Lay off Alberto Gonzalez

Besides being a slick fielding shortstop in the Yankees minor leagues Alberto Gonzalez is the Attorney General who is in hot water. Alberto Gonzalez fired nine U.S. Attorney generals including several who had prosecuted prominent Republicans, like Duke Cummingham. This monumentally stupid idea has several Democrats calling for Gonzalez’s resignation. Although based on the timing I think the firings are political (midterm, and bunched together [if it was malfeasance you’d expect a less clustered distribution]) Alberto Gonzalez should be left alone.

There are three possibilities regarding these U.S. Attorneys.

  1. They were fired for malfeasance and deserved it. They actually were corrupt. In this case Alberto Gonzalez did nothing wrong. This may seem unlikely, but it isn’t impossible.
  2. They were fired for political reasons. This is the most likely reason, but it means that Alberto Gonzalez is not responsible since any such orders would have come from above.
  3. They were unjustly fired for malfeasance. This is the explanation which puts the blame on Gonzalez the most, however it is also the least likely by far.

I think this whole situation was terribly handled, and reeks of an administration, frustrated by party corruption, shooting the messenger for it. Perhaps the thing which makes it most disturbing is that the administration seemed to ignore any possible consequences, while the timing makes it obvious that they knew that there would be political backlash.

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One Response to Lay off Alberto Gonzalez

  1. Tobie says:

    If they were fired for political reasons, people are probably mad at him for accepting the orders from above instead of refusing. Don’t shoot the messenger, sure, but “I was just following orders” tends not to win people sympathy.

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