Friday, May 18, 2007


Senate Democrats plan on holding a no-confidence vote next week on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' stewardship of the Department of Justice as the scandals over the Prosecutor Purge and the end-run Gonzo and former Bush chief of staff Andy Card tried on the warranteless wiretapping program continue to widen.

Interestingly enough, this is not the first time a no-confidence vote has been held in the Senate for an intractable attorney general involved in a scandal stonewall over the firing of a federal prosecutor:

The vote on a resolution of no confidence, to be sponsored by Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California, could come as early as next week, Democrats said. Such votes of censure or condemnation are uncommon, although a handful were held in the 19th century, Congressional historians say. In 1886, the Senate adopted such a resolution against President Grover Cleveland’s attorney general, A. H. Garland, because he had refused to provide documents concerning the firing of a federal prosecutor.

While Gonzales was smugly telling staffers just last week that he believed he had survived the worst of the Prosecutor Purge scandal and thought he would be able to retain his position as A.G., the news over the "hospital incident" that former deputy attorney general James Comey testified to on Tuesday before the Senate has changed all that and thrown the trajectory of the scandal right into the White House:

At a news conference on Thursday, President Bush would not discuss whether in March 2004 he had ordered Mr. Gonzales and Andrew H. Card Jr., then White House chief of staff, to the hospital bed of Attorney General John Ashcroft to obtain his signature on an order reauthorizing the surveillance program.

James B. Comey, the former deputy attorney general, provided a gripping account about the confrontation in testimony on Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Comey said he raced to Mr. Ashcroft’s hospital room to intercept Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card before they could obtain the approval of Mr. Ashcroft, who sent them away without signing the order.

Mr. Comey, who was acting attorney general at the time, suggested in his testimony that it might have been Mr. Bush who sent the two officials after he and other Justice Department officials had concluded that the program did not comply with the law and had refused to sign the renewal directive.

“There’s a lot of speculation about what happened and what didn’t happen,” Mr. Bush said Thursday. “I’m not going to talk about it.”

The print and TV media need to keep asking Bush that question very directly and if Bush continues to stonewall that question, maybe the Senate should have a vote of no-confidence on Bush.

As for Gonzo, 6 Senate Republicans have called for Gonzales' resignation (Hagel, McCain, Coleman, Coburn, Sununu, and Roberts) and while House Republicans were more willing to come to Gonzales' rescue at the House hearings than Senate Republicans were at the Senate Judiciary hearings, Comey's testimony over the warrantless wiretapping program will change that. It's hard to defend the indefensible, even in Tom Delay's old house.

Despite the preznut's insistence that the A.G. has his full confidence, I think Gonzales will follow Paul Wolfowitz into retirement. It may not come next week, but given the damaging stuff that has already broken and the stuff that still may be revealed, I just don't see how some Repubs don't make that walk up to the White House and say "Gonzo's gotta go."

I wonder if we aren't better off, in some ways, with Gonzales just where he is now. I'd like to see him continue twisting in the wind until we have rubbed even the most unashamed Bush loyalists' noses in this incompetant, lying piece of crap's shenanagins until they puke.

On the other hand, until we dispose of the flies, we can't get rid of the really big piece of crap they're buzzing around.

Such decisions...
Let's see how many Repubs vote "confidence" when Reid holds the "no-confidence" vote on Gonzo next week. Arlen Specter made it sound like a lot of them would vote with Dems. I dunno, maybe it doesn't matter to Gonzo and Bush, but what would it say if 60-70 senators voted "no-confidence" next week?
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