A.G. Gonzalez Resigns

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Alberto GonzalezJust months ago, defiance by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and President Bush, in the face of critic's calls for the A.G.'s resignation, was frustrating for them. The frustration ends today.

A close friend and advisor to Pres. Bush since the President's days as Governor of Texas, Gonzalez became a lightning rod from the beginning of the process to elevate him to Att. Gen. Weighed down by Constitutional battles over his advice that certain Geneva Conventions did not apply to America's handling of prisoners in the War on Terror, that surveillance of Americans in efforts to monitor potential terrorists abroad, and most recently his nearly complete loss of memory regarding his role in the firing of 8 Republican U.S. Attorneys and attacks on those attorneys character's to justify their firing, Gonzalez is expected to resign this morning.

Reuters covers details and some background in this story entitled appropriately enough, Attorney General Gonzales resigns. His resignation follows a long list of resignations from the Bush Administration over both terms, leaving critics with only 2 primary targets for vacating office left, V.P. Dick Cheney and the President himself. Critics will have another frustrating long wait to see these two gentlemen exit the White House for the last time; Jan. 20, 2009, to be precise.

There will be official reasons for his resignation, unofficial reasons, and speculation as to the real motives. But, the trend of cabinet members and other White House officials resigning in the wake of controversies and criticisms that won't go away, is all too familiar. Clearly however, the President's legacy will not be served by the resignations. Nor will confidence in this administration be restored as a result of another in a long list of resignations to date.

So, it may prove to be the case, that what the White House reports as reasons for this resignation will actually be truthful; the interest of public service from the Attorney General's office, not hampered by investigations and an ongoing barrage of legal maneuvers to force Attorney General to answer Senators Arlen Specter's (R) and Patrick Leahy's inquiries from Congress. In other words, to further the interests of getting the people's work done.

Some Republicans and Democrats alike have been dismayed and frustrated by Gonzalez' performance in his office. Like Katrina, the War in Iraq, torture, and illegal surveillance, A.G. Gonzalez has cost the Republican Party registered voters, now estimated at 31%. Several percentage points behind Democrats and several more behind Independents. But, his resignation serves little political purpose at this point, the damage is done, and history will not allow removing his tenure from its pages. This appears to leave only the motive of restoring morale and efficacy in a Justice Department troubled by low morale and controversy now hindering the Department's ability to recruit the best and brightest to fill vacant positions.

There appears to be no cause or justification for rejoicing at Gonzalez' resignation. It is sad chapter in American history that politics, controversy, and incompetence have so dominated the inner workings of U.S. government, that a list of needs of the nation and the American people continue to go unmet and unresolved. And the list grows with each passing year, to include:

  • Finding an exit strategy for the deficit busting war without progress in Iraq.
  • An ever wider divide between the wealthy and the Middle Class, and renewed growth in the numbers of poor.
  • Projects that appear to have no end in sight such as border security, restoration of damage left by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and addressing a crumbling infrastructure.
  • Needed reforms now growing in number, from Social Security, Medicare, Health Care, Campaign Finance, greater lobbying and ethics reforms, and recently added and looming, the need to reform the seemingly unlimited power of the Executive Branch to deny and reject Constitutional design for 3 co-equal branches of government replete with oversight and accountability powers.

In a long repetition of government taking 1 step forward and 2 back, the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez represents another step forward. Many will call this progress. Many would say closing this door will only lead to opening another into more scandal, more politics instead of governance, and another 2 steps back. I would count myself among this latter group, until the voters in America revolt at the election polls, canceling the tenures of vast numbers of incumbents who demonstrate with ever greater frequency, their inability and lack of desire to put America back together again.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on August 27, 2007 3:46 PM.

'08's Economic Woes to Hit Republicans Hard was the previous entry in this blog.

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