So what happens to this guy now? Alberto Gonzales is finally out as Attorney General, and we’re all wondering who will replace him. But what happens to Alberto now? Does he get a free ride? Is the president so sure that he’s safer now?
Ruth Marcus at The Washington Post muses on what finally convinced AG it was time to flee:
Did Gonzales finally decide he preferred to leave, or was it decided for him? Based on Gonzales’s previous insistence on staying, I’d guess he was pushed, in one of those Washington, no-fingerprints ways.
We’ll never know for certain. But Marcus nails the most convincing reason for Gonzales’ departure:
During the attorney general’s last, disastrous appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee a month ago, Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl asked the question that was on the mind of anyone watching, and wincing, at Gonzales’s pummeling: “What keeps you in the job, Mr. Attorney General?”
“Ultimately I have to decide whether or not it’s better for me to leave or just stay and try to fix the problems,” Gonzales replied. “I’ve decided to stay and fix the problems.”
This captured precisely why Gonzales needed to go. The notion that Gonzales could “fix the problems” ignored the fact that these were problems of his own creation — in many ways, he was the problem. Gonzales tended to talk about himself as if he were having an out-of-body experience, saying, for example, about the firing of U.S. attorneys: “I am not aware that it certainly was in my mind a problem or basis to accept the recommendation that they be asked to leave.”
Gonzales was the problem, and two major problems remain in Bush and Cheney. Which brings me to a theme I’ve explored before on Turning Left: Where are the Democrats? Are they having a collective “Alberto Moment” and forgetting what they were elected to do? Where is their leadership?
Everyone is so concerned about being in on stage right now. Seems like half the party is running for president. Some of our best leaders right now are too concerned about image, too concerned about polls, too concerned about fund raising, too concerned about Iowa, that they’re forgetting to lead. Some of our best leaders are focusing on the center, trying to be everybody’s lover, everybody’s buddy.
I’ve said this before: We need the Democrats now. NOW.