Jay Reding.com

Gone-Zales

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has announced his resignation as head of the Justice Department this morning. The news isn’t a shock, there have been rumors all weekend that he would step down and Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff would replace him. It appears those rumors were correct.

Gonzales should have resigned months ago. The firing of the US Attorneys, while not illegal, was handled very poorly and Gonzales’ testimony before Congress indicated that he had little control over his own department. That lack of leadership is fatal in Washington, and although Gonzales has been the target of several spurious and blatantly partisan attacks, it was ultimately his own lack of political acumen that doomed him.

As Jonathan Adler notes, Chertoff is a natural replacement. He has the experience as a former US Attorney, he’s already a part of the Administration, and he has a level of competence and trust that Gonzales lacked.

The Justice Department needs strong new leadership, and Gonzales’ resignation was the right thing to do to put the Justice Department on the right track. Michael Chertoff or another candidate will have a tough job ahead of them, but ultimately this transition was a necessary one.

8 responses to “Gone-Zales”

  1. Will says:

    There is no such thing as a “US District Attorney.”

  2. Jay Reding says:

    Indeed there is not — good catch!

  3. Mentoc says:

    Alberto Gonzales > Dan Rather.

    Quite a coup for Josh Marshall, I must say.

  4. Jay Reding says:

    Quite a coup for Josh Marshall, I must say.

    Except for the fact that he was hardly the only one flogging the story.

    Gonzales brought himself down, and his inability to get a handle on managing his own department is the real reason he’s leaving. The firings of the US Attorneys was mishandled, but the spurious accusations of perjury and the like had no real basis.

    Bloggers were the only ones pursuing the Rathergate story — Gonzales has spent months being attacked by Senate Democrats and the press. There’s no real comparison between the two.

  5. Eracus says:

    Yeah, we don’t need no stinkin’ hispanics in national high office, that’s for sure. Thank goodness the Democrats tore this sorry spic to pieces and sent a message to all those other dedictated, determined, hard-working brown-skinned people that if they try to rise above Chuck Schumer and the rest of the white liberal Democrat establishment there’s gonna be hell to pay.

    >sarcasm off

  6. Eracus says:

    Alberto Gonzales, like Clarence Thomas, had the audacity to live the American Dream to its fullest potential and become the Attorney General of the United States of America. He committed no crime. His “political acumen,” management skills, or leadership potential has been aptly demonstrated over the course of a long and distinguished career. The only difference is today his achievements have been smeared, degraded, vilified, and condemned by elite Democrats and their media synchophants.

    This would be the very same effete elite, alert readers will recall, who earlier deified Janet Reno and Jamie Gorelick, both of whom were not only inept and incompetent, but who were directly responsible for the murder of innocent Americans at Ruby Ridge and Waco as well as the subjugation of international terrorism and acts of war against the United States to mere violations of the U.S. Criminal Code. After 9/11, the former National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, committed treason by destroying classified documents he stole from the National Archives. Alas, none of the above will ever endure the withering “investigation” of a Democrat smear campaign.

    But boy, just fire some white liberal Democrat attorneys for cause and God help you if you’re an Hispanic republican. Because when it comes to character assassination, the Democrats have the only game in town and completely own the judge and jury. It’s all for the little guy, of course. And of course the children…

  7. Jay Reding says:

    I don’t think this was a racial issue at all.

    Gonzales may be a perfectly nice man, but he was a terrible AG. John Ashcroft, even though the left hated him, knew how to run a department and he ran the Justice Department very well. Gonzales didn’t. He went before Congress and looked like he had no clue what his own department was doing. That’s fatal in Washington.

    Yes, it’s a travesty that Gonzales was treated so poorly. Most things in Washington are travesties in one way or another. Gonzales put himself into a position where he looked weak and unable to do his job — and that’s like bleeding into a shark tank. In the end, his stepping down is the right thing because it lets someone do the job that he’s no longer politically able to do.

  8. Eracus says:

    “I don’t think this was a racial issue at all.”

    You would be mistaken. Because he is hispanic and therefore entirely without any phalanx of established defenders inside or outside the governing institutions, the Democrat elite and the liberal media effectively constructed the narrative by which even you would conclude “Gonzales may be a perfectly nice man, but he was a terrible AG” on the basis of nothing other than precisely the very “news” stories you read in the paper or saw on TV. The fact is they went after him from the beginning like a pack of ravenous wolves, from within the DoJ and without, and never let him breathe. Of course he appeared ineffective and inept. That was the intention.