The Corner

Edwards v. Gonzales

A number of readers suggested the following:

[I wrote:]

“I really can’t think of any mainstream political figure more inappropriate for that job than Edwards. “

– You seem to be losing your short term memory – there was this guy called Gonzalez.

Now. I think my anti-Gonzales credentials are beyond reproach. But I would nonetheless argue that Edwards is even more inappropriate for the job. But before I make my case on that score let me re-emphasize that nothing I say here should be construed as a defense of Gonzales.

Edwards has zero experience in law enforcement. His career as a trial lawyer is not the sort of career that qualifies one for AG. Gonzales’ pre-AG experience as White House Counsel and as a judge made him more qualified than Edwards. Edwards isn’t that bright (neither is Gonzales, I concede).

And here’s another point: Edwards would not be loyal to Obama. Now, let me anticipate an objection here and concede that an AG really shouldn’t be overly loyal to any president. He should be loyal to the law first and the administration’s policy objectives second, and its political needs third or not at all. Indeed, Bush and the country were poorly served by the fact that Gonzales was too much of a loyalist to Bush. However, Edwards wouldn’t be loyal to the rule of law so much as loyal to himself. He would be Eliot Spitzer on a national scale. He would make “social justice” as opposed to old-fashioned justice his mission. He would be immensely more annoying than Gonzales because at least Gonzales tried to stay out of the limelight. Edwards would preen in the limelight like a cat sunning itself during a lick-bath.

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