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Thread: Gonzalez Resigns!

  1. #26
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    For the record...

    Personally, I am glad to hear about the resignation of Gonzales as AG. And here is why:

    State Attorney Generals are appointed by incoming presidents at the beginning of their tenure (for the record, Reagan and Clinton appointed the same number of AGs in their first two years - 89. Bush II appointed 88). It is even customary for all state AGs to submit a letter of resignation to an incoming president.

    However, note that the new people put into these positions must still be confirmed by the senate!! This is not something the president gets to do at will. What happened in the current debacle is that it appears the administration made deliberate efforts to circumvent this process of Senatorial review.

    It is also interesting to note that there is no precedent for a President to dismiss several U.S attorneys at one time while in the middle period of the presidential term in office.

    Kyle Sampson, Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice, noted in a January 9, 2006, e-mail to Harriet Miers: "In recent memory, during the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, Presidents Reagan and Clinton did not seek to remove and replace U.S. Attorneys they had appointed, but instead permitted such U.S. Attorneys to serve indefinitely under the holdover provision." (underlining original) ^ http://judiciary.house.gov/media/PDFS/OAG12-22-NEW-.pdf
    What happened in this most recent incident was both that these AGs were fired in the middle of the President's tenure (for the speculated reasons that they did not prosecute Democrats for suspected misconduct fast enough to be discredited before mid-term elections and that they were not willing to drop charges against Republican lawmakers under investigation) and that their replacements were hired by Gonzales to serve indefinitely and without Senate review as would normally be the case - see below.

    Also tied up with this is some hidden legislation added to the Patriot Act 2 that allowed the Attorney General to appoint "interim" State AGs INDEFINITELY. They used to expire after 120 days to ensure that full-time AGs are reviewed and confirmed by the Senate, but this new Patriot Act language circumvents that process and allows the AG to appoint who they want without any checks and balances. This is facilitated by their mid-tenure firings.

    This kind of situation opens the door for some pretty outrageous abuses in my mind - when the Attorney Generals of every state can be appointed not by the president with Senate approval, but the Federal AG with no oversight or process. Any vindictive, politically motivated crony could be put in there and really screw up a host of things, not the least of which is the integrity of the state and local election process.

    This is why I am glad Alberto Gonzales has resigned.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  2. #27
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff View post
    This was simply a political witchunt. Nothing more.

    Now, how about that 18% congressional approval rating?
    Oh CRAP. I'm agreeing with Jeff Is that that the 4 horsemen i see?

  3. #28
    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner View post
    Normally, Jeff and I are on the opposite ends of the discussion when it comes to politics....but I have to agree with him here. The attorney firings are not what I would consider deal breakers for the AG. There are plenty of other things (which SR mentioned) that are far worse IMO than the firings of the attorneys.

    Am I glad he's resigning? Sure. But the gloating and piling on are pointless I think.

    I agree as well. He was a political hack who did what is bosses said. The problem wasn't so much him as it was those who directed him.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  4. #29
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Yeah, I think Jeff put it best as being the result of a "political witchunt".

    So he fired attorneys? Well, gee, maybe they weren't doing their jobs. And Congress should be concerning themselves with more important issues anyway, instead of calling for people's resignations over any little thing just because they have an "R" after their name.

    And last time I checked, foreign terrorists aren't protected under the Constitution, and thus court permission is not needed to wiretap them.

    But, sadly, I think the Bush administration had to do this to save face after what the Democrats did to Gonzales. Hopefully, more good will come out of it, and the Democrats don't find something miniscule within the next 1.5 years and blow it out of proportion to drive out the next Attorney General.

    Cabinet members resigning is really nothing unusual...particularly for 2-term presidents. Didn't Clinton and Reagan go through multiple cabinet members in nearly every department as well?

  5. #30
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    ...State Attorney Generals are appointed by incoming presidents...
    Don't you mean "United States Attorneys". State Attorney Generals are elected by the people of the state.

    I'm sure this is what you mean, I just don't want the lesser among us to become confused.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post

    Cabinet members resigning is really nothing unusual...particularly for 2-term presidents. Didn't Clinton and Reagan go through multiple cabinet members in nearly every department as well?
    Exactly. How many of us have stayed at the same job for 8 years?

  7. #32
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    Yeah, I think Jeff put it best as being the result of a "political witchunt".
    So he fired attorneys? Well, gee, maybe they weren't doing their jobs. And Congress should be concerning themselves with more important issues anyway, instead of calling for people's resignations over any little thing just because they have an "R" after their name.
    The 8 fired Us Attorneys were doing there job. In fact the one in NM had received outstanding marks in performance review before his firing but after he found no evidence of voter fraud in the November 2006 election. Similar stories exist with the other 7 fired US attorneys. The firing were politically motivated not performance related. DOJ has a tradition or remaining a political. Firing US attorneys for political reasons does compromise the ability for Justice to do its job properly.


    And last time I checked, foreign terrorists aren't protected under the Constitution, and thus court permission is not needed to wiretap them.
    If the terrorist are calling American citizens most scholars believe the unreasonable search in seizure clause in the document Gonzales described as "quant" does require a warrant. Last I checked the issue is moving through the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Also the Bush administration has started to realize the legislative branch does have a check on the executive branch and has asked Congress to rewrite the FISA law so it conforms to his interpretation.

    But, sadly, I think the Bush administration had to do this to save face after what the Democrats did to Gonzales. Hopefully, more good will come out of it, and the Democrats don't find something miniscule within the next 1.5 years and blow it out of proportion to drive out the next Attorney General.
    In fact it has been a bi-partisan call for Gonzales resignation. Liberal Republicans like Senator Sessions of Alabama and Colburn of Oklahoma called for his resignation. Senator Graham, Sununu and Collins also were on record asking the former AG to step down. This was not a one sided witch hunt but a bipartisan call for Gonzales to resign.

    I agree that cabinet members resigning are nothing unusual...particularly for 2-term presidents. Didn't Clinton and Reagan go through multiple cabinet members in nearly every department as well?
    When a President enters lame duck status cabinet turn over is high. That has been the case for the past 50 years. What makes Gonzales resignation unusual was the bipartisan call for his resignation and that after the calls had quieted then resigned.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  8. #33
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Don't you mean "United States Attorneys". State Attorney Generals are elected by the people of the state.

    I'm sure this is what you mean, I just don't want the lesser among us to become confused.
    Yes, that is what I meant Thanks for the clarification.Not that the people I wish would read it have...

    These are, in my mind, some scary times for our nation.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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