The Corner

Gonzales & The U.S. Attorneys

Readers keep asking me what my view is on “purgegate” as they’re calling it at Tapped. My instinct, like that a lot of folks around here, is that this is a self-inflicted screw-up by the White House and most of all Gonzales. But to be brutally honest, I haven’t followed it closely enough to make up my own mind on the merits. I really suspect that this is much ado about not much. But I could be wrong.

But here’s the thing. As I see it, there are only two possibilities. Either it is a really big deal, in which case Gonzales should go. Or, it isn’t a really big deal, but through his incompetence Gonzales has made it one. Either way, it seems to me that Gonzales should go. Now, of course, I am very biased as I am conceding. I want America’s top law enforcement officer to be more concerned about fighting terrorists than doing nice things for “the children.” I loathe Gonzales’ self-pitying schtick about how he works so hard and how his experience as a poor Hispanic makes him so special and how his personal “story” is his greatest qualification (as I wrote here and elsewhere). We don’t necessarily need a junkyard dog as AG but a guy — or gal — with his priorities properly aligned would be nice. What we don’t need is a Bush yes-man, a would be identity politics pinup, or a bureaucratic bungler. Gonzales is all three.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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