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Who’s to Blame for Alberto Gonzales?

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U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has finally been shown the door, following close on the heels of Karl Rove and virtually no one has stepped forward to say “Gee, that’s too bad.” In fact, perhaps his one redeeming feature was that he was finally able to unite Democrats and Republicans in their demands for his resignation.

Gonzales was the bumbling, lying clown that sat in front of congressional committees and told them that, gee whiz, he had no idea at all about pretty much anything that was happening around him. Apparently, he was just too darn busy doing crossword puzzles to pay attention to what was going on in his Justice Department.

What’s that you say, someone fired a bunch of U.S. Attorneys because they weren’t playing ball with the administration? Nope, I never heard anything about that. I harrassed a sick man in the hospital to get him to sign off on illegal wiretapping? Nah, I was just there to bring him a box of chocolates.

His resignation comes just days after Bush re-iterated his support for Gonzales, saying “Why should he resign? He’s done nothing wrong.” Of course, when Bush talks about right and wrong, you have to remember that he apparently uses different definitions for those words than the rest of us.

Although it's easy to blame Gonzales (way too easy), it's Bush who is really at fault. Once again, he placed a person in a vital position of power in the U.S. government, not based on his ability, but based on his loyalty to him. It's his standard operating procedure. When selecting an Attorney General of the United States, the most important thing in the president's mind is to make sure that person will do his bidding, be his lap dog. Let's not worry about finding someone who is competent and capable, or about the equal administration of justice. Such quaint ideas, anyway.

So Gonzales will likely go down in the history books as one of the worst Attorney Generals ever, working for a president who will be remembered as one of the worst presidents ever. Not a very enviable legacy, and probably not what he had envisioned when he came to Washington with his best friend George nearly seven years ago.

There had been speculation that Bush was supporting Gonzales because he didn't want to have to go through a difficult confirmation process, which makes his apparent choice of Michael Chertoff to replace Gonzales a bit puzzling. Chertoff, after all, was the man in charge of Homeland Security two years ago when he allowed New Orleans, a major American city, to go under without even much of a fight.

But hey, heck of a job, 'Berto!

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About Doug DeLong

  • Nancy

    What a pity Dubya & Cheney haven’t been packed off as well. Hopefully their time is coming. Meanwhile, I suppose Junior will further debase the Medal of Freedom by bestowing it on both Rove & Gonzales, even as he nominates Chertoff (!?!) to replace Gonzie. That’s one thing you have to say about George W. Bush: he never forgets a mistake; therefore he’s able to keep making the same one over & over & over & over & over ….

  • The man is such a pitiful, incompetent bumbler I almost feel sorry for him.

    The unfortunate thing now is that the hearings for his replacement will become an ugly argument about which party is tough enough on terrorism. The Fox News bloviators were predicting that this will benefit Republicans. It will actually, of course, benefit no one at all.

  • moonraven

    If I have time later today I will put up a translation of part of today’s editorial regarding Gonzales from La Jornada.

    It’s highly relevant as Gonzales has certainly not helped the image of folks descended from Mexican undocumented workers in the US.

    By the way, it’s not Berto, but Beto.

  • Baronius

    I had been looking forward to a BC article on Gonzales. This article disappointed me. There are so many interesting angles that could have been pursued: why Gonzales had no support from Right or Left, why he was targeted by Congress, how he lost Bush’s support, et cetera.

  • moonraven

    Baronius, You are asking for a different artcile–clearly from the standpoint of supporting the Bush Gang.

    You cannot expect folks who disagree with your political stance to write articles that reflect your point of view.

    That is carrying egocentricity to a new low on this site.

    Write your own fucking article.

  • bliffle

    Gonzales said that his worst day was better than his fathers best day. I assume he was speaking about finance and not virtue. Shows you what his values are.

    One has to laugh when Bush says a good man was driven from office by a slimy campaign. This, from a guy whose entire campaign was based on smears.

    Gonzales wasn’t very good anyhow. His willingness to be manipulated by his boss and NOT standup for his office and the people who pay his salary makes him nothing more than a willing puppet. He did it for the money, both in office and rewards afterwards.

  • JustOneMan

    Who’s to Blame for Alberto Gonzales?
    Affirmative action…

  • bliffle

    Baronius: let me give it a try:

    “why Gonzales had no support from Right or Left,”

    He never could get left support because this admin was aggressively partisan. They kissed that off at the very beginning.

    He lost right support when his aggressive pursuit of the phantom of Executive Privilege endangered Congress’ independent autonomy and opportunity to plunder the budget for their own enrichment. Gonzales was easy to throw to the hounds. Real easy.

    ” why he was targeted by Congress,”

    They need re-election so they had to respond in SOME way to the cursed voters, and Gonzales was easy to throw to the hounds. Real easy.

    ” how he lost Bush’s support,”

    he was no longer useful. Loyalty only works one way with Bush/Cheney. Gonzales was easy to throw to the hounds. Real easy.

  • Clavos

    “Gonzales was easy to throw to the hounds. Real easy.”

    And well he should have been, once he ceased being useful.

    At least they didn’t arrange an accident….

  • moonraven

    Affirmative Action was NOT to blame for Gonzales.

    George W. Bush was to blame for Gonzales–and Speedy himself, of course.

    As well as the US people–who supported this parasitical and fanatical regime.

    I guess that means most of YOU are to blame.

  • moonraven


    Avionazos and helicopterazos are for folks who OPPOSE them (Wellstone, Torrijos, et al.)

    Not for folks who do a heck of a job for them.

  • Clavos

    Bad mistake on their part, mr.

    He has too much insider knowledge, which will inevitably appear in print before long.

    I’d have done him in.

    Leave no wits.

  • moonraven

    YOU would have done him in because of your racist belief system.

    Not because of his insider knowledge. Everyone on the inside has insider knowledge.

    I did not see your commenting about doing in Karl Rove–whose insider knowledge is much greater.

  • moonraven

    Okay, pinche brit, where is my reply to Clavos?

  • JustOneMan

    “Affirmative Action was NOT to blame for Gonzales.” WRONG

    Because of liberal loom policies the unqualified are admitted to college and law school…


  • moonraven

    Wrong again.

    You, for example [Personal attack deleted] don’t have a law degree from Harvard or Yale.

    But George Bush, for example, was admitted to both Harvard and Yale. He was clearly not qualified even for Gonzales’s father’s job as a bricklayer.

    Liberal LOOM (what kind of weaving device is that?) policies had nothing to do with it.

    His father’s influence, however, had EVERYTHING to do with it.

    Gonzales may have been perfectly “qualified”. The problem was that he is greedy, has the morals of a jackal and is a perfect toady.

    Only his tendency to “toad” could even remotely be tied to his ethnic background.

  • JustOneMan

    Monnraven [Personal attack deleted] Whats wrong with a being a bricklayer?

    And if we keep lowering standards for minorities we better get used to those more quailifed to be dishwashers and landscapers as our attorney general..

  • moonraven

    Nothing is wrong with being a bricklayer, JOM. It, unlike abusing and abrogating the law, is an honorable profession.

    I am not concerned with lowering standards for minorities.

    [Personal attack deleted]

    When did you become an expert in ornithology? Do they allow folks who didn’t finish high school into those fairly arcane specialties now?

    [Personal attack deleted]

    My nombre de guerra clearly indicates that I am a raven. Although ravens imitate many sounds–including those of the guitar of Carlos Santana and the saxaphone of Gato Barbieri–that of the loon is not among the preferred.

  • Baronius

    Bliffle – those answers seem superficial. For one thing, Gonzales never had strong Republican support because he was perceived as pro-choice. There was extra resistance to him from the Democrats in preparation for a possible SCOTUS nomination fight. He didn’t have any friends in Washington other than the President, no constituency, and he didn’t play the race card. He didn’t have a chorus of defenders in the papers, so he probably wasn’t a leaker. There are a lot of things that have to fall in place to gain or to lose a position of power.

  • moonraven

    There is only one card that needs to fall into place, Baronius, and even YOU should know it: Presidential selection.

    It’s called El dedazo (the finger) here in Latin America.

    Gonzales of all people should be very familiar with its function.

  • His ‘performances’ before congressional committees were just…painful. Embarrassing.

    [BTW, JOM’s facetiously citing ‘affirmative action’ as what we should blame for AG is of course unfunny but also way off-target. And blatantly racist. If you have nothing more meaningful than that to add, please don’t bother.]

  • Clavos

    “It’s called El dedazo (the finger) here in Latin America.

    Actually, it’s “the fingering,” mr.

    El dedo is “the finger.”

  • moonraven

    True, literally. But; Some phrases do not translate well; unfortunately the fingering, like the term giving the finger to, has a negative connotation when applied, whereas el dedazo implies singling one out for political power.


  • bliffle

    “Gonzales never had strong Republican support because he was perceived as pro-choice.”

    For the fundamentalists that made him easy to throw to the hounds. Real easy.

  • JustOneMan

    Moonraven…so if a “rich white guy” gets into Harvard or Yale..they are unqualified or its because of their dad…however if a wet back or beaner gets in they are “perfectly qualified”.

    Who is the racist???


  • moonraven

    YOU are the racist. Wet back and beaner are terms used by racists, hence, you are a racist.

    I did not even say that Gonzales was “perfectly qualified”.

    I said he MAY have been.

    We KNOW that Bush was not.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • JOM, I assume you did actually read the email I sent you. Changing people’s online identity’s to belittle them is one of the things we don’t allow. Stop it.

  • Christopher Rose? More like Christopher Smells!

  • Works for me, Matthew Pussman.


  • JustOneMan

    Gee I guess Sussman and Nalle can play by different rules???

  • JOM, I guess there is just no place for comedy in the angry little world you live in. Sigh…

  • gonzo marx

    simple answer to the Article’s title..

    who hired him?

    second part, who confirmed him under the Constitution’s “advise and consent”?

    nuff said…


  • bliffle

    Who’s to blame for Gonzales?

    I’ll take a shot at that, and answer J.P. Morgan.

    The famous financier is reported to have dealt with pesky lawyers who tried to tell him what was legal for him to do, by answering “I don’t pay you to tell me what’s legal for me to do, I pay you to tell me how you’re going to make it legal for me to do what I want to do!”

    Alberto Gonzales is the product of that Corporate Culture, and so he was easily trained to make GWBs wishes legal appearing. But he forgot that he was being paid by US taxpayers and imagined he owed his service to GWB.

    He was easily tricked by playing to his economic insecurities. Witness his proud proclamation that his worst day was better than his fathers best day: he could only be talkng about money, the thing uppermost in his mind.

    He was born to be betrayed, and when the time finally came GWB threw him to the hounds. It was easy.

  • Clavos

    A truly great man, J.P. Morgan.

  • Zedd

    I don’t agree that Gonzales was a bumbler. I think that he was an intelligent man who was in an awkward situation. I think that he is one of the smarter prominent figures who have been appointed by GW.

    I suspect that AG has had a life long practice of dispensing of his own principles and views in order to get ahead. Many minorities have to super play down in order to progress. A minority that is too capable and confident is often used as the secret weapon of the company or department but rarely gets ahead past a certain point. If a person plays the game, most of the time dummying down, they can slide through as the token, under the radar. In many cases the token is often a real bumbler (C. Thomas) but in a lot of cases, they are a great deal more intelligent and have spent their lives rolling their eyes on their commute.

    I think Gonzales falls into this category. His communication style does not reveal an idiot by any means. He knows GW and the boys and that they expected loyalty first and foremost. He understood his role as the first Hispanic to hold such a position and had to hold on to the post however, he ended up loosing it by going along.

  • REMF

    Who’s to blame for Gonzales?

    Ummm… Larry Craig?

  • Zedd


    The tendency to blame affirmative action comes from the white male’s fantasy that he is more qualified for everything that minorities engage in.

    Gonzales is an intelligent man who was surrounded by a bunch of idiots, and power mungers. His biggest mistake was going along… Wake up its morning.

    However, he was far more qualified than most of Bush’s appointees.

    What program do you blame for Rumsfeld, Bolton, and the rest of the unqualified.

  • Baronius

    Rumsfeld and Bolton unqualified? Whatever you may think of their tenures, they were qualified.

  • Dan

    there was probably more good that came from firing those 9 corrupt federal prosecutors than Alberto quitting by his own decision.

    Janet Reno is of course the worst all time attorney general.

  • REMF

    Gonzales, Rumsfeld and Bolton were all more qualified than the former cocaine addict, GW Bush.

  • Zedd


  • Dan: there was probably more good that came from firing those 9 corrupt federal prosecutors than Alberto quitting by his own decision.

    Dan, my man, would you care to explain exactly how those 9 Republican federal prosecutors were corrupt?

    This should be good…

  • bliffle

    Clavos said: “A truly great man, J.P. Morgan.”

    To some, perhaps, but not to my father who chuckled while telling me: “J.P. Morgan – the richest man in the world and all he can eat is cereal!”. Morgan was famous for his lousy digestive system.