Here's Alberto Gonzales fending off calls for his resignation on CBS's "The Early Show" this morning: I didn't become attorney general by quitting. I hate to quibble with Gonzales at a time like this, but didn't he have to quit his job as White House counsel in order to become the A.G.? --Jason Zengerle
In a (pretty feeble) defense of Alberto Gonzales, David Frum notes a fringe benefit for Democrats in the current US Attorney scandal: Even if he stays, Gonzales is probably toast as a Supreme Court nominee. Whereas until now he would've been a tough pick for many Democrats to oppose. --Michael Crowley
I admit that when I first started reading Josh Marshall's coverage of the fired U.S. attorneys story back in January, I thought he and his TalkingPointsMemo gang were possibly making a mountain out of a molehill. Oops. So there's no way I'm going to make the same mistake about Idolator's conspiracy theory that Britney Spears is doing black ops for the White House. When it comes to this administration, I think it's smart to assume the worst. --Jason Zengerle
Sam Tanenhaus describes how William F. Buckley turned against his own movement (and also discovers that Buckley turned David Brooks down for the editorship of the National Review because he wasn't "a believing Christian"); Tanenhaus also recommends essential books about American conservatism and chats with Isaac Chotiner about the future of the movement (we've got the audio); Cass R. Sunstein thinks the D.C.
It was #1 Hack Harriet Miers who suggested firing U.S. attorneys in 2005 -- that is, firing all 93 of them. Imagine if this had come out with Miers as a sitting Supreme Court Justice. --Eve Fairbanks
Could be: According to this morning's Times, The White House is turning on him: With Democrats, including the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, insisting that Mr. Gonzales step down, his appearance underscored what two Republicans close to the Bush administration described as a growing rift between the White House and the attorney general. Mr.
"This is not Luke Skywalker here," said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), discussing his friend and Senate colleague John McCain's second run for the presidency. "This is a totally different campaign." Graham was looking for a way to reassure his fellow conservatives that they no longer had anything to fear from McCain. His choice of metaphor is one of those windows into the fundamental cultural gap that separates hard-core conservatives from the rest of humanity.
When James Dobson gets angry, people notice. And, in early March, the influential chair of Focus on the Family fired off a very angry letter to the board of the National Association of Evangelicals. Tony Perkins of The Family Research Council signed it. So did Gary Bauer. So did 22 other conservative Christian leaders. Their complaint? It seems that Richard Cizik, NAE's vice-president for governmental affairs, had been sounding the alarm on global warming.
"The White House staff reflects the president. This is obvious to the point of being a truism." This is a truism? Really? Anyway, that's how Fred Barnes leads off his column in The Weekly Standard this week. It's titled "Cheerleader in Chief". And for those of us who thought Bush was depressed by his low approval ratings and disastrous policies, well, think again: Bush's relentlessly upbeat demeanor, which he flaunts at press conferences and other public events, infuriates his political opponents and much of the mainstream media.
Via PoliticalWire, I see that Stephen Hayes's long-awaited valentine to biography of Dick Cheney, titled Cheney, is due out this summer. According to The Examiner, Hayes--whose stubborn belief in an Iraq-Al Qaeda connection no doubt endeared him to Cheney--secured nearly 40 hours of interviews with the normally press-averse veep.