Monday, April 23, 2007

going, going. . . Gonzo!

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate thinks that AG Alberto Gonzales actually, sorta, kinda, did a bang-up job, from the administration’s point of view, when he stammered and fumphered through a day’s worth of evasion testimony on Thursday. Her rationale is that by refusing to answer practically anything asked of him, by behaving with a sort of churlish arrogance, he was confirming the over-arching view of the Bush White House, often given the overly legitimating name of “the theory of the unitary executive,” but more appropriately summed up by the quote, "l’état, c’est moi."

I, of course, think Abu-G looked like an idiot—which is why I both agree and disagree with Lithwick. Yes, from the standpoint of the loyal Bushies—as we now know they are called (believe it or not, to them, that’s a compliment)—Gonzo did sort of, kind of hit a home run. . . but he hit it by taking one for the team.

By appearing on Capitol Hill to be every inch the un-prepared, in-over-his-head hack that he might in “real life” actually be, the Attorney General has allowed everyone—leading Republicans included—to chalk up the whole US attorney purge scandal as a story about incompetence. . . shall we say, unitary incompetence.

Now, at least as far as this story gets told at this time, Gonzales must resign because he is a bad manager or an ineffective bureaucrat—or maybe even because he is a bit of a jerk—but few of his newest detractors are even intimating that maybe, just maybe, Gonzales was doing his job (politicize the US attorneys to stop corruption probes and manipulate elections) as instructed by his bosses in the executive branch.

That would be Rove. That would be Cheney. And yes, that would be the singular, solitary, unitary President George W. Bush.

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