Friday, April 20, 2007

Fool on the Hill

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I haven't said much about Gonzales's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but, then, there isn't much to say. It was a joke, a massive joke that -- despite Jon Stewart's great bit tonight on Gonzo's failure to recall anything -- wasn't really funny at all.

But there's a lot to read out there, should you be so inclined. For example, Slate's Bazelon, Dickerson, and Lithwick provided a useful Q&A in real time. Gonzo did recall some things, but his answers were, on the whole, inadequate and unconvincing. Was he lying? Or is he just a fool? Is he a puppet manipulated by his White House masters? Or was he kept out of the loop? (And, if so, why?) Whatever the answers to these questions, Stewart was right to compare him to Ken Lay.

Needless to say -- but I'll say it anyway -- Bush was apparently "pleased" with Gonzo's testimony -- so says a White House press release. Indeed: "The Attorney General has the full confidence of the President." General managers say this about their coaches all the time. Right before firing them.

If you really want to submerge yourself in Gonzo's testimony, I recommend the series at Firedoglake. It's rather comprehensive. Here's Part VIII. I'm sure you'll be able to find the others.

One Republican -- and an extremely conservative one at that -- told Gonzo to fall on his sword: "I believe you ought to suffer the consequences that these others have suffered, and I believe the best way to put this behind us is your resignation." For once I agree with you, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma -- though your views are no doubt motivated by self-serving partisanship, not the pursuit of justice. Gonzo's too much of an embarrassing liability for Bush and the GOP, so better to put the problem "behind us" than to look into it (i.e., the politicization of the Justice Dept. by the White House) more closely (which could be even more embarrassing).

Well, there's a lot more out there -- everyone's been covering it -- so amuse yourselves accordingly. (Update: See, for example, Milbank and Froomkin at WaPo.)

But here's a great photo from the NYT that says it all (who's the poor woman thinking Gonzo's thoughts, though?):

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