Will GOP Support for Gonzales Finally Dry Up?

Throughout the prosecutor purge scandal, I have been amazed by the extent to which Republicans on Capitol Hill, as well as the conservative establishment, have been willing to stand by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Certainly, there have been the occasional public statements from endangered Republican Senators along the lines of "If Gonzales were to resign it wouldn't be a bad thing" or "President Bush should seriously think about whether Gonzales is the most effective person to run the Department of Justice." Nonetheless, by withholding strong disapprobation or calls for impeachment proceedings, leading Republicans and conservatives have offered Gonzales the implied backing he has needed to remain as Attorney General.

Could that support, however tacit, be on the verge of drying up? We'll know more when tomorrow's vote of no-cofidence in the Senate rolls around. But judging by the crowing of Republicans about one notable consequence of the Gonzales scandal -- further slowing the judicial nomination process for the far right jurists the base wants to see placed on the bench to serve for the next few decades -- such a point may be coming sooner than we think. Check out Robert Barnes and Michael Abramowitz writing today in The Washington Post.

But though some people single out Democrats for criticism, others worry that changes in the White House counsel's office and the congressional uproar over Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales have pushed the issue lower on the priority list. "I have been pressing them to submit names -- because every day that passes it becomes that much more difficult," said Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the committee's ranking Republican. "I am not disappointed, because the president is busy. But there is an opportunity that could be missed if they don't start submitting names."

Added Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), a strong White House ally who is on the committee: "With all the investigations and things that have been going on, we have not seen a steady stream of nominees coming to the Senate."

Congresisonal Republicans and their conservative allies have to this point been willing to stick with George W. Bush, and thus Alberto Gonzales, because they believed doing so was in their interest. A drawn out confirmation battle over an Attorney General -- who, by the way, would serve a year and a half or less -- would slow the confirmation process for conservative jurists, thus setting back their one of their top priorities.

But given the fact that the confirmation process is already moving slowly -- too slowly for a great number in the far right wing of American politics -- perhaps conservatives and Republicans on Capitol Hill will come to the realization that their support for the Attorney General and the President is not in fact serving their cause. I'm not by any means banking on the situation playing out as such. Yet just trying to read the tea leaves, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to find at least a few in the conservative ranks calling for Gonzales to go in the not too distant future.

Tags: alberto gonzales, Judicial Nominations, Prosecutor Purge, Senate Republicans (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

Re: Do We Want Gonzales To Go?

Hey, I love the idea that lame duck or dead duck AG AG is blocking the way for more reichtwing judges. And the DoJ itself is apparently barely functioning. Given this Adminisratin, is that bad? Someobody remind me why we would want AG AG to go, and why it's not better to have him staying around stinking up the joint?

by Woody 2007-06-10 02:19PM | 0 recs
Gonzales isn't going anywhere

Bush can't afford to confirm a new AG who will be "acceptable" to Democrats. If he did, the machinery of Justice would fairly quickly turn against Bush, not to mention the scumbag House Republican Appropriations mafiosi (Jerry Lewis et al).

It doesn't matter if Gonzales is the best AG in history, or if he does absolutely nothing and gets head from interns all day. He isn't going anywhere.

Remember the Watergate analogy.

by jforshaw 2007-06-10 02:48PM | 0 recs
Since when has competence or integrety mattered

Conservatives have stood by noted idiots, crooks, hypocrites and assorted lamewads like The Decider, the Plamegate crew (Libby, Rove and Cheney), Rush Limbaugh (prescription drug addiction), Ann Coulter (racist rants), Donald Rumsfeld and Tom De Lay. Something like a half dozen  Republican members of the 2002 Congress are now in jail, under indictment, or under investigation. Many of those under investigation were renominated and reelected in Republican districts. One, John Gibbons, even got a promotion to governor of Nevada. In that context, what's the big deal about Gonzales? He doesn't even make the top 10 most venal members of the conservative power elite.

by babusrinivasan 2007-06-10 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Will GOP Support for Gonzales Finally Dry Up?

Why in hell should Congressional Democrats bring ANY of Bush's far right judicial appointments up for a vote at ANY time in the next two years?

Tell Bush that he either nominates "consensus" candidates who can win bi-partisan approval (he'll never do that) or he can kiss their ass!

There ought to be a blanket policy of NOT scheduling votes on Bush's controversial appointments at all.

Let them twist in the wind until 2009!

As for Gonzales, first no-confidence, then Congress should take up impeachment proceedings against him.

by Cugel 2007-06-10 06:16PM | 0 recs

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