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Heckuva job, Fredo...

You know who is probably having the worst week of them all? Alberto "Fredo" Gonzales. Did he get a grilling yesterday, or what? No Senator on the Judiciary Committee was tossing him a bone, not even Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who has been carrying water for the White House on the attorney purge up until now. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okl.) went so far as to suggest he resign during the hearing.

And the nation's op-ed pages seem to agree. Here's a round up of what they're saying:


The New York Times - Gonzales vs. Gonzales:

Mr. Gonzales came across as a dull-witted apparatchik incapable of running one of the most important departments in the executive branch ... At the end of the day, we were left wondering why the nation's chief law-enforcement officer would paint himself as a bumbling fool. Perhaps it's because the alternative is that he is not telling the truth.

Dallas Morning News - Seeing is Believing:

In his Senate testimony yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said, "The moment I believe I can no longer be effective, I will resign as attorney general." With respect, we suggest that Mr. Gonzales watch the tape of his disastrous showing in Thursday's hearing. Seeing is believing.

Washington Post - Roughed Up on the Hill:

"The moment I believe I can no longer be effective I will resign as attorney general," Mr. Gonzales said yesterday. That moment has arrived, whether or not the attorney general and the president are willing to acknowledge it.

Boston Globe - No support for either Gonzales:

The Justice Department originally maintained that the firings were for reasons of poor performance. But Gonzales yesterday as much as admitted that performance was not the issue when he said that he ordered the dismissals without even looking at the attorneys' job evaluations. To yank prosecutors out of their offices and off ongoing investigations without even reviewing their evaluations is flagrant misconduct by Gonzales.


The thing is, Bush still backs AG 100%. As long as that's true and AG does his job of operating the Justice Department as a wing of the Republican Party and remains loyal to Bush (that's the most important thing to Bush), then I don't think AG has much to worry about.

True, Bush probably won't ask him to step down. Fredo knows where all the bodies are buried - he was Bush's personal attorney before Bush was appointed to the presidency by the Supremes. But I think he'll resign before the president's term is out. And while he's still AG, it's a great issue for the Dems.

Fellas, let's not forget that Bush is a political animal from a political family dynasty. The guy ultimately does what's politically expedient (just ask Rummy, Michael Brown...) If he feels his legacy--which is top of mind as he enters his last 18 months as president--or his poltical agenda will be damaged by Gonzales remaining as AG, then you can bet your ass Fredo will be taken out fishing.

Dems have a slim majority in Congress and so there's only so much they can do without the support of at least a handful of Republicans. Bush knows that and will do what he has to to keep those Repubs in line. As the calls for Fredo's removal grow louder from the GOP side of the aisle, the closer Bush moves to dropping the hammer on his old pal. Bush puts up a good fight...to a point. He may be seeing that line in the sand a bit cleearer this weekend.

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