The Democratic Leadership needs to watch the opening segway of George C. Scott playing PATTON! in the award-winning movie. Scott, as WWII General Patton, intones "Americans LOVE A WINNER, and WILL NOT TOLERATE A LOSER."
Yet the Democratic leadership CONTINUES to DODGE these main issues, in their continuing "nibble around the edges" strategy of appeasement and conforming to the "Conventional Wisdom." Patton's advice may be an important lesson for Democrats - with Bush in the 28% approval ratings, Americans may expect SOMEONE to show some LEADERSHIP against the serial flaws and shortcomings of the Bush-Cheney-Rove White House.
Newt Gingrich is out there talking about Democrats "UNDERMINNING THE MORAL OF US TROOPS" - and the Democrats RESPOND WITH SILENCE, REFUSING to make the case that it is the AWFUL, ATROCIOUS, INCOMPETENT, and CORRUPT (bordering on treasonous) BUSH-CHENEY-ROVE White House that is not only "underminning" the US military - but DRIVING the entire US military INTO A DITCH, as the Bush-Cheney-Rove administration drove the entire US defense/intel/national-security establishment INTO A DITCH in the long summer before 9-11, when even the ITALIAN POLICE took steps to protect the G-8 presidents at the Genoa summit from a hijacked airliner being used as a bomb, by stationing surface-to-air missiles around that city in July of 2001.
WHERE is the Democratic answer to NEWT GINGRICH?
WHERE isthe Democratic media machine to confront RUSH LIMBAUGH?
WHERE is the Democratic rebuttal of FOX 'news' talking points?
WHERE are the Democrats to PROTECT American voters FROM Alberto Gonzales PURGE-GATE corruption of the US Justice department?
WHERE is the Democratic OUTRAGE - are they doing NOTHING to protect their own constituents and American voters from Mr. Gonzales' perjurous administration?
Are the Democrats STILL SO AFRAID of the Bush-Rove-Republican media machine, that they will SELL THEIR OWN VOTERS DOWN THE RIVER, rather than CONFRONT the lies of Mr. Gonzales and demand his resignation?
As George C. Scott's Patton said, "AMERICANS LOVE A WINNER, and WILL NOT TOLERATE losers."
Gonzales Is a Survivor as Bush Seeks to Minimize Political Risk
By Robert Schmidt
May 10 (Bloomberg)
- By most accounts, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should be ``Dead Man Walking'' -- not the winner of a high-stakes political game of ``Survivor.''
Defying conventional wisdom, Gonzales has kept his job as lawmakers in both parties, commentators and former Justice Department officials clamor for his resignation for mishandling the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. There are greater risks for President George W. Bush in cutting Gonzales loose than keeping him, say some Washington insiders and political strategists.
``He's still around because they wouldn't dream of having a confirmation hearing or appointing someone very independent of the White House,'' said Philip Heymann, a former deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration who is now a professor at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ``And those would be the conditions for having anybody new.''
Heymann and others predict Gonzales will leave office in January 2009 at the end of Bush's term unless evidence of criminal wrongdoing emerges. That could include firing a prosecutor to block a corruption investigation of Republicans or removing a prosecutor who refused to bring a groundless case against Democrats.
In a confirmation battle over Gonzales's successor, the Democratic-controlled Senate would gain new leverage to obtain confidential memos from the Republican administration. That could mean more embarrassment for Bush and possibly more serious jeopardy for such aides as Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser.
A further risk for Bush would be finding an acting attorney general with unquestioned loyalty and not someone who might cooperate in congressional investigations.
Gonzales's deputy, Paul McNulty, and the current associate attorney general, William Mercer, played important roles in the U.S. attorney firings. That means Solicitor General Paul Clement could be placed in charge of running the department. His current job -- representing the administration before the Supreme Court -- is supposed to transcend politics.
Republicans agree about the risks for Bush in ousting Gonzales, though for different reasons.
``They've made a political judgment that it is much better for him to stay than go,'' said Noel Francisco, a partner at the Jones Day law firm in Washington who worked for Gonzales in the White House counsel's office. ``If you give the Democrats a scalp, it's not going to appease them. It's going to embolden them.''
``If Al Gonzales were to leave,'' Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said recently, Bush ``would have to nominate someone else to serve for a year and a half and they would have to go through a confirmation process. And this circus would never end.''
The U.S. attorney firings last year sparked congressional probes into whether the prosecutors were removed for political reasons. Gonzales's truthfulness and competence were challenged by senators of both parties during more than six hours of testimony last month before the Judiciary Committee.
Gonzales, appearing today before the House Judiciary Committee, in prepared testimony apologizes again for not properly supervising the firings and says he hopes a ``clearing of the air'' will settle the matter.
Bush has been steadfast in supporting his attorney general. The president said Gonzales's Senate testimony ``increased my confidence in his ability to do his job.'' Last week, in what sounded like a Freudian slip, Bush referred to Gonzales, 51, as the ``eternal general.''
While Bush has praised other cabinet members before they were shown the door, notably Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Gonzales case may be different.
``The reason why Gonzales is still there has more to do with the lack of an alternative than the president's loyalty,'' said Representative Linda Sanchez, a California Democrat and chairwoman of the House Judiciary subcommittee investigating the firings. ``The most comfortable thing'' for Bush ``is the status quo,'' she said.
Sanchez said an attorney general without close ties to the president may also be more cooperative in other congressional investigations.
Democrats have said the administration is stonewalling their probes into wiretapping of suspected American terrorists without court orders, possible politicization of the Justice Department's civil rights division and FBI abuses in administering the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act.
`Can't Get Much Worse'
Administration officials are ``saying to themselves: `Well, it can't get much worse than this, so why should we cave in,''' said Joseph diGenova, a U.S. attorney in Washington under President Ronald Reagan.
Congressional investigators are demanding that Rove and ex- White House Counsel Harriet Miers give sworn testimony about their roles in the dismissals. The administration will only agree to unsworn testimony behind closed doors without a transcript.
The administration has made numerous Justice Department officials available for private interviews and also gave Congress 6,000 pages of internal e-mails and other documents.
Democrats still aren't satisfied and say they would delay confirming a replacement for Gonzales. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, has said he might not hold a hearing for a new attorney general until the Democrats get answers to all their questions.
``Until we have enough of the investigation done, there is no need going forward with a confirmation,'' Leahy said. Meanwhile, he said he suspects Bush is supporting Gonzales ``because they're allowing Karl Rove and others to run the department.''
In a reversal from a month ago, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is now more likely to resign than Gonzales, according to contracts traded on Intrade, an online electronic exchange based in Dublin. The chances of Wolfowitz quitting by June 30 were 79 percent as of 5:30 p.m. yesterday in New York and the odds Gonzales will leave were 45 percent.
To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org .