Saturday, April 07, 2007

Goodling Resigns

Well, it is passed time for Monica Goodling to resign from the Justice Department. If a high ranking official in the department of Justice cannot answer questions from Congress in an oversight hearing for fear of admitting to criminal misconduct should be grounds for immediately resigning or being dismissed. The fact that it has taken about two weeks for her to resign is incredible, but nonetheless something of a relief.

This also suggests to me that the Bush White House is starting to crack. Not willingly or from the inside, but the outside pressures are getting to be more than they can manage. Bluster and absolute self confidence can only take you so far, yet that is all they have.

While some might expect that the resignation of Monica Goodling will foreshadow Gonzales's resignation in the near future, I am very skeptical of that. For one thing, I doubt he will leave before his Congressional testimony. I expect that the geniuses in the White House are convinced that Alberto will pull a rabbit out of his hat and overwhelm Congress, and the public, with his brilliant explanation. Airborne pork ice skating in Hell is more likely, but nonetheless that is what the White House is expecting. I also believe that the White House cannot afford to have Alberto Gonzales leave. The scandals we know of are not the whole of what they need to keep hidden. There is worse stuff still being covered up. Part of the reason for this purgegate scandal was to remove Carole Lam and halt her investigations. But while we know who was being investigated (Foggio, Lewis, etc.) we don't know exactly why, that remains confidential as it should. However, if the White House was willing to go to these lengths to cover it up, it was not something trivial like messing with the White House travel office staff. The White House needs a Bush loyalist in the AG spot, and this Congress will not approve a new one. On the other hand, within a few weeks they may not be able to afford to keep Alberto Gonzales. Then things will get interesting, very acrimonious. But the acrimony will mostly be between Republicans. It should be interesting.

A last observation on the state of the scandal and the White House. One thing that is in a sense amazing is the fact that the White House still does not have a coherent explanation for why these Attorney's were fired, no effective cover story. The purge was planned for a year or more and the scandal has been out for months, yet they are still have no real explanation as to why they were fired. Alberto Gonzales is studying and cramming furiously now to try and come up with an explanation. They really have nothing other than bluster and self-confidence. They have no ability to plan or to prepare. And they seem oblivious to the fact that given their inability to come up with an explanation, the best explanation out there is that the firings were aimed at using the Justice department to advance the interests of the Republican party. Yet another piece of news coming out of Wisconsin, and from Minnesota, indicates the kind of thing that this purge was actually intended to accomplish.

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