Gonzales quits, Charles Krauthammer still terrible

Better bloggers than I will surely have lots to say about today’s resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

To me though, the most upsetting thing about this man’s embattled tenure is still how unwilling many of my fellow Americans were to even admit that the allegations made about the firings of U.S. attorneys were troubling, if true. Instead, many people just treated us to endless repetitions of the utterly irrelevant point that the President can fire them at will.

Some things, I would hope, should cut across partisan politics. Whether you believed the allegations or not, the very idea of anyone pressuring U.S. attorney’s to file or drop specific lawsuits so as to coordinate with one party’s electoral strategies is a potentially very grave threat to the administration of federal justice. It’s flatly, unquestionably unethical. Deny the allegations if you think they have no merit. But don’t tell me that they are irrelevant.

And just to to re-iterate an earlier point, when you have, justifiably or not, a reputation for lying and/or omission, don’t you think it’s a bad idea to lie to your own spokesman for no discernible reason, especially as the penultimate act or your career?

Mr. Roehrkasse said Sunday afternoon that he had telephoned Mr. Gonzales about the reports circulating in Washington that a resignation was imminent, “and he said it wasn’t true, so I don’t know what more I can say.” (emphasis added)

At this point, he had already submitted his resignation two days prior.

3 Responses to Gonzales quits, Charles Krauthammer still terrible

  1. I spent much time on the type of thinking that led to debacle 2000, the Iraq War and continuing abuses of the Executive. In my research I discovered that even the most reasoned thinkers often felt a certain resonance with a party or group of people.

    When the facts changed, they picked only the arguments and data that supported their feelings rather than choosing to hear what the world spoke. A good reference on this process is Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” (1962).

    In research on the history of Vietnam the statistics show that college graduates and the more “educated” supported the conflict by much larger margins than non-graduates. This is not only due to deferments, or age, but also because the US system of education uses the Prussian model which makes good employees rather than thinkers.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. Bad says:

    Kuhn is probably the wrong choice for that phenomenon: more directly relevant are the recent social science explorations of things like cognitive dissonance, like the recent Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.

  3. The accusations could very well be true, but what bothers me is the insistence that they no doubt are true, without the evidence having been presented in a court or anything of that sort. Heck, the man hasn’t even been charged with a crime yet, and people act like he’s the second coming of Adolf Hitler. No, the accusations aren’t irrelevant, though, and if true, he did the right thing by resigning.

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