Thursday, July 07, 2005

A question of loyalty: The friendship of George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales

There's something to be said for loyalty -- both Gonzales's to Bush and Bush's to Gonzales. I've previously questioned Gonzales's qualifications for the job of Supreme Court justice, given his long career of pro-Bush partisanship: "He sucked up to Bush in Texas," I wrote, "and he's spent the past four-plus years, both as White House counsel and now as attorney general, sucking up to him in Washington. Perhaps a seat on the Supreme Court would unleash his independence, but I wonder if his political partisanship wouldn't continue to taint his legal opinions." But today I cannot help but admire the obvious and sincere loyalty and friendship between the two men, whatever my reservations about both of them in their present capacities. Back in Denmark -- which I addressed a couple of posts ago -- Bush said this of Gonzales: "All of a sudden this fellow, who is a good public servant and a really fine person, is under fire. I don't like it at all."

Good for him. Seriously. No, The Reaction isn't generally all that friendly to Bush, or at least to his presidency, but he is obviously a better and more compassionate man than many in his party and within the conservative ranks. The right is out to take down Gonzales, but, in the end, I hope Bush has the courage to stand up to the rabid base of extremists that has taken credit for his victory last year, thinks that it runs his presidency, and is now demanding payback for its support.

Do what's right for America, Mr. President, not what the extremists want you to do. The two are not the same, no matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise.

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