National Review: Gonzales Must Go

National Review has an editorial which calls for the resignation of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General:

What little credibility Gonzales had is gone. All that now keeps him in office, save the friendship of the president, is the conviction of many Republicans that removing him would embolden the Democrats. It is an overblown fear. The Democrats will pursue scandals, real or invented, whether or not Gonzales stays. But they have an especially inviting target in Gonzales. He cannot defend the administration and its policies even when they deserve defense. Alberto Gonzales should resign. The Justice Department needs a fresh start.

Ultimately, I don’t think the President has any intention of asking Gonzales to step down or even accepting his resignation. Then again, this may be another case like the one of Harriet Miers in which the President is forced to back down.

There’s a time for stubborn tenacity such as when fighting a war, and there’s a time to understand that one is in a politically untenable position. The President finds himself in a politically untenable position — Gonzales has damaged his own credibility to the point where it is not at all clear that he can continue on as Attorney General.

The sad fact is that the only thing the Democrats are going to do this term is hound the Bush Administration with all the determination of a Captain Ahab or an Inspector Javert. The Bush Administration cannot stonewall for the next two years, even though the Democratic Congress seems to have every intention of riding roughshod over every principle of separation of powers that they can conceivably get away with. If Bush thinks that holding onto Gonzales will somehow diminish or delay the Democrats in attacking his administration, he vastly underestimates the raving partisanship of the Democrats.

Gonzales may be an able public servant, but he’s damaged himself politically to the point where it is no longer tenable for him to remain in office. The Bush Administration should ask him to retire from public service and spend more time with his family for the good of the Department of Justice and of the nation.