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Robert Novak - Bush Behind the Barricades

Robert Novak is one of those rare political oddities--a stalwart conservative who has been outspoken in opposition to the war in Iraq since day one. He enjoys nearly unparalleled access to the Washington elites and always has something interesting to say. Today, he has turned his attention to the ongoing controversy surrounding our esteemed Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. I encourage you to read the whole piece but in case you don't have the time here's a few choice excerpts:

All the Republicans in Congress who I have contacted view this posture [to retain Gonzales] by Bush to be pure folly. For the long term, they predict their president's intent to wage constant warfare against the majority Democrats will cast a pall on Republican chances of retaining the presidency in 2008. For the shorter term, they foresee nothing but trouble from Gonzales continuing in power. "I cannot imagine," said a House GOP leader, who would not be quoted by name, "how [Bush] thinks Gonzales can function effectively with no Republican support."

It's as if George Bush is still in a state of blissful denial about the results of the 2006 election. How can he possibly expect Alberto Gonzales to function as Attorney General with the Democrats viciously dogging his every move and Republican support withering on the vine?

Then, Novak gives us this:

Colin Powell, Bush's first-term secretary of state, was so appalled by Gonzales that he shunted contact with him off to Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, who in turn handed him down to lower levels along the State Department chain of command.

This would be funny if it weren't so sad. Nobody deserves the humiliation of being placed into an important political position that is far beyond their capabilities. Anyone who saw Gonzales' pathetic testimony before the Senate would have to agree that he's way over his head. The only question now is when does Bush cut his losses and stop the bleeding on this issue?

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Comments (3)

sean nyc/aa:

gonzales is the firewall just like rummy was for 2 yrs. gonzales will not leave unless there is hard evidence of wrongdoing, which is why the investigation must continue. that and rove has yet to testify.

P. Bunyan:

Yup, sad for Gonzalez. You've got to be a polished, practiced, smooth talking liar to be acceptable to the Democrats.

I'd suggest looking beyond the obvious on this story. The White House has something to hide, and while Gonzales is maintaining he's done nothing wrong, he's not saying nothing wrong was done -- just that he's innocent.

Maybe his stubbornness in refusing to resign is because he's refusing to be the WH scapegoat on this.

There's more to this story underneath the surface, and I suspect the four years of emails that were illegally erased are a big part of this.


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