Alberto Gonzales: When Will The Canary Sing? genre: Polispeak & Snapshot Thoughts & Tongue-In-Cheek

Singing Canary
Despite the widely held belief that last weeks testimony by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary Committee was an embarrassing disaster, the President continues to be his most loyal supporter. In fact, the President stated that the Attorney General "answered every question he could possibly answer, honestly answer". The New York Times has an update on the President's position with regard to his embattled Attorney General.

WASHINGTON, April 23 — President Bush said Monday that the Congressional testimony of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales last week, roundly panned by members of both parties, in a way had “increased my confidence in his ability to do the job."

Mr. Bush has repeatedly asserted his confidence in Mr. Gonzales, a longtime adviser, as criticism has mounted over the dismissals of eight United States attorneys.

But his statement on Monday was his first direct comment about Mr. Gonzales since the attorney general appeared before the committee, and it was at considerable odds with an overwhelmingly critical assessment of his testimony by members of both parties. It indicated that Mr. Bush, at least for now, has concluded his attorney general can weather the challenge to his leadership at the Justice Department, barring any evidence of wrongdoing.

That challenge had seemed all the more daunting as of Sunday, when Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the ranking Republican on the committee whom both sides view as a barometer of support for Mr. Gonzales, appeared on “Fox News Sunday" and said, “The attorney general’s testimony was very, very damaging to his own credibility," and that his continued tenure was “bad for the Department of Justice."

One senior Republican Congressional aide at work in Washington on Monday, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, called Mr. Bush’s statement that his confidence in Mr. Gonzales had grown after his testimony “curious"; another senior Republican aide asked, “Was he watching the same hearing as everyone else?"

“I will stay as long as I can be effective, and I can be effective," Mr. Gonzales said in response to questions about his plans.

Mr. Gonzales said he needed to spend time on his priorities, like combating terrorism, drug abuse and the danger to children from the Internet.

So I guess we can conclude that the Attorney General and the President will continue to ride the same horse they've ridden since 9/11 and at virtually each and every bump in the road. If the 2006 midterm elections were a barometer on the voting public's acceptance of this familiar rhetoric, one would think they might craft a new message.

“If the attorney general’s hearing performance increased the president’s confidence in his ability to lead the Justice Department, then he’s setting the bar fairly low," said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, in a statement on Monday.

"The attorney general broke no law, did no wrongdoing," Mr. Bush said. "And some senators didn’t like his explanation, but he answered as honestly as he could. This is an honest, honorable man, in whom I have confidence."

And, if Mr. Gonzales were to step down, officials argued, it would wrongly lead the public to conclude that he had done something wrong.

They sure wouldn't want the public to think that anyone in the Bush administration would do anything wrong...and more importantly they wouldn't want to admit as much. Actually, my own preference is that Gonzales remains Attorney General. I think from a strategic perspective, he does the Democrats more good remaining in office and there is little reason to believe that his replacement would be any better. I've come to expect the status quo for the duration of the President's time in office. That being the case, every misstep should be a welcome benefit for the opposition.

Since I doubt little will change between now and January of 2009, I thought I might as well have a little fun at the Attorney General's expense. It was evident from the hearings that Gonzales wasn't going to I've taken the liberty to suggest some more fitting tunes for his next performance.

Attorney General Walking

Alberto Gonzales Walking?

Daniel DiRito | April 23, 2007 | 8:30 PM
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