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.
This attorney business just gets worse and worse: Another fired prosecutor, John McKay, of Seattle, tells NEWSWEEK that local Republicans pressured him to launch a criminal probe of voting fraud that would tilt a deadlocked Washington governor's race.
The best argument (Kinsley) and the worst argument (Kristol) for a Libby pardon. Kristol's piece also has this ridiculous assertion: "So if the White House wants to minimize opportunities for fresh speculation about how the Libby case is part of some broader conspiracy, the president should act now [and pardon Libby]." Riiiight, that'll dampen "speculation". Kinsley's essay is very smart, although does he really want an answer to this question: As for Democrats and liberals, I feel as vindictive as any other.
Today's liberal debate concerns: neoliberalism. Let me make a small point for the defense. The other Jonathan rightly points out that neoliberal aims helped rehabilitate the cause of fiscal responsibility among liberals. At Tapped, Ezra Klein expresses skepticism that there ever were any fiscally-irresponsible Democrats. In fact, the merits of deficits were a raging debate during the 1980s. Read this Michael Kinsley article which shows just how controversial a proposition this was at the time.
I am reasonably sure that no one in the White House cares what I think about a pardon for Scooter Libby. But, frankly, I'd prefer for the D.C. Circuit to overthrow the verdict of the district court than for George Bush to pardon Libby. It would keep Libby out of jail, but it woouldn't persuade anyone that he is innocent. After the 140 sleazy midnight absolutions by Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, any presidential pardon will be afflicted with a stench that will keep it from ever being truly seen as an act of justice.