replacement confirmed by the Senate.
The relationship between the White House and the Senate Judiciary committee was poisonous when it was still headed by Republicans. In the hands of Patrick Leahy and Chuck "Where's my camera?" Schumer, oh boy, not good.


yetanotherjohn said...

"First, Mr Bush is asserting greater executive power, at the expense of other branches of government, than any previous chief executive."

Perhaps we should give them a history lesson on what has been happening since their governance has left our fair shores. FDR has to be the premier "imperial" president in terms of asserting greater executive power. LBJ would be an interesting second, but I'm not sure he would beat out Lincoln.

Both FDR and Lincoln fundamentally changed how we viewed the role of the federal government and the presidency. Maybe history will record the same of Bush, but I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, having to follow that FDR and Lincoln "competence" thing can be a real legacy killer.

Anonymous said...

What, exactly, is it that makes Schumer's or Joe Biden's frequent Sunday morning TV spots more egregious to you than Trent Lott's, or Lindsey Graham's, or Condoleezza Rice's, or John McCain's, or Chuck Hagel's? Such a mystery!

Eric said...

I'll put it this way: although possibly all politicians are arrogant, Schumer and Biden take self-regard to a new level. The joke in Washington is that the most dangerous place in the world is between Schumer and a television camera. Meanwhile, Biden speaks in a measured tone that drives me half-insane, as if every word must be carefully pronounced and given a certain gravity so that a chorus of historians can carefully record his great utterances.

This is why, IIRC, when given fifteen minutes to question Judge Roberts for the Supreme Court (or was it Alito?) he used all his time making a statement, before asking a single question.