It is difficult to recognize how significant the firing of 7 US Attorneys will be when you think in the context of (1) they were originally political appointees so they should have some small bias already build in and (2) at their time of appointment, I would guess no one suspected Representative Cunningham or Representative Gary Lewis or Dusty Fogo of wrong doings. It could not have been the founding fathers idea that the President could on a whim block or impede legitimate investigations simple to fulfill his prerogative of hiring and firing US Attorneys.
1. The Bush Administration has shown almost no concern for the leadership and administrative skills in the hundreds of political appointees they have made. Remember good old Brownie (“You’re doing a heck of a job”). Why would they suddenly feel it necessary to delve into the Justice Department when there was no smoke?
2. Kyle Sampson and Monica Goodling, both with little or no real prosecurial experience were highly involved with the 7 US Attorneys dismissal process. Kyle was the “chief of staff” for Gonzales and Goodling was a lower level “liaison” between Justice and the White House. Both were a bit thin on experience for these jobs at such a high level and importance. Perspective and experience, rather than ideological leanings should be a prerequisite.
3. An added tidbit with Ms Goodling is that she is one of 150 graduates from Regent University working in the Bush Administration. The hand of Pat Robertson may not be far away.
4. No one should dispute the right of the President to replace any or all the US Attorneys. Each US Attorney heads a staff of as many as 100 Attorneys who are more or less shielded from abritrary firings. A simple statement at the outset saying, as poorly as it may have sounded, “the President simply has exercised his prerogative and replaced 7 US Attorneys.” There is no need to provide a reason. But when you hear one day it is for cause and the next day, it is for political reasons, you think you are looking at a little boy who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
5. Could the poor handling of the US Attorney/Gonzales affair represent a deeper problem in the White House? Are they part way in the bunker? The Iraq situation is a mess and the Congress is not going to go away. Do they fear that when eventually they must change course and commit to taking Troops out, that will simply give license to the Congress to ask the really revealing questions about how we ever got into this mess in the first place.
6. When you think about this administrations view of individual rights to privacy, habeas corpus, trail by jury with all evidence presented, and humane interrogation methods, it should not be a surprise that they would place little importance on the prosecurial correctness and more on political correctness.