Bush Pleased With Gonzales Performance

President Bush has issued a statement praising Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ performance before the Senate yesterday, saying he was “pleased” and that it “showed that nothing improper occurred.” Given the formal nature of the release, he stopped short of saying, “Gonzie, you did a heck of a job.”

I missed the hearings yesterday but, from what I gather, the president is alone in his assessment. Not only did most of the Republicans on the committee, including conservative stalwarts like Sam Brownback and Tom Coburn, directly or indirectly tell Gonzales to resign, even the staunchest administration supporters in the blogosphere thought it was dreadful.

Patrick Frey: “I can’t tell you how pathetic he sounds. Please resign. Put us out of our misery. Please.”

Ed Morrissey: “Gonzales is toast.”

Byron York: “a disastrous morning.”

Paul Mirengoff is the only prominent right-of-center blogger I’ve found even somewhat supportive. Even he allows that he would “prefer a more hands-on Attorney General.”

Hugh Hewitt has been too busy trying to figure out whether the families of the Virginia Tech shooting victims can sue NBC for “the intentional infliction of mental or emotional distress” to comment thus far.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    Of course Bush has to act pleased. Gonzo is covering up for him and Rove.

    Josh Marshall (who, think of him what you will, merits a Pulitzer nomination for bringing out this story) has been clear on this:

    let’s not get distracted by Alberto Gonzales. He’s just a cog. In almost every case, what we’re talking about here is Gonzales’s willingness to take orders from the White House — most importantly from Karl Rove and President Bush — on firing US Attorneys for corrupt purposes and using the Justice Department to suppress Democratic turnout in swing states. Mr. Gonzales is a secondary issue. The real players are in the White House.

    Gonzales will keep his job as long as he wants it, b/c Bush literally cannot afford to fire him.

  2. Billy says:

    This is ludicrous. Unless the is a “heck of a job” moment where the president is (once again) lying through his teeth, Bush is demonstrating that (once again) he is so completely out of touch with reality so as to invite calls for impeachment for being criminally negligent (which is at least a misdemeanor, if not a high crime). His credibility, and the credibility of the highest office of the land, are completely shredded.

    How much intransigence is enough before we say the guy’s got to go? Seriously, if we do not have enough of a reason to fire a president now, when will there ever be enough?

    I await the case for why impeaching Clinton was proper vs. why Bush should be untouchable. Please address the criminal negligence argument.

  3. floyd says:

    Firing Gonzales? Right result, wrong reason!

  4. legion says:

    Gonzales will keep his job as long as he wants it, b/c Bush literally cannot afford to fire him.

    Bear in mind, both the left and the right said the same thing about Rumsfeld…

  5. Anderson says:

    Bear in mind, both the left and the right said the same thing about Rumsfeld…

    True, but Rummy didn’t have the goods on Bush & Rove the way that Gonzo very well might.

    Still, if I’m wrong, call the papers: “Blog Commenter Makes Erroneous Political Prediction.” On second thought, just call the Onion.

  6. Mark-NC says:

    Even “Paul Mirengoff” allows that he would prefer a more hands-on AG”.

    Really? I think that the problem is that his hands are in the wrong place. He seems quite “hands on” to me, only his efforts are to rip the core out of our justice system in favor of partisan politics.

    I have to add that it is refreshing to me – an independent that probably today leans toward the Dems – to see that there is actually SOMETHING that the Republicans won’t suck down from the Bush team.

    Next, maybe we’ll hear a few Republicans complaining that their Congress critters should actually be “conservatives” and vote to negotiate for lower drug prices for Medicare. OK, never mind – just dreaming!

  7. cian says:

    My sense is that for the moment the story is over. Bush wont fire Gonzales as he no longer has any reason to work with congress. Congress can continue to investigate but unless a gun starts smoking there is nothing they can do. This state of affairs will be devastating for republican presidential candidates as well us republicans up for re-election in 2008.

    Looks like we’re in for another 4 years of one party control. I think both democrat and Republican supporters would agree our recent history suggests this is not the best way for the country to be run.

  8. Anderson says:

    as he no longer has any reason to work with congress

    Really? Bush has no bills he wants passed over the next 2 years?

    I mean, sounds good and all, but ….

  9. Wayne says:

    Bush was wrong for firing Rumsfeld. If he fires Gonzales, the left will just go after someone else in the administration. The Republicans are weak knee and have the beaten wife syndrome.

  10. Andy says:

    Bush was wrong for firing Rumsfeld.

    I think Rumsfeld supporters should be classified as clinically insane at this point.

  11. G.A.Phillips says:

    Andy, liberals don’t think, they connive.