The Corner

Could the U.S. Attorneys Controversy Veer Into an Immigration Controversy

This article from the LATimes today suggests that immigration — and unfunded policy mandates over it — may be a real undercurrent in AG Gonzales’s testimony tomorrow.  Essentially, it suggests that some of the fired U.S. attorneys fell out of favor due to failures to be aggressive enough on immigration enforcement, but that perhaps the administration has good reason not to want to press that point too far (i.e., as a “performance-based” reason for the firings) because, the U.S. attorneys countered, the Justice Department (and, derivatively, the administration) did not provide adequate resources to carry out an aggressive enforcement policy.  That is, the U.S. attorneys flap may be careening into the immigration debate in a way that will not be useful to advocates of “comprehensive immigration reform” whose burden is to convince the public that the government is serious about border enforcement.

All this also goes to the natural tensions I addressed here a few weeks ago between an administration’s enforcement policy directives and the situation on the ground confronted by each individual U.S. attorney in his or her district.  It also underscores that these are inherently political matters.  Consequently, it’s absurd for the Washington Post, among others, to keep running headlines like this one today:  “Poll:  Most Say Politics Motivated U.S. Attorney Firings.”  You might as well announce:  Poll:  Most Americans Say Tuesday follows Monday. 

The real issue here isn’t whether the firings were “political” — all U.S. attorney hirings and firings are political.  That’s the nature of the beast.  As far as impropriety (as opposed to competence) is concerned, the question is:  Were the firings motivated by a desire to affect pending or prospective cases in a corrupt manner.  There is is zilch evidence that Justice did such a thing despite thousands of disclosed documents and hours upon hours of testimony and interviews with key players. 

Most Popular

Elections

Weirdo O’Rourke

Friends of the young Bill Clinton and Barack Obama spoke of the special glow of promise they had about them, even back in their early twenties. Angels sat on their shoulders. History gave them a wink and said, “Hey, good lookin’, I’ll be back to pick you up later.” Robert O’Rourke? Not so much. He ... Read More
Education

Our Bankrupt Elite

Every element of the college admissions scandal, a.k.a “Operation Varsity Blues,” is fascinating. There are the players: the Yale dad who, implicated in a securities-fraud case, tipped the feds off to the caper; a shady high-school counselor turned admissions consultant; the 36-year-old Harvard grad who ... Read More
U.S.

McCain at Annapolis

President Trump has been doing a lot of tweeting today -- against TV programs, companies, and other things that have incurred his displeasure. These tweets make for interesting reading. One of them is this: So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent ... Read More
Health Care

David Brooks Forgets to Oppose Some Suicides

The well-meaning David Brooks urges us to prevent suicide in his most recent New York Times column. The crisis is certainly real. From "How to Fight Suicide:": You’ve probably seen the recent statistics about the suicide epidemic — that suicide rates over all have risen by over 30 percent this century; ... Read More