A Portrait of Unvarnished, Loyalist, Blind Partisanship
[Cross-posted from PoliBlog]:
Said Rush Limbaugh this week:
Everybody on the Republican side now, along with the Democrats, wants to throw Alberto Gonzales overboard. He may be an idiot, I don’t know. He may be a weak attorney general. … It seems, every time there’s a public demand for somebody to resign in Washington, it’s always a Republican!
So, it really doesn’t matter if a guy is “weak” or maybe even an “idiot”–all that matters is that he is a Republican and that his removal would be considered some sort of “victory” for the other “side.” Never mind that AG serves all the people and is the conduit for federal law enforcement in the United States and that he oversees the application of key policies, not the least of which is a substantial portion of anti-terrorism policy. Because goodness knows that an “idiot” who can’t remember meeting from a few months ago will easily be able to help “connect the dots” when it comes to a terrorist plot or some other high profile crime.
Aw, heck, why worry about competence and ability when dealing with it would mean that one’s partisan opponents might score some temporary points?
Back when I used to listen to Limbaugh I seem to recall a constant mantra about “excellence” and a great deal of talk about meritocracy and the like. I guess that that has gone by the wayside.
Also: to those who think that some radical victory would be won by the Democrats if Gonzales goes, I would point out that the administration would get to name his replacement. And last time I checked, the Democrats got their way with Rumsfeld and yet the medium-to-long term effect of his removal was not some massive net gain in Democratic political capital. The change at the DoD certainly hasn’t resulted in a change in policy on Iraq in a way that would indicate that the Democrats have gotten what they wanted, now has it?
It is time for folks to stop worrying about the alleged “score” and think about how government ought to be run (and Gonzales is clearly not running the DoJ as it should be run–if he were a football coach or a CEO (or your accountant) he’d have been long fired at this point). Further, partisan Republicans who insist that they have to “win” on Gonzales need to step back, take a deep breath and think about what really is more damaging to both the administration and the country: Gonzales as AG or someone else as AG?