Monday, April 16, 2007

Advice for Inquisitors

With the AG scheduled for a confrontation tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee, this humble bloggy blogger has a few thoughts to share--though no one other than our intrepid readers nobody will likely hear this.

I didn't watch the Sunday talking heads as I long ago gave that up in favor of a peaceful Sunday morning without agita, but I read the news accounts of commentary by Specter, Leahy, Schumer, et al. and I'm afraid that they are giving Abu just a little too much wiggle room with comments like: he needs to be more forthcoming.

Gonzalez is not going to change his story, he is not going to roll over on the white house, and he will continue to accept blame only for not handling the matter well. That is all. He will come into the hearing, hat in hand, and he will demur in a syrupy sweet way. So how should the committee handle this? What has become obvious through all the documents and the reporting, most recently from the Albuquerque Journal is that the push likely came out of the white house (read Karl Rove).

So the committee must set its sights higher than Gonzalez and not expect that they are going to get anything out of him from gotcha type questions. What they should do instead is commit him to the stories that can be easily tied to the emails because it is in the emails, the ones we have seen and those that we have not, and those that have not been recovered--where the truth lies. The Republicans on the committee will surely give Gonzalez an opportunity to talk his way out of this mess, an opportunity he will surely fail. But if the Democrats focus on the record, they will be sending a stronger signal: nothing Gonzalez says about this now matters, we know that the truth lies in the west wing of the white house and that's where we're heading. If the committee changes course and makes Gonzalez just one small actor in the drama rather than the lead role, not only will he be locked in, but he will be marginalized more than he already is.

The administration should have insisted on Gonzalez's resignation as soon as the story broke and made him the fall guy. If it had done so, this story may have been over by now. As it is, this is a long way from being over whether Gonzalez stays or goes and nothing he says tomorrow is going to change that.

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