america loves a fall guy

Hi, everybody. I’m back from my month plus blogging sabbatical, during which I did many constructive things like playing hours of World of Warcraft, closely following women’s and men’s March Madness basketball (somehow, my first try ever brackets got first place in both my pools, woohoo!), and most recently, setting up a fantasy baseball team called Orgullo Boricua (which had a dismal first week, but I have faith in ‘em!)

But now I’m back, after weeks of guilt over not posting, anxiety over how to start blogging again, and a few gentle prods. I’ve missed a lot, especially in other folks’ blogs – when I’m not writing, I’m usually not reading, alas. But hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things and stay there for a good long while.

This morning, I saw this headline from TIME: “Conservatives to Bush: Fire Gonzales. A group that calls themselves the American Freedom Agenda, dedicated to promoting conservative legal principles, sent a letter to the president calling for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ resignation. From the letter:

“He has brought rule of law into disrepute, and debased honesty as the coin of the realm… He has engendered the suspicion that partisan politics trumps evenhanded law enforcement in the Department of Justice… Attorney General Gonzales has proven an unsuitable steward of the law and should resign for the good of the country… The President should accept the resignation, and set a standard to which the wise and honest might repair in nominating a successor…”

TIME reports that this is “the first public demand by a group of conservatives for Gonzales’ firing;” however, I’ve heard grumblings to this effect from conservative politicians and pundits for the past few weeks.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’ve got no love for Alberto Gonzales, and I do think that he bears much of the burden of responsibility for the politically-motivated firings for U.S. attorneys.

However, this does seem like Scooter Libby all over again – Gonzales is simply the fall guy. Sure, he was an active participant in this fiasco and should therefore probably be fired; but he’s certainly not the only one who was involved in this, and is probably not the highest up of the guilty parties. And yet, he’s most likely the highest up person who will face any real repercussions – punishment, even – for his actions.

There has been a bit of a stir up over Karl Rove’s connection to the firings, centering around his “deletion” of four years’ worth of emails, some of which may discuss the firings. As a technologist, I find this particularly interesting, in that it’s got politicians, pundits, and the media talking about the technicalities of email and servers and how “deleted” usually doesn’t mean “gone forever (see this article from CNet for more on how those emails are probably not gone for good.) However, I can’t see that this will really amount to much of anything. Rove really does seem to be made of Teflon, despite the many flaps in which he’s been implicated. And it’s not as if he’s really at the top, either.

So, it looks like Gonzales is going to lose his job, most likely for following direction from higher-ups who will never really be forced to face the music. And I’m sorry, but I can’t help but think that lots of those conservatives were a bit too eager to give Gonzales up as a sacrificial lamb. Apparently, according to the TIME article, they’ve disliked him for quite some time:

Conservatives have long distrusted Gonzales, but until now many hesitated to criticize him publicly in the current controversy out or respect for the broad latitude they believe a President should have in selecting his cabinet. Behind the scenes, however, their opposition helped dissuade Bush from nominating Gonzales to the Supreme Court and, over the years, they have regularly disparaged him as too soft on key issues such as affirmative action and abortion.

Now, maybe I’m just being my usual paranoid brown self (that’s sarcasm there, folks), but I can’t help but think that if his name was Albert Gordon instead of Alberto Gonzalez, maybe those conservatives might not be quite so quick to hang him out to dry.

3 Responses to “america loves a fall guy”


  1. 1 Faithful Atheist

    I do not think there is much of an ethnic component here. He is just way too close to Bush, and therefore toxic, as anything too close to Bush is these days. Remember that he helped legalize torture and the Guantanamo situation. No big loss, another Bush crony doing a heckuva job. Vamoose!

  2. 2 MilbyDaniel

    You’re back! Sweet.

    I always feel guilty for not posting enough – but then feel left out if I’m not reading and writing.

    I’ve thought the same about Gonzalez – “long distrusted” has a nasty ring to it. It’s so undercover. Like, “he’s as bad as all of us, but is he white?!”

  3. 3 Karen S

    I wonder if he wasn’t brought in with a list of “disposable points” in mind. He can get certain nasty jobs done, he has a surname that makes them look “broadminded” to some, and if/when the sh*t h*ts the f*an, he goes, and that undercurrent which isn’t so friendly to the surname Gonzales, is made happy.

    Win-win, in a brainsick administration.

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